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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

June 17th, 2011

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

I watched Big Momma's House, because Paul Giamatti was in it and I'm a big fan of his. It's not one of his best movies, to put it mildly. I also watched Big Momma's House 2, mainly because Kat Dennings was it it and I'm a big fan of hers. It's arguably her worst movie. Now that I've seen Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, was the franchise able to recover from its previous low, or should it have quit after part two?

The Movie

The film starts with FBI Agent Malcolm Turner in car chase with... the mail man. His son, Trent, is graduating high school and Malcolm is anxious to see if he was accepted to Duke University. While Malcolm is excited his son will be going to his old Alma Mater, Trent wants to become a rapper. It's not a total pipe dream either, as he's already been offered a contract with a small label looking to set up a tour in the fall. However, since he's underage, he has to get his father's signature on the contract, and that's not going to happen any time soon.

Trent's got a plan though. He's going to ambush his father while he's on the job, who will then sign the contract just to get rid of him. It's a foolproof plan, except as we've already established, Malcolm is an FBI agent. So ambushing him on the job means getting in the way of an important investigation involving a flash drive and a reluctant informant. And when that informant is killed and the two of them witnesses to the murder, they have to go undercover to avoid being found by the Russian mafia. Fortunately, Malcolm's now the one with the plan and he breaks out the fatsuit, puts on the wig and dress, and becomes Big Momma again, but this time his son has to do the same and become Charmaine Daisy Pierce. The two of them head to the Georgia Girls' School for the Arts, which is where the informant hid this flash drive, to go undercover.

Once there, the pair of them look for the flash drive while trying to avoid suspicion, which is made a little more difficult due to a pair of romantic entanglements. Trent falls for Haley, a fellow student. Meanwhile, Big Momma finds herself on the receiving end of unwanted attention from Kurtis Kool, the school's janitor. But it won't be long before the Russians track them down, so they need to find that flash drive quickly.

I recently reviewed Some Like It Hot, and I think I can be forgiven for my overwhelming sense of deja vu. There's very little in this movie that doesn't feel borrowed from earlier cross-dressing movies, and it's not even executed well this time around. The entire plot with the Russians is treated for what it is, a MacGuffin, and there's never enough tension around that storyline to be engaging. In fact, the film focuses more on the climactic talent show than the nominal main plot with three or four musical numbers sprinkled throughout. Big Momma gets to offer advice to the group of Mean Girls in the film, led by Portia Doubleday, but this part of the movie comes across as a little less than genuine.

I'm struggling to come up with a way to describe why this film fails to work, but just two words come to mind: Tired and Lazy. It's not as bad as its Tomatometer Score would indicate, but that's only because it barely registers on the viewer. It would need to be a lot more engaging before I could say I hated it. As it is, by the time you read this review, I will have likely forgotten nearly all of it.

The Extras

The DVD includes both the theatrical version and the extended version, the latter of which is about six minutes longer, but no better. Extras start with the audio commentary track, which is only on the theatrical version. There are also 12 minutes of deleted scenes and 2 minutes of outtakes. That's not a lot of extras, but enough to not seem barren.

There are no additional extras on the Blu-ray.

I was not impressed with he film's technical presentation. It doesn't look terrible, but it doesn't look great compared to a lot of first run releases. Likewise, the audio isn't bad, but it's hardly a reason to upgrade.

The Blu-ray / DVD Combo pack costs $7 more than the DVD on, but it also comes with the DVD and a digital copy of the movie. That's not a bad deal, but it's not a great deal either.

The Verdict

Every cross-dressing cliché is on full display in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son and the end result is a movie so uninspired that it fails to generate any emotional response. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack have just enough extras to be acceptable, but not enough to even lift the value to a rental. If you really liked the first two movies, just watch them again. They at least have more energy than you will find here.

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