Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005)

(In French, On TV, July 2017) No one will ever claim that Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous is a modern classic. While some may have a justifiable soft spot for the original, it quickly becomes clear that this sequel has more interest in predictable box-office gross than any kind of artistic intention. Dragged back kicking and screaming into the world of pageantry when it becomes clear that her identity has been forever blown on national live TV, our returning protagonist (played with usual dedication by Sandra Bullock) knows fully well what’s expected from her this time around. Still, she gets to make humiliating mistakes, go rogue, tackle Dolly Parton to the ground (because why not?), vamp it up at a transvestite show (because again why not?) and impart some of her hard-won lessons to another female agent who could use a makeover. It’s formula and cute and saccharine like the first film, and it even lets William Shatner do a little bit of hamming along the way. The very essence of sequels is to do the same thing again but not too differently and in this light then Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous fulfills its ambitions. Fans of the first movie should like it. Everyone else may need to consider whether they want to subject themselves to more of the same.

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