Monday, January 24, 2011

A Decade of Dreck #41: Big Momma's House 2

Charge Shot!!! is celebrating the end of the decade in the most masochistic way we know how - by watching and writing about the 100 worst movies of the last ten years as defined by film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Click here to see RT's complete list, click here for more information about the Decade of Dreck project, and click here to see all of the movies we've done so far.

Dear Lord. I just watched Big Momma's House 2.

I swore when the first one came out that I would never see it. Well, swear might be too strong a word. I probably just said to myself "Meh. That looks stupid" and carried on with my life. But jeez louise did I never expect to see it, let alone a sequel.

And c'mon, a sequel! Did this need to happen? I'm sure nobody who reads this blog ever saw Big Momma's House but couldn't you tell this was a one and done sort of franchise? We get it: Martin Lawrence dresses up as a sassy black mammy and busts criminals. It's the action comedy Mrs. Doubtfire! I don't think the character and universe needed to be explored anymore, but who knows? As I said before, I didn't see the first entry in the series.

Questions are finally answered! Truths revealed! Who will survive and what will be left of them? Fat jokes!

So, yeah. Explaining the plot of Big Momma's House 2 isn't important. Martin Lawrence picks up where he (I assume) left off. After the (again, I assume) big case in Big Momma 1, FBI agent Malcom Turner has hung up the fat suit and settled down with some nice lady and her son. With a baby on the way, Turner has taken a public relations job with the Bureau. But when his old partner is murdered during an undercover case, Turner springs back into action, morphing back into Big Momma and infiltrating the home of a crooked software bigwig who is selling a computer virus to terrorists as his family's nanny. Would you believe it if I told you that everybody learns something about family and whatnot? Well, we're told that they do. Also, antics.

God, where to begin with this terrible, terrible movie? I just can't get out over how undeserving this is of existence. For serious, I appreciated Extreme Ops more than this movie. Heck, I think I downright like Extreme Ops after watching Big Momma's House 2. Maybe that's just the Bridgette Wilson hangover, but whatever.

Maybe I hated this movie so much because I can't turn off my brain when it comes to the procedural stuff. I felt like the crusty police captain in every buddy cop movie ever. "Dammit, Turner!" I wanted to yell, "You're jeopardizing a two-year investigation with your cross-dressing antics! Your gun and your badge on my desk, NOW!" Lawrence never does anything to justify his competence as a law enforcement agent, but maybe that's not important to the target audience of children and idiots. All that's needed is some scenes of Lawrence prancing around a bunch of naked women who have invited him into their company because they think he's one of them, you know, a woman, as if he could really fool anybody.

Maybe I hated this movie so much because of the supporting cast. First off, Mark Moses, known to longtime Charge Shot!!! readers as Mad Men's erstwhile Head of Accounts Duck Phillips. You can practically hear Moses grumble "I was in Platoon for crissakes...." under his breath as he plays the workaholic dad who is selling out his country to terrorists. Did I mention Martin Lawrence lets him go free at the end so he can learn to be a better dad? Because he does.

But in all honesty, I just kept waiting for Duck to tell Big Momma he wanted to undress her with his teeth and give her a go-around like she's never had. Also, he killed seventeen men at Okinawa.

Then there's ChloĆ« Moretz, up-and-coming child star of films such as Kick Ass and Let Me In. She's honestly an awesome actress. It's almost heartbreaking to see her in this, dancing around to "Baby Got Back" without a hint of irony or revulsion. Kat Dennings pops up as well, playing the same stock character of rebellious teen daughter that she did in The 40-Year Old Virgin the year previous. As one of the six people who probably saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, I so want her to succeed and erase the memory of this from my brain.

The great crime of Big Momma's House 2 is not that it's a bad movie, I knew that going in. The real tragedy is how low it goes in its quest to be a bad movie. I had low expectations and they were shattered absolutely with how terrible this was. I didn't expect much, it gave me so much less.

At the end, Lawrence mentions that maybe, just maybe, Big Momma could return. I really hope he was bluffing.

Big Momma's House 2 is ranked #80 on the Rotten Tomatoes Worst 100 list with 6% freshness. Its RT page can be found here.