Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous

The good news for fans of the original Miss Congeniality is that they will most likely enjoy the second one. It is pretty much the same as the first. Sandra Bullock (Two Weeks Notice, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) is back as FBI Agent Gracie Hart, a tomboy who snorts when she laughs. The jokes are just as lame, and the quality of them is on par with the original. For all people with brains, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous is a pointless retread of an original that did not need a sequel. It's just Hollywood trying to milk more money and potentially create a franchise out of nothing.

While the quality is about the same, overall, the film is worse. Why make a sequel if it is basically the same movie? There's no growth for Hart's character. Armed & Fabulous begins shortly after the original. Hart is single again, and her high profile rendered her useless as an undercover agent. Her boss (Ernie Hudson, Clifford's Really Big Movie, Miss Congeniality) decides to make her the new public relations woman for the FBI. This means she gets another makeover, and has some vague job promoting a book she wrote about her experiences. Ten months pass, and she and her partner Sam Fuller (Regina King, Ray, A Cinderella Story) are off to Las Vegas when she learns that her friends Cheryl Frasier (Heather Burns, Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality) and Stan Fields (William Shatner, Dodgeball, Showtime) are kidnapped.

Hart believes that the Vegas FBI is not pursuing the proper leads. She believes she knows how to find Fields and Frasier, and drags Fuller, a hostile partner with anger management issues, along. Essentially, this means that director John Pasquin (Joe Somebody, Small World) and screenwriter Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality) can give Bullock the opportunity to dress up more, whether it be as an old woman, or a man in drag. It's meant to be slapstick and funny, but comes across as tired and boring. Bullock needs to either work with different people, or pick good scripts from different genres (past attempts have also been pretty bad). It's a step back for King, who did a fantastic job in Ray.

The largest problem with Armed & Fabulous is a script that makes no sense whatsoever. The kidnappers demand money. Okay, this makes sense. Then, they push up the deadline and threaten to kill Frasier and Fields. Why? Oh, to give the film a reason to begin its third act. What Lawrence forgot was that the two kidnappers were not the actual kidnappers. They dispatch of him early in the film. Yet, Hart and Fuller solve the kidnapping based on the premise that these two yahoos were the people responsible. The script's entire search for clues collapses under this oversight. Pretty dumb.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 55 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sex related humor.

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