It’s a case of better never than latex for this follow-up to Martin Lawrence’s 2000 hit, which doesn’t even have the original’s stellar cast (Terrence Howard, Paul Giamatti) to distract from its leading (wo)man’s fat-suit pratfalls. Piling on the prosthetics on the slimmest of pretexts, John Whitesell’s laugh-free comedy has its star’s gargantuan alter-ego become live-in nanny for an all-American family suspected of computer terrorism. Of course, it’s not long before he’s putting this dysfunctional clan to rights with his down-home charm and sassy street-smarts.
If you thought the Bubbles Devere sketches were the funniest bits of Little Britain, you may get a kick out of Lawrence’s blubbery antics. But even those who can stand his screen-hogging gurning will find the film’s glucose sentimentality as hard to stomach as the sight of the title character in a swimsuit. “Big Momma may be back,” threatens Martin at the end, prompting us to borrow one of her favourite expressions: “Lord have mercy!”