Martin Lawrence returns as cross-dressing undercover fed Malcolm Turner in this good-natured sequel to the 2000 comedy hit. This time, Malcolm is working a desk job because his wife (Nia Long) wants him safe. But when his old partner is killed, Malcolm just has to dust off the momma suit and take a nanny job with a family whose workaholic dad (Tom Fuller) is the chief suspect. The kids all have problems: Kevin (Zachary Levi) likes jumping off high places and eating sand; Carrie (Chloe Moretz) needs help with her cheerleading routine; the sullen 15-year old, Molly (Kat Dennings), is turning to punk rock to get the attention of an older boy; and the pet chihuahua is pining for his old love. Big Momma Malcolm is in a position to help all of them, as well as solve the case, but meanwhile his jealous (and very pregnant wife) is on the rampage, thinking her man is off with another woman. There's something wondrous about the sight of Lawrence dressed up as a big old wizened, sassy nanny punching out bad guys, zipping around on a jet ski, splashing mud on gorgeous models at a ritzy spa, or running in slow motion along the beach in an oversize bathing suit he seems to be having a ball. John Whitesell directs with a sure hand, letting the comedy flow freely and easily without gross-out humour or cheap shots, making this film succeed as both raucous farce and genuinely heartwarming family comedy.
Funnyman Martin Lawrence steps back into the latex fatsuit for Big Momma's House 2
, the sequel to one of Lawrence's biggest hits. Malcolm Turner (Lawrence, Bad Boys
) goes undercover, turning his Big Momma disguise into a nanny for a computer company executive who may be concocting a means to hack into military databases. But that's just a pretense to get Big Momma coping with a perfectionist mum and her three kids, who are all dysfunctional in cute and easily resolved ways. Naturally, Big Momma dispenses life lessons and catches the crooks while Lawrence does his best to milk his fat drag act for cheap laughs. Unfortunately, those cheap laughs never quite pay off; the script is a wastebasket of cliches and clumsy set-ups for gags that never seem worth the effort. The movie desperately wants to appeal to women with cute kids while luring men with a spa visit featuring scantily clad Victoria's Secret models. Even Lawrence's fans will find themselves snoozing through this one. --Bret Fetzer