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February 21, 2017

‘Big Momma’ is back in the house

T Hoffarth/Flickr

By Sarah Rosemond

Collegian Correspondent

“Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son” will have you crying from laughter and gasping for air all within the first few minutes of the movie. This time around director John Whitesell not only uses Martin Lawrence’s comedic genius, but has stand-up comedian-turned-actor Brandon T. Jackson hop on for the ride as Lawrence’s stepson.

The film opens with Lawrence’s character, FBI agent Malcolm Turner chasing Cameo, a mail carrier played by actor Ken Jeong while screaming, “FBI, pull over now!” Viewers may remember Jeong as the guy who jumps out of the trunk of a car in “The Hangover.”

The audience is immediately drawn into thinking that Turner’s mission has already started, and wondering what kind of scoundrel he might be after now. Of course, the scene ends in comic relief as Turner is only chasing Cameo to get his mail early and find out if his stepson, Trent Pierce, was accepted to Duke University. More than a decade has passed, and little Trent Pierce is no longer little but a full grown, 17-year-old wannabe rap star.

As expected, young Trent does not want to attend Duke, but would rather follow his dream of becoming a rapper. Writer Matthew Fogel obviously lacked imagination in this aspect of the story. One could have easily predicted that Turner and Trent would not be on the same page about the college decision. This overused method of plotline should be put to bed. Nonetheless, when it comes to the crime comedy genre, “Big Momma” fulfills it well.

When Malcolm refuses to sign the papers that grant his stepson permission to potentially be a part of a record label, Trent ambushes him during an undercover mission. Unfortunately, the plan goes wrong. The snitch is discovered and killed while Trent watches it all unfold right before his eyes.

The assassin, played by actor Tony Curran, from films such as “Gladiator” and “Underworld Evolution,” realizes that Trent saw the murder and tries to kill him. Luckily, Malcolm intervenes and the two manage to escape. After fleeing the scene, one thing is certain: they both must hide until the case is resolved.

What better way to go undercover than bring out the long-missed Big Momma? This final installment of the “Big Momma” trilogy will remind you why you loved the first two so much. Since in this film, Agent Turner needs to protect himself and his step-son, who is a witness to a murder case, Trent goes undercover as Big Momma’s niece, Charmaine. Both men go undercover at an all-girl performing arts’ school where they must face the challenge of befriending teenage drama queens.

 The hilarious Lawrence still manages to make the audience laugh their pants off, and with Jackson by his side, it’s like two for the price of one. Although an up and coming actor, Jackson slipped right into the role and it felt natural seeing him as Malcolm Turner’s stepson. Jackson had enough time to polish his acting skills with movies like “Roll Bounce,” “The Lottery Ticket,” and “Tropic Thunder.”

This film is the perfect Saturday night movie if you’re looking for a good laugh after a long day. Surprisingly, some memorable faces do not return for the third movie, including Nia Long’s character, Sherry Pierce. Instead, Malcolm’s wife is said to be on a retreat, and the original mother of Trent, Jascha Washington, declined the part.

Lawrence delivers a splendid performance worthy of a viewing. Interestingly enough, the film targets a younger audience, and succeeds. When you think Big Momma can’t get any more outrageous, she proves you wrong. Throughout the years we’ve grown to love this big, old lady that believes in tough love and a good whoopin’. “Big Momma: Like Father Like Son” will force the laughter out of you, even if you try to resist.

 Sarah Rosemond can be reached at srosemon@student.umass.edu.

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