Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (Blu-ray)
I know what you’re thinking. “Who knew there was a third Big Momma movie? Doesn’t Martin Lawrence typically stick to sequels and then land the plane? HOUSE PARTY 1 and 2, BAD BOYS 1 and 2, followed by BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE 1 and 2, sure. But a third? Was this really necessary? Or remotely lucrative?”
We can all agree that BIG MOMMA’S: LIKE FATHER LIKE SON will not help the franchise go down as the greatest trilogy the cinema has ever witnessed. We will not see the fat suit in the Smithsonian next to Luke’s light saber or that pesky ring the fellowship was looking for in all of Middle Earth.
With that important fact disclaimed, I have to say that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, I had zero expectations.
FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Lawrence) is back riding crime from the streets of Atlanta. His stepson Trent (Brandon T. Jackson) accidentally witnesses a murder and the pair must go undercover while working to solve the mystery of the missing music box that holds a flash drive which is the key to shutting down the Russian bad guys. Naturally, this opens the door for them to dress in drag and pose as a house mother and student at the local all-girls performing arts school.
The film is quick to stuff Lawrence into his signature fat suit, curly blonde wig and boldly patterned dresses. Hattie Mae Pierce is a huggable grandmotherly figure who doles out southern charm and unsolicited advice to her artistic flock of girls. With only a wig, tight girdle and a pair of high heel pumps, Jackson takes his voice up a few octaves and is easily transformed into Big Momma’s great niece — Charmaine Daisy Pierce.
Lawrence and Jackson were certainly entertaining when faced with wacky hijinks that often occur while men dressed as women infiltrate an all-female dorm. Charmaine must hang with the girls and participate in feminine traditions, such as pajama parties, fashion shows, shopping and sharing a dressing room. Of course in the process, he falls for one of the students. Meanwhile, Lawrence must locate the stolen music box while dodging the advances of a rather aggressive janitor who finds Hattie Mae “shrimp in the backyard” highly attractive.
Most of the movie is predictable, but there were a few memorable scenes. Trey’s dream of being a hip hop singing sensation is showcased during a cafeteria hazing ritual. As with any performing arts school, the girls busted out their instruments while others danced around the tables as he raps on a stage, complete with microphone. Lawrence gets some cheap laughs by posing nude in an art class, as well as using a seductive game of Twister with the janitor to stealthily find out information on the missing music box whereabouts.
We’ve all seen this storyline before. Lawrence and Jackson garner easy laughs in drag, even though you have to constantly overlook the fact that anyone with half a brain could tell these two were dudes. The Russians were forgettable. The performing arts dancing and singing moments were ironically uninspiring. And I found myself indifferent about the mysterious missing music box, wondering when we could get back to some surface level funny dialog.
We find a brief moment of redemption in the closing credits when Trent’s future hip hop alter ego Prodi-G’s drops his original hit “Lyrical Miracle.” Here’s hoping this diamond in the rough is available on iTunes. If so, there’s no need to rent the movie.
Video (1080p High Definition 2.39:1): Martin Lawrence’s fat suit gets special treatment when Big Momma poses nude for an art class. Kudos to the wardrobe department for going the extra mile on all those rolls.
Audio (5.1 Dolby Digital): Once the dancers at the performing arts school actually danced or sang a song, the audio was great. Again, I’ll be purchasing “Lyrical Miracle,” so clearly I was impressed.
Audio Commentary: Director john Whitesell, Producer David T. Friendly, Brandon T. Jackson, Jessica Lucas and Portia Doubleday. Even with so many participants, they didn’t seem enthusiastic about giving their feedback. There was a lot of technical talk, instead of interesting stories and several silent moments. I also found myself wishing that Martin Lawrence was there to give his opinion.
Lyrical Miracle Video: Best part of the entire Blu-ray.
Baby You Know Video: Features clips from the movie set to one of the less memorable songs.
Gag Reel: Ironic that the gag reel produced little to no gags.
Bigger Busts Countdown: Showcases the top 10 action scenes, close calls and outrageous moments from all three Big Momma movies. I’ll never get those 10 minutes back.
Song and Dance: Momma Style: The director and actors feature the different dance moments from the movie. Famed dancer Jamal Sims (of the Step Up franchise) admits to choreographing the show. Some things are better left off the resume Jamal. Trust me.
Deleted Scenes: “Meeting Isabelle”, “Return Necklace/Research Room”, “Charmaine Can Be A Diva”, “Run-In With Jocks on a Date”, “Post Date”, “Jasmine’s Ballet Performance” and “Vaseline on the Stairs.” It’s probably best that most of these were left on the cutting room floor, yet I could have seen Jasmine’s Ballet Performance in the movie since the entire setting WAS in a performing arts school.
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