Complete A-Z list

Big Mommas - Like Father, Like Son


Stars: Martin Lawrence, Brandon T Jackson, Jesse A Lucas, Michelle Ang, Portia Doubleday, Emily Rios, Henri Lubatti, Tony Curran, Marc John Jefferies, Brandon Gill, Zack Mines, Trey Lindsey, Ken Jeong, Max Cassella

Director: John Whitesell

Even twaddle like this doesn’t come cheap, so presumably the producers of this redundant third film in a franchise that should have stopped with Big Momma’s House back in 2000 must have figured they would get their money back. And, since this kind of tosh relies on stars not critics they probably will. Just make sure it isn’t your cash that helps propel Big Mommas – Like Father, Like Son into profit.

This time there’s even a moral – getting into drag, posing as women and fending off would be killers can help a father and his teenage stepson to bond. Actually, there probably isn’t a moral but that was about the one positive element in this stupid story (apart, possibly, from wanting to become an FBI agent so that, like Lawrence, you can hold up your mailman and collect your letters without waiting for a normal delivery).

Lawrence wants his stepson Jackson to go to university, the lad wants to become a rapper. And bonding takes place when the two of them have to pose as women at an all girls performing school to avoid being killed by hoodlums while they hunt down a missing computer device that will end a villain’s criminal career. Ironically, that criminal isn’t the screenwriter. That distinction belongs to Matthew Fogel.

Humour ranges from Lawrence – gigantic in a fat suit that transforms him into the eponymous Momma – having to pose nude for a life drawing class and Jackson discovering going to the toilet can be quite a problem in woman’s clothes. As for jokes, a third-rate panto has more humour.

John Whitesell’s competent enough direction merely underlines the awfulness of the enterprise.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 16 Feb 2011