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:: Big Momma’s House 2

Martin Lawrence returns to screens this month in Big Momma’s House 2, lovingly resurrecting his larger-than-life alter-ego Hattie Mae Pierce, aka Big Momma.

This time Detective Malcolm Turner (Lawrence) is called upon to avert a national security disaster. The only way to infiltrate the suspect’s life is to pose as a nanny to his children, so Turner once again puts on the fat suit to become the ever-incorrigible Big Momma, and forms an unlikely bond with the suspect’s three children.

After a painfully unfunny beginning, the film produces some amusing gags in the latter half of the movie, with Big Momma’s spa and beach scenes being standouts. Look out for the long-suffering family dog too! Lawrence’s Big Momma is a treat; his interpretation of elderly women’s idiosyncrasies is spot on and he brings an atypical warmth and depth to the role. The supporting characters are uniformly good too, particularly the young actors playing the suspect’s children and Emily Procter as his wife.

The film’s purported underlying message, that family comes first, is somewhat undermined by the fact that Turner spends much of the film undercover as Big Momma and away from his heavily pregnant wife and stepson. But let’s not kid ourselves here - like the highly implausible government conspiracy subplot, Lawrence’s relationship with his wife is of little concern to the filmmakers or viewers.

BMH2 is simply another vehicle for Lawrence to demonstrate his considerable comic ability and milk the profits of Big Momma’s physical prowess yet again - though it’s yet to be seen if viewers will go in for her antics a second time around. Like the first film, BMH2 is about twenty minutes overlong; a running time of nearly two hours is much too long for a one-joke movie of this nature. Fortunately, Lawrence’s performance alone is enough to carry the film, and fans of the original will be pleased to see Hattie Mae back doing what she does best.