February 2, 2006

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FILM: Big Momma's House 2 (PG-13)

by Amy Diaz

Martin Lawrence straps on a fat suit and cashes a fat check thanks to Big Momma’s House 2, a film which, did you ask for it? Because I know I didn’t.

It was, however, the box office leader last weekend with $28 million in sales. This might sound impressive until you consider that Underworld: Evolution, another sequel that nobody asked for, opened with about $33 million in ticket sales last weekend. I suppose the lesson here is that a figure-enhancing latex body suit will beat a jiggle-creating fat suit. Score one very small point for Kate Beckinsale.

Malcolm (Martin Lawrence), the FBI agent who went undercover as the homespun-wisdom-spouting Big Momma in the first movie, is now a desk jockey expecting a child with Sherry (Nia Long). Actually, Malcolm doesn’t so much spend his time at a desk as in the FBI’s safety mascot eagle costume. When his old partner is killed, he is told to go back to his big head and his boring job but Malcolm isn’t having any of it. He suits up in the Big Momma gear and heads to the Fuller home. Dad Tom Fuller (Mark Moses) is apparently involved with a computer worm threatening national security, the development of which Malcolm’s partner was about to expose before he died. Luckily Mom Leah Fuller (Emily Procter) is very particular about her household and has a tendency to fire her nannies, leaving an opening for the no-nonsense Big Momma. As is required by law in movies such as this, the Fullers have an angsty teen, a shy tween and a weird toddler, all of whom learn valuable lessons about not being angsty, shy or weird while the family as a whole learns a valuable lesson about being a family, thanks to Big Momma. Pratfalls and misunderstandings are thrown in in prescribed movie-by-numbers amounts and, several chases and wacky fight scenes later, all is right with the world.

This is not the worst movie in the world; it is not even the worst sequel to a lame comedy. It is exactly what you think it will be (Martin Lawrence in a fat suit pretending to be an old woman) and nothing more. It is about 90 minutes of slight comedy and lightweight story telling that can be consumed effortlessly and forgotten immediately.

C-

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