Reviewed by: Evan D. Baltz
|Featuring:||Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano Jr., Diedrich Bader, Ernie Hudson|
|Producer:||Sandra Bullock, Gesine Bullock-Prado|
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.
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.
—Polly, age 50