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Friday, January 27, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM


Movie Review

"Big Momma's House 2": Lawrence is back in fat suit — how funny is that?

Detroit Free Press

Call it Hollywood's greatest growth industry, but someone, somewhere is making big money putting actors into fat suits.

Martin Lawrence dons one for a second time in "Big Momma's House 2," a sequel to the surprise hit from 2000 about FBI agent Malcolm Turner who goes undercover by posing as a sassy old lady. Even if you still find the premise funny, how long can you laugh at this same sorry routine?

Here Lawrence's Malcolm must work his way into the confidence of a tech company president (Mark Moses) suspected of selling government secrets. When Malcolm hears that the man needs a nanny, he becomes Big Momma again and lands the job.

You can guess what happens next. Malcolm has absolutely no idea how to care for three children, ages 2 through 15. For breakfast, he pours milk into the top of a cereal box and hands a kid a spoon. Faced with transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer, he uses the trash can.

Movie review 1 stars

Showtimes and trailer

"Big Momma's House 2," with Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Mark Moses. Directed by John Whitesell, from a screenplay by Don Rhymer. 99 minutes. Rated PG-13 for language, sexual humor, drug references. Several theaters.

If you still find this funny, then you'll probably like the bit in the fancy spa where Malcolm, still in Big Momma mode, ogles lingerie models and belly flops in a mud bath. You'll roar at the beach scene where Big Momma, in a sexy yellow bathing suit and blond cornrows, runs in slow motion la Bo Derek in "10." And don't forget the ubiquitous Jet Ski chase.

Even worse than the comic moments are the sentimental ones, including an unintentionally creepy scene where Malcolm composes a letter in the voice of Big Momma long after his cover has been blown.

The best thing about the movie is Lawrence's getup, which convincingly packs bushels of latex and foam rubber beneath flower-print dresses. Amazingly, the special-effects team didn't give the same attention to depicting the pregnancy of Malcolm's wife, Sherry (Nia Long), which looks like it was achieved with a couple of throw pillows.

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