After a year of fresh, engaging sequels—Spider-Man 2 and Shrek 2 to name two—Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous serves to remind moviegoers why sequels are met with skepticism as soon as the follow-up projects are announced. It's because, all too often, they turn out like this.
Miss Congeniality 2 may be armed, but it's certainly not fabulous. It picks up not far chronologically from its popular predecessor, but it's light years away in terms of creativity and an engaging plot. FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock), fresh off her headline-making turn in the Miss United States pageant, is back doing undercover work when she's recognized during a bank heist and the bust goes haywire. Question: Why did the FBI need a bust gone bad to realize that Hart probably wasn't undercover material anymore? It's just one of many plot devices that had me scratching my head.
Chief among the head scratchers is Hart's metamorphosis into FBI Barbie. Given the realization that she can't work in the field anymore, the FBI offers Hart a choice—push paper at a desk or let us capitalize on your fame and make you our spokesperson. She resists the spokesperson gig for five seconds until her boyfriend and fellow FBI agent Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt in the original, though he doesn't reprise his role here) breaks up with her over the phone and transfers to Florida. She, apparently reeling from the breakup of the relationship, decides to become the new face of the FBI.
Cue stylish gay guy.
Joel (Diedrich Bader) proceeds to reinforce every exaggerated homosexual stereotype as he gets Gracie camera ready and becomes her ever-present stylist. And in a literal blink of an eye (during which ten months elapse in movie time), Gracie goes ...1
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Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
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