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Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Inane and Absurd

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous provides occasional moments of slapstick humor, but is ultimately undermined by the complete and total implausibility of what transpires in the film. Granted, one can't seriously go into a film like this expecting to do anything other than immediately suspend disbelief. But, what the audience is asked to swallow is staggering.

Within the first ten minutes of the film, director John Pasquin sets the bar pretty high. Rough around the edges undercover FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) is a few weeks removed from disarming a bomb threat at the 'Miss United States Pageant' while working undercover as a contestant (this was the gist of Miss Congeniality 1).

As a result of her work on this case, Gracie has become a public figure and inspiration for thousands of young women. SO…Gracie's boss decides to stick her on an undercover case to bust a ring of female bank robbers. Is the FBI really so stupid that they would risk the lives of the other agents on a case not to mention compromise their operation by putting someone as high profile as Gracie on the case?

But, the fun doesn't end there! After the case predictably goes to hell as Gracie's high profile blows their cover, Gracie is tapped to become the 'new face of the FBI' as undercover work is clearly no longer a viable option (what a revelation!). As was established in the first film (and reiterated here ad nauseam), Gracie is unpolished, unkempt, and uncouth. A diva Gracie is not. Yet somehow in a scant ten months (with the help of a fashion and lifestyle consultant) Gracie becomes a shallow, vapid bimbette.

The transformation is jarring and incomprehensible. Gracie was actually vaguely endearing when she was out of sorts, clumsy, and unrefined. However, when Gracie blossoms into the 'new face' of the FBI, she becomes the antithesis of everything she was before and in the process becomes completely inaccessible.

Complimenting Gracie's unpalatable character transformation is a plot that is beyond contrived. In short, Gracie's friend (and Miss United States Pageant winner), Cheryl (Heather Burns) along with Miss United States Pageant emcee Stan Fields (William Shatner) gets kidnapped and held for ransom.

Presumably the two are in grave peril, but the tone of the film is such that you can't really believe that anyone's going to get hurt and the feeble character development of the key players leaves you not caring anyway. One can only hope that the congeniality ends here.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars