There comes a point in every man’s life when he must stop what he’s doing and re-evaluate his perspective on the world and his place within it.

Sarah Royce
Oddly enough, the most disturbing thing here is the hair. (Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Such a time came and went about five years ago for Martin Lawrence. While other funnymen chose to move on from slapstick to adult comedy, Lawrence decided to make a sequel to his 2000 “hit” “Big Momma’s House.” The latest in the unfortunate trend of bad movies leading to worse sequels, this one lacks any sense of comedy, passable storyline or respect for its poor audience’s time.

Malcolm Turner (Lawrence), the hapless soul who donned the Big Momma pads to bust a murderous robber in the first film, returns to work on another asinine case for the FBI. Circumstances that are never really explained lead him to bust out the Big Momma threads once more and go “undercover” in the house of a suspected bad guy. This man is doing something that’s bad for “homeland security.” Of course, what, how or why is of little concern. At the house, Malcolm undergoes the usual transformations, has the conventional revelations and falls in love with the three kids, wondering why their father went so wrong.

In all fairness, the film does have a heart. The kids are cute and Big Momma’s antics to win their support are mildly endearing. But sentimentality only serves its purpose if it’s handled with poise and gets across an even remotely heartwarming message.

Such is not the case with “Big Momma’s House 2.” One minute we have Malcolm building a delicate relationship with the eldest daughter, only to have a nude big momma plopping into a tub of mud a moment later. The story is a pointless, cyclical disaster.

But perhaps the film’s worst aspect is that it’s not even the slightest bit funny. Even Martin Lawrence diehards will be hard pressed to make excuses for the guy; he seems to have lost every last hint of comedic swagger he once had. Without any real snaps to dish out, what remains of Lawrence is a 400-pound blob of rubber, babbling incoherently and desperately clinging to the Hollywood relevance he once had.

The supporting cast does little to help their ineffective star. Nia Long’s role as Malcolm’s love interest is trimmed considerably from the first film, and she seems to serve little purpose in this story at all.

Gone are the two top-notch character actors that somehow wandered into the first film – Terrence Howard (“Hustle and Flow”) and Paul Giamatti (“Cinderella Man”) – both of whom, incidentally, are likely to receive Oscar nods this morning.

But then again, both were unknowns when they made “Big Momma’s House,” so maybe this sequel will catapult some unknowns to fame too. Come to think of it, that Eduardo Renta was absolutely stellar as “Club Bad Guy #2” – maybe he’ll turn out to be the next Tom Hanks. Wouldn’t that put a nice, shiny wrapper on the pile of debris that is “Big Momma’s House 2”?

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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