A remake too far?
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Will Big Momma body-pop her way into history, or is her latest role just too big of a demand...?
Browsing through the ever-expanding black hole that is the Shadowlocked email address, I stumbled across a press email which I felt compelled to discuss. The email in question was regarding the upcoming sequel in the Big Momma franchise, named Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. The film - which is due for release in the UK on either the 16th or 18th February 2011 - sees Martin Lawrence return as FBI agent Malcom Turner, joined this time by his son Trent (Brandon T. Jackson). The film works off the premise that Trent's life is in danger because he 'accidentally' witnessed a murder alongside his father. To help protect his son, Malcom decides to bring him undercover on his latest mission, a decision which sees the pair posing as Big Momma and her hefty co-ed Charmaine within the confines of an all-girls performing arts school. Between them, Big Momma and Charmaine must befriend the students, teachers and alumni and work towards finding the murderer, before he finds them.
Now, while the film is sure to provide the same slapstick, cringe-worthy humour which made the original Big Momma so popular, I just cannot help but feel this film has the potential to be 2011's Norbit or, God help us, this year's Daddy Day Camp. However, before lamenting 20th Century Fox's seemingly uncontrollable urge to remake/reload any title they can lay their hands on, I decided to view the trailer with an open, objective mindset:
As you have probably guessed, said trailer did little other than to further my concerns for this imminent release. While you can see what director John Whitesell is trying to do, there is that feeling that it has been done before... and badly. While the Big Momma franchise has repeatedly suffered at the hands of its critics, the original had a degree of originality that helped set it apart; the simple-yet-entertaining concept helped earn Big Momma's House a cult following similar to that of The Nutty Professor. By the time Big Momma's House 2 came around, general interest was fading - a fact made abdundantly obvious by the $47 million fall in box-office gross compared against the original - and everyone thought (some even prayed) that we had seen the last of Big Momma.
So, with that in mind, I cannot understand what Regency, 20th Century Fox or even director John Whitesell are hoping to achieve from its rebirth. To start with, the film will almost certainly be panned by critics once more, something the series has become accustomed to. Problem is, unlike its previous two releases, I don't feel the franchise has enough strength in its brand name to bounce back from yet another critical dismemberment and as such I feel this release will sink without trace. Furthermore, you have to wonder who Fox questioned when deciding whether to relaunch this franchise. I honestly believe that if I conducted a survey of 100 random people, asking them simply whether they would like to see another Big Momma release, a strong 85-90% would say no. Modern audiences have become accustomed to the likes of How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind and the rather brilliant Despicable Me - so why would Fox believe audiences want to see more of Martin Lawrence as a 250lb Big Momma?
Whatever way you look at it, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son is certainly up against it. With Disney's I Am Number Four, Warner Bros.' Hall Pass and James Cameron's latest 3D adventure Sanctum all due for release within the same month, Big Momma could find her chances limited and lacking. However, never one to judge a book by its cover, I will try and remain neutral on the film, saving my true verdict until after the film's official release. Problem is, as any Star Wars fan will understand, I have a bad feeling about this.
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