Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous


As FBI agent Gracie Hart, Sandra Bullock returns for a second round of glamour and crime fighting in MISS CONGENIALITY 2: ARMED AND FABULOUS. Gracie’s fame and popularity make undercover fieldwork impossible, so she is made over into the public relations face of the agency. Instead of wiling away time on stakeouts, she’s chatting up Regis and giving self-defense and beauty tips. Gracie defies orders to stay out of investigative work when her best friend, the current Miss United States, and the pageant’s emcee are abducted.

MISS CONGENIALITY’S hook was forcing a slovenly tomboy to undergo a complete transformation. I didn’t think the film was funny, but Bullock excels at playing the regular gal and kept MISS CONGENIALITY afloat on the strength of her likeability. For the sequel Bullock’s as likeable as ever, but she can only do so much when working from a mundane script that relies heavily on repeating gags from its predecessor. Having Gracie confidently adopt the posture of a glamour girl in MISS CONGENIALITY 2 is untrue to her character and eliminates Gracie’s discomfort in her appearance, which was the source of the first film’s humor. The only time the sequel puts Gracie in that position is when she dresses as a man in drag, and it results in one of the film’s better scenes. Undue time is given to the convoluted kidnapping plot, stretching a thin idea to an interminable 115 minutes.

Grade: D+

(Review first aired on the March 29, 2005 NOW PLAYING)

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