Big Momma's House

"Bad"

Big Momma's House Review


There are two jokes in "Big Momma's House," Martin Lawrence's flimsy stab at "Mrs. Doubtfire"-style costume comedy:

1) Lawrence made up in a wig and a fat lady rubber suit.

2) Lawrence made up in a wig and a fat lady rubber suit, staring lustfully at Nia Long's backside and shrieking "Damn!" in a bad falsetto.

If 95 minutes of those two gags over and over is your idea of a knee-slapping good time, don't let me stop you from seeing the movie. Go. Have fun.

But anyone expecting more than such stale, underwhelming hilarity isn't likely to be impressed with the bone-headed guffaws and the tent pole plot that has Lawrence playing an FBI agent who has gone undercover as a Southern granny to catch a dangerous escaped bank robber (Terence Howard).

The real Big Momma (Ella Mitchell) has been called away on some unexplained family emergency just before her sweet 'n' sexy granddaughter (Long) -- the bank robber's ex -- comes to hide out after hearing her former beau is on the lam. Agent Lawrence thinks she was in on the heist and plans to snag the her, the robber and the still-missing loot in one fell swoop.

Of course, he develops a jones for the girl and finds a way to romance her -- sans disguise -- by buddying up to her 8-year-old son. What a guy.

Editor-turned-director Raja Gosnell makes no attempt to develop characters, patch hemorrhaging plot holes or explain why no one wonders where Big Momma goes whenever Lawrence shows up as himself. He's too busy setting up the next cheap sketch set piece:

Martin Lawrence in a fat lady rubber suit kicking butt at a self-defense class! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit kicking butt in a pick-up game of basketball! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit belting out church spirituals! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit fending off randy old men! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit having to deliver a baby! Martin Lawrence duck-taping his face when the fat lady suit busts a seam!

And inevitably, Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit coming face to face with the real Big Momma and the bank robber at the same time.

The saddest thing about "Big Momma's House" is that it wastes a talented cast in roles that force them to act like idiots in order for the plot to advance.

Nia Long has proven herself confident, skilled and very appealing in half a dozen movies over the last few years (e.g. "The Best Man," "lovejones," "Soul Food"), yet she continues to take roles as pliant girlfriends who bring about happy endings by forgiving their boyfriends for being liars and cheats. Just two weeks ago she did it in "Held Up," and now this. Oh, you're not really my grandma? How deceptive of you! I hate you! Come back in five minutes, look regretful and I'll give you a kiss.

Bull frog-faced character actor Paul Giamatti steals a few scenes with his corrosive wit as Lawrence's fed up partner. But this is not one of his definitive performance, like when he played Pig Vomit the flabbergasted radio producer in "Private Parts."

As for the highly capable Lawrence, he needs to stop making these forgettable -- and progressively more dreadful -- gimmick movies before he winds up degrading himself in a string of moronic father (then grandfather) figure supporting parts in even lower genre comedies like "Booty Call."

The only quality laugh in "Big Momma's House" comes in the opening scene, in which a frail old man starts kung-fu kicking the crap out some young Asian mobster punks. One of them grabs the geezer by what's left of his hair, then his face splits open and out pops Lawrence, sporting his best "you so crazy" grin.

It's a much more entertaining unmasking than any of the similar scenes in last week's feeble "Mission: Impossible" sequel. But the rest of "Big Momma" is all downhill from there.



Big Momma's House

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd June 2000

Box Office USA: $0.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $174M

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Regency Enterprises

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 57

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Malcolm Turner, as Sherry Pierce, as John, Jascha Washington as Trent Pierce, as Lester Vesco, as Twila

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.