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March 2005

By Wilson Morales

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: John Pasquin
Producers: Sandra Bullock, Marc Lawrence,
Screenwriter: Marc Lawrence
Director of Photography: Peter Menzies, Jr.
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, Heather Burns, Diedrich Bader, and Treat Williams




If anyone with some clout had something to say to Sandra Bullock, it would be to stay away from sequels. They don't work for her. The first sequel she did was "Speed 2", reprising a role to the original film that made her a Hollywood star as opposed to just being another actress looking for the big hit. That film was poorly written and lacked the one thing that the first film had going, the romantic interest, or basically Keanu Reeves. It bombed with critics and the audiences. With her next sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, not only is it worst than "Speed 2", but it lacks the spark and charm that made the original cute and fun to enjoy.

When we last saw Gracie Hart in "Miss Congeniality", she had just been outed as an undercover cop while posing a beauty contestant in a pageant. At that time, she was fairly green in the business and had the support of her love interest, played by Benjamin Bratt. In this sequel, which takes place a mere three weeks later, not only is Grace now considered a cop with skills, but everyone now recognizes her, which limits her undercover work, and Benjamin Bratt is no longer her love interest. It seems like his character dumped her while off-screen. To replace the love interest in the film, the producers decided to give Grace a new buddy, which is where Regina King comes into play. When two leftovers from the original film, (William Shatner and Heather Burns), get kidnapped and get taken to Las Vegas, Grace is paired with a new partner Sam Fuller (King) who doesn't see eye to eye with her. When the FBI (Treat Williams) gets involved, it's up Grace and Sam to do more to save her friends from harm's way.

Watching this film is almost torture. There's nothing of interest that would make one come to see film, with maybe the exception of seeing Regina King in a big role opposite Bullock. So many factors that made the original decent, fun, and entertaining are gone. Gone is the gay humor that Michael Caine in the first film. Instead we get Dietrich Bader who wears makeup as a replacement. Benjamin Bratt may not have worked well chemistry-wise with Halle Berry in "Catwoman", but he is surely missed here. The buddy factor between King and Bullock has no chemistry and feels forced. Bullock co-produced this film, and you may have to wonder what she read in the script that her say yes to this project. Can't blame Hudson, Shatner and Burns for reprising their roles. Sequels means more money. By the time the caper is solved, we wonder what fabulous about Grace in the first place.