Directed by John Whitesell, Written by Don Rhymer and Matthew Fogel, 107 minutes, Rated PG-13.
By our guest blogger, Matt Schimkowitz
Given how lazy the film is, I imagine the production of "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son" looked something like this: Roughly two weeks ago, Don Rhymer and Matthew Fogel got together to pen what would become the second sequel in the “Big Momma’s House” franchise. Several hours after completing their first draft, they approached director John Whitesell and producer/star Martin Lawrence, and a week and a half later, “Big Mommas: Life Father, Like Son” hit the silver screen.
Upon hearing of its existence, you may ask, “Why is this happening to me? Are we, as a species, deserving of such a condescending display of unfunny grunts and errors?” Believe me, this feeling only intensifies during the film's unforgivable one-hour-and-forty-seven-minute runtime -- pushing the total number of hours spent with Big Momma dangerously close to six.
“Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son” is a terrible film. The writing is lazy, the performances range from the bored to the patronizing, and the humor is redundant – especially if you stayed awake through the last two films.
FBI agent Malcolm aka Big Momma (Martin Lawrence) and his rapper son, Trent (Brandon T. Jackson, a “Tropic Thunder” alum who should know better), head to an all-girls school in search of a Flash Drive that contains some key evidence for Malcolm’s case. So, once again, they must go under deep cover as Big Momma and her rapping niece Charmaine. Together, they search the campus, help their sisters and fellow divas, and make constant reference to their additional chromosome, which their classmates, apparently, are too stupid to notice.
What Malcolm and Trent are actually looking for plays almost no role in the plot. Rhymer, Fogel and Whitesell breeze over details, in lieu of cheap jokes and bad puns (“That’s why they call it the nutcracker”). Lawrence reduces his famed multi-character humor to a series of grunts and growls, while Jackson follows the “Masculine voice—‘I mean’—feminine voice” template.
Nothing really works here. The action, jokes, and plotting are too slow to provide anything close to resembling entertainment. You will leave the film with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, wondering whether you should ever go to the movies again. Don’t worry, this feeling is quite normal -- It means you’re still a sane, rational being. I wish more could be said for “Big Mommas.” Its brash, unfunny humor should be avoided at all costs.