Visiting with Big Momma is always a pleasant surprise. When Martin Lawrence originated the character in 2000’s Big Momma’s House with Paul Giamatti, audiences were introduced to a mature Southern woman who could lay down the law, teach you a lesson and make you smile all at the same time.
And they loved it. The first Big Momma’s House was a huge hit and spawned the sequel Big Momma’s House 2 with Emily Procter that also sold quite a few tickets. Now, Big Momma is back and she is as bountiful as ever.
Martin Lawrence, as FBI Agent Malcolm and also as Big Momma, has a Robin Williams Mrs. Doubtfire moment with the Big Momma films. As opposed to that film, Lawrence spends far more time dressed as a woman than Williams ever did in Doubtfire. Thus, more Momma to love.
Sure, the script disappoints. There are plot holes all over, but the charm of Lawrence as Momma never wanes or tires.
Along for the ride in Big Mommas Like Father, Like Son is co-star Brandon T. Jackson. The young actor stars as Lawrence’s stepson who is going through a “should I go to college or become a rapper” quandary. Jackson’s character follows Lawrence as he is tailing a suspect on FBI business. As Jackson interrupts Lawrence, all hell breaks loose and he witnesses a murder. Now, both men are at risk and must don a disguise to survive.
Escaping the danger, Lawrence’s Malcolm brings out his disguise as the Atlanta native Big Momma. To disguise his stepson, Jackson reemerges as Charmaine. The pair winds up at a girls’ school for music that is searching for a house mother. Big Momma oversees the girls as Charmaine blends in as a student who has a knack for rapping.
Both Jackson and Lawrence take to their alter egos effortlessly. Big Mommas Like Father, Like Son isn’t going to win any Oscars. But, then again, that’s not why you go to see Big Momma on the big screen — it’s to see Martin Lawrence and company bring safe suspense, earnest laughs and a family film that everyone at every age can laugh at. There are lessons, and there is corniness. Would you expect anything less?
Big Mommas Like Father, Like Son review
Out of five stars…