Playing more like a bad “Mrs. Doubtfire” clone than a sequel to the original lacklustre comedy, the second ‘Momma’ is a truly insipid affair that makes the first film seem like classic comedy. That first effort at least had the setup of how Lawrence gets into drag, a mildly decent stakeout plotline, and surprisingly quality supporting players like Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti and Terrence Dashon Howard.
The sequel is not so lucky, relying on mostly small-time TV actors filling in the various forgettable roles whilst the script itself doesn’t even bother with a story, rather dishing out the action in episodic sequences which allow Lawrence to make jokes with his fat suit whether it be on a beach or at a beauty salon. There’s some talk of a revenge plot and a stolen computer worm, but the film’s take on the FBI is not only insulting to the organisation, it may be the most uncredible portrayal of the agency ever put on film.
Mixed in with this is Momma looking after a new family, lead by the usually reliable Emily Procter who falls on her face in the role of a somewhat emotionally distant, over-achieving mother with problem kids. All the supporting players from the likes of Mark Moses to the stunning Nia Long are relegated to lacklustre sidelines in favour of Lawrence’s high pitched mincing. Even under the fat suit, Lawrence actually seems to be more going through the motions than enjoying himself, short of the one or two moments of action he gets to indulge in which provide the film’s only moments of adrenaline.
Director John Whitesell cut his teeth on sitcoms and it shows, the film’s gags coming in fits and starts, punctuated by overbearing life lessons about parenting and music video montages. Everything from the drama to the comedy bits are overdone, over wrought and so over the top that even low brow humour fans will struggle to find the humour. Its not that the filmmakers attempted a sequel that no-one really needed is what’s bad here, its that they didn’t even seem to try to bother with any kind of effort that makes this truly atrocious.