Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous

"Unbearable"

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous Review


Sandra Bullock isn't doing her underappreciated talentany favors by appearing in "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous,"a relentlessly dim-witted sequel to her 2000 hit about a tomboy FBI agentgoing undercover at a beauty pageant.

The first "MissCongeniality" was itself so hackneyed thatthe actress's Lucille-Ball-like gift for guffaws was just about its onlysaving grace, and the same fate befalls her here. Bullock's delivery ofa few choice one-liners is the sole source of laughs in this clunker, andit's amazing to see her pull them off when her character has, without explanation,turned into a vapid, shallow, egocentric Barbie doll nitwit after becomingan implausible spokesmodel for the FBI.

It seems after her exposure at the Miss United States beautypageant in the first picture, the bureau decided she could best serve hercountry by being tarted up literally in satin and bows, and paraded aroundon a waving-and-smiling publicity tour of talk shows and personal appearances.

How turning tough, awkward Sandy into a giggly bimbo snoband putting her up in four-star hotel suites is supposed to help the FBI'simage is never clear -- and neither are her reasons for doing it, let aloneallowing this ludicrous makeover to consume her personality. But havingwillingly become a ditz, she finds it hard to be taken seriously when thesoggy, nonsensical plot kicks in with the kidnapping of the even more airheadedpageant winner from "Miss Congeniality" (Heather Burns) and thepageant's MC (William Shatner) in Las Vegas.

Even though 45 agents are working on the case, Bullockis the only one who finds a whole host of rather obvious clues, so shestrikes out on her own (albeit with the help of her angry, butch bodyguardand her stereotypically fey stylist) to solve the case. This involves asinineexcuses for donning silly disguises (old lady, drag queen), pointless celebritycameos (she tackles Dolly Parton in a case of mistaken identity), and rescueattempts at locations that serve as shamelessly blatant advertisementsfor Las Vegas attractions but make little sense in the context of the plot.

Returning writer Marc Lawrence provides Bullock the occasionalsharp witticism, which she makes even better with her great timing anddelivery, while burdening most everyone else with inane exposition. DirectorJohn Pasquin (of the utterly inept "JoeSomebody" and "Jungle 2 Jungle") at least knows enough not toget in Bullock's way when she's on a roll. But neither writer nor directormakes any attempt to patch gaping holes in the plot (most story-advancingactions of the biker-thug kidnappers and the other FBI agents come outof nowhere), and neither of them seems to have a problem with turning Bullock'scharacter into an childish imbecile destined to learn trite Life Lessonsin the last reel.

Sandra Bullock has recently been quoted as saying she'sfed up with being pigeonholed and wants to take more risks as an actress.Too bad she couldn't have had this burst of integrity before being ropedinto her worst movie since her last contractual-obligation sequel -- "Speed2: Cruise Control."



Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Thursday 24th March 2005

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Castle Rock Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures, Fortis Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 0.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: John Pasquin

Starring: as Gracie Hart, as Sam Fuller, as Jeff Foreman, as Stan Fields, as Carol Fields, as FBI Asst. Director Harry McDonald, as Agent Janet McKaren, as Karl Steele, as Lou Steele, as FBI Asst. Director Walter Collins, as Cheryl Frasier, as Joel Meyers, as Octavia, Leslie Grossman as Pam

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