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Movie Review

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sex-related humor

Reviewed by: Evan D. Baltz

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
1 hr. 55 min.
Year of Release:
Featuring: Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano Jr., Diedrich Bader, Ernie Hudson
Director: John Pasquin
Producer: Sandra Bullock, Gesine Bullock-Prado
Distributor: Warner Bros.
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Read our review of the prequel to this movie, Miss Congeniality.

Generally the motive for making a sequel is because the studios are thin on original ideas and think that if the first movie made money, the sequel should as well-even if it is bad-by the time people find out, the studio will have already made enough money to justify it. Rarely is a sequel made because more of the story needs to be told. Such is the case with “Miss Congeniality 2.” It probably will make money, but there was certainly no other reason to make a second installment.

Except maybe many of the actors involved needed work.

Quick, name the last five movies Sandra Bullock has made (“Miss Congeniality” not included). For reference, “Speed” was made 11 years ago. Unfortunately, Sandra hasn’t made too many winners of late. And by “late” I mean in the last 10 years. This is disappointing, because she is certainly a charming enough actress. She looks great. She can be funny and serious. But there haven’t been very many good roles for her. So my guess is that this sequel was made to help a few people pay the bills.

The movie picks up three weeks after the original. FBI agent Gracie Hart (Bullock) is going undercover with other agents to bust up a ring of bank robbers. However, her newfound famous face causes the sting to go bad. The agency realizes that she will probably not be able to be in the field anymore, and so offers her the job of being the “new face” of the FBI. This includes doing appearances on talk shows including a visit with Regis Philbin.

In the meantime, the relationship she built in the last picture is dispensed with in a phone call in the first ten minutes of the movie. Apparently actor Benjamin Bratt didn’t need the money to do the sequel.

Agent Hart is hooked up with female agent Sam Fuller who has some anger management issues. Fuller is played by Regina King, best known for her role as the wife of Rod Tidwell in “Jerry Maguire.” She was also recently seen in “Ray.” It seems like an odd role for her, and I had the impression she was just kind of going along with it, hoping some better roles would be coming her way as well. In fact, she intimated as much on a recent television interview.

Two other characters are resurrected from the first film, William Shatner as Stan Fields and Heather Burns as Cheryl-Miss USA. They are kidnapped and the plot, what there is of it, centers around the FBI attempting to solve the crime. Hilarity ensues. Well, not really. There are a few good laughs up front, in the setup, but they tickle off to about nothing 20 minutes in. In fact, I think I even dozed off for about five minutes because the middle of the movie was so boring.

I probably could have slept through the rest of it as well though. It was one ridiculous and overplayed scenario after another, including a drag Las Vegas show. At times, it felt like the movie didn’t know if it was a comedy or something more serious. Thus, the tone was a muddled.

Apart from men in drag, there wasn’t much offensive in the movie. One mildly offensive word was used on three occasions, but that was the extent of it. There was no nudity. The violence was fairly light and played almost cartoon-ish at times.

Really the only word that comes to mind in describing the movie as a whole is unnecessary. It may amuse simpler minds enough to hold their attention, but there are better choices out there-for us and for actors like Bullock and King.

The film attempts to wrap things up with a message that what we really need is “world peace.” Great, but can Hollywood work on better scripts and better movies, and the rest of us will work on world peace?

“Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” is mostly unarmed and mediocre.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—I must say, I didn`t want to go, but after I went I was very pleased. I thought It was better than the first one. I didn`t see anything that was objectionable. I thought It had some good laughs, and the story was entertaining. Good movie!
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Troy Hagen, age 34
Negative—I can’t see what anyone saw in this movie. My husband and I both thought it was a total waste of time and money and so did the people who sat behind us. The comment Hart made about “Was it the sex, I can get a manual” when her boyfriend was breaking up with her was totally uncalled for. If she kept herself pure to start with, it might have been painful to break up, but not having done so only multiplied her pain. It bothers me that this is taken so lightly! There were a few funny parts in this movie, but for the most part the humor seemed forced and over done.

I know that Sandra Bullock has more ability than this. I wish she’d do more serious movies. Or she would get into a really GOOD comedy. But it seems like all her movies are the same. And then I have to ask, how many times can you trip yourself and it still be funny? I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone, unless perhaps they wanted to rent it when it’s in the bargain bin at the video store, for $1.99. Even then I’m not sure I’d waste the money.
My Ratings: Offensive/2
—Polly, age 50

Negative—I am a huge fan of Sandra Bullock. I like Miss Congeniality, but not the second one. It has a scene about males dressing as females. Also language, but that I’m not TOO concerned of. I find that offensive. That scene ruined the whole movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Rebekah, age 23 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—Folks, if this movie is “fabulous” then we’ve got a problem! Not only did I find this sequel to fall way short of the original, but I considered the humor to be stiff, and the punch-lines predictable. Another aspect that I found disquieting about this film was the amount of homosexuality and cross gender dressing that was in no shortage. It’s bad enough to see women in revealing outfits, but to show several males dressed in Vegas-show-girl outfits seemed uncalled for. Altogether, this film was morally pretty harmless, aside from the above mentioned. I just think it wasn’t worth the seven dollar ticket or the evening I spent.
My Ratings: Average/2
—Amy Gilles, age 17
Positive—As a 12 year old it’s hard for me to see a lot of movies. Even though I’m Christian, and my parents are protective, they thought it was a good movie. The sequel is never better than the first but this was really close. It’s funny and has a lot of slapstick humor. It only has a few bad words, but other than that it’s a pretty clean movie. I give this movie two thumbs up. Good job cast of “Miss. Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous”!
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Ileana Ortiz, age 12
Positive—I honestly wasn’t expecting too much of this sequel of Miss Congeniality. But I must say that I was shocked at how the movie incorporated the humor of the first film and slightly less violence. There were few curse words, and the only things I felt needed censoring were a gay stylist and at one point the characters went to a drag queen karaokee event. The movie was better than I expected overall.
My Ratings: Better than Average/3½
—Anna R., age 15
Positive—…I actually enjoyed this movie. I went to see it with a couple of my friends, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It had a fun plot, and though there were some objectionable elements it was much better than many of the other movies I have seen recently. If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, I’d choose to see “Miss Congeniality 2.”
My Ratings: Average/3½
—EK, age 14
Positive—I thought the movie was awesome! It was different enough from the first one that it made a good sequel. I also like how she didn’t end up with the guy. In so many movies they make it a happy ending with the guy and girl together. But this was a happy ending showing that you don’t always need a man in your life.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Kate Thompson, age 16
Positive—The movie was pretty funny, but not as funny as the first one. There wasn’t really anything offensive, but their are jokes that younger kids wouldn’t get. But for the most part it was good.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Michelle Reimnitz, age 15
Movie Critics
…Thanks goodness Sandra Bullock has such a winning, playful presence. Her spark is about the only thing that keeps “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” from being an utter snooze…
—Randy Cordova, The Arizona Republic
…there is no good reason to go and actually see it…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…an exhausting, predictable, even maddening moviegoing experience…
—Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune
…“Miss Congeniality 2” isn’t a total waste of your time; Bullock sees to that. But it is a waste of the star’s time…
—Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
…appallingly unfunny… manic high jinks are supposed to be funny. They are not…
—Glenn Whipp, L.A. Daily News