Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Big Momma's: Like Father, Like Son

Directed by John Whitesell.
2011. Rated PG-13, 107 minutes.
Martin Lawrence
Brandon T. Jackson
Jessica Lucas
Michelle Ang
Tony Curran
Ana Ortiz
Marc John Jeffries
Portia Doubleday
Henri Lubatti

Ken Jeong

Certain people are lucky I’ve not yet been named Supreme Ruler of the Universe. Cataclysmic events may have erupted the very moment it came to my attention that the ever-invisible and unquestionably guilty “they” were going to make another Big Momma’s House. Without doubt “they” would be immediately banished to the farthest reaches of my jurisdiction. By “they” I mean anyone involved with any movie in the series. Being a benevolent monarch I would save two souls who had the misfortune of appearing in the original. One would be Paul Giamatti who’s done all sorts of good since that time. The other is Nia Long, who was actually in the first two BM movies. She gets a pass because I’ve been in love with her ever since that fateful night in 1991 when she introduced herself to me as Brandi in Boyz N the Hood. Thankfully, neither of them are here. And “here” is where I am: watching a movie that not only violates this king’s first rule of sequels, but one which by its mere existence is evidence of an actively waged war against original thought.

If you were wondering, this king’s first rule of sequels is this: If a movie sucks, there should not be a sequel. Of course, this assumes the first BM did indeed suck. Whether you like it matters not. In my kingdom, I am the sole judge of good and suckiness. As such I have deemed it terrible. Armed with this knowledge you should be amazed at the audacity it took to make a third movie in the franchise. The nerve! To the guillotine with them! Off with their heads!

Wait. I’ve not told you what this atrocity is about. To refresh your memory of the basic franchise construct, Malcolm (Lawrence) is an FBI agent who occasionally dresses up like an old lady to solve crimes. This time he’s working a highly dangerous case completely by himself. Strike one. His stepson Trent (Jackson) has just been accepted to Duke University. However, he would rather pursue his rap career than go to college. Strike two. Oh no, no, no. Don’t go jumping to conclusions. The strike is not for him wanting to follow his dreams, especially since anyone who knows me understands I am a rap fan. The strike is because we’re supposed to believe that this guy is intelligent enough to gain acceptance into a school known for high academic standards yet he does nothing smart in the entire movie. As a result of the first of Trent’s not-so-smart moves, he winds up witnessing the bad guy murder an informant over an incriminating flash drive we’ve already learned is hidden at an all-girls school for the arts. Yup, you guessed it: the only way our heroes can get their hands on the drive is to dress up like women and go undercover at the school. Absolutely nothing funny ensues. Strike three. Sigh.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Sire, if in this fantasy you truly are Supreme Ruler of the Universe why would you bother to watch this?’ It’s really rather simple. A good king wants to keep his subjects as happy as possible. Executions and other scare tactics used to keep them in line are messy and best reserved for the most heinous crimes. Diplomacy is often the better choice for the morale of the kingdom. With this in mind, I’ve noticed that the peasants often take their cues from the Queen. You know the old saying: if mama ain’t happy…yada yada. Logically, she must be appeased from time to time. In other words, the Queen decided upon the evening’s entertainment.

MY SCORE: 0/10

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