Awfully Good: Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son
Never before have I so strongly considered atheism than when watching BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER LIKE SON. Surely no benevolent higher power can exist as long as this movie does.
Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son (2011)
Director: John Whitesell
Stars: Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson, Faizon Love
Is there a plot?
After they witness a murder, the FBI's most seasoned geriatric crossdressing agent Malcolm Turner and his son Trent must both go undercover at an all-girls high school.
What's the damage?
Not that you should need any words of caution to avoid the third film in the BIG MOMMA franchise, but your first warning should be the fact that the movie comes from John Whitesell. You may not recognize the name, but you might be familiar with the director of MALIBU’S MOST WANTED, SEE SPOT RUN and previous Awfully Good entry, the Danny DeVito humping DECK THE HALLS. Your second warning should be the fact that even Nia Long refused to be in this movie. And her last major onscreen credit was Ice Cube's ARE WE DONE YET? Instead you get Max Casella from Doogie Howser (looking like time and drugs have not been kind to him) and the omnipresent Ken Jeong, who cameos as a sassy mailman. Is there any role Ken Jeong won’t turn down? At this point I truly believe the "Community" and HANGOVER star will do anything that has craft services.
No joke, this is Max Casella a.k.a. Doogie Howser's best friend. Neil Patrick Harris will not return his phone calls.
I just automatically associate Martin Lawrence with unfiltered wastewater, so I won't even bother to comment or speculate on his performance here. The newest piece of the transvestite puzzle, however, is Brandon T. Jackson (Alpa Chino from TROPIC THUNDER). Jackson co-stars as Lawrence's son Trent, the most unconvincing 27 year old playing a 17 year old since "Dawson's Creek." Trent wants to pursue a career as a rapper named Prodi-G, but his dad wants him to go to college. You can probably surmise how that all ends, but what you won't guess is that after Trent learns a lesson about the importance of education, he changes his rap name to Notorious Ph.D. For reals.
That would be a nice start. Whenever you're ready.
In going along with the musical theme, the majority of the movie takes place at a performing arts school, which the producers use as an excuse to pander to the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL crowd who were still sperm and eggs when the first BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE was released. The result is eye-gouging musical sequences that don't even make sense. Just because kids are artistically inclined doesn't mean they automatically break in to choreographed song and dance numbers whenever someone starts humming a tune. And sadly almost all of these sequences end with Big Momma popping and locking until he/she hurts him/herself.
Trent took "Baby Got Back" a little too literally.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about BIG MOMMAS is that the plot doesn’t really call for them to dress like women. Sure, the duo witnesses a murder, but they could easily go in to hiding somewhere else…as men. At this point I'm just beginning to think Martin Lawrence has a fat crossdressing fetish and will take any opportunity to throw on a padded muumuu. ("Oh no, that guy was jaywalking and saw us. Hand me those pantyhose!") Worse is the fact that the make-up and fat suit effects have gotten progressively worse with each movie. Coupled with Jackson's horrible "girl" voice, you have to have a serious learning disability to not immediately realize that penis is involved. At one point Big Momma is forced to pose as a nude model, yet still no one can tell she's really a dude. And does that mean that Malcolm wears a detailed full-body prosthetic 24/7 on the off chance someone will ask him to disrobe? And where do they get their Oscar-caliber make up and fat suits in the first place? After the murder, Malcolm says they can't go home and they can't go to FBI headquarters because of a mole. Do they just have Rick Baker hogtied in the trunk for emergency use?
An old trick of the trade: Whenever a scene doesn't go well, take Ben Affleck hostage.
That brings me to the script, which is laughable in how shoddily it's thrown together. The aforementioned mole in the FBI? Spoken of once and never addressed again. The life and death scholarship Trent's romantic interest must win at the end? Never resolved. The dialogue is just as bad. Instead of the word "yes," characters say "I’m feeling you, dog." Instead of "no"—"That’s not hot!"
It was nice to see Buffalo Bill's son carry on the family business.
In short, there is nothing redeeming about this movie. Avoid it like you would every other non-BAD BOYS Martin Lawrence movie.
Physical comedy AND a nut joke…comedy gold, Jerry! (Wait, didn't Martin Lawrence just admit to everyone that he has testicles?)
1) Some terrible music moments including embarrassing rapping, Big Momma dancing, Ke$ha and the worst music video since the last Limp Bizkit video.
2) Brandon Jackson takes a phrase from Martin Luther King and slavery and uses it to describe peeing like a girl.
Play Along at Home!
Take a shot or drink every time:
- There’s a musical or dance montage or dance performance
- Big Mama dances
- Trent says "Damn" about a girl
- Big Momma growls
Double shot if:
- There's a fashion show
Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.