Miss Congeniality 2 (12A)
Time Out saysAh, the pressures of fame. Three weeks after her undercover stint at the Miss United States pageant, FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) can’t even bust a bank heist without getting asked for her autograph. Reluctantly accepting the role of ‘the new face of the FBI’, she’s soon doing the talk-show rounds. But when the pageant’s winner and host are kidnapped, it’s her chance to get back into action, and a PR trip to Las Vegas turns into an investigation.
This sequel treads similar comic ground to ‘Miss Congeniality’, to similarly pleasing effect for genre fans. Bullock remains likeable as the clumsy FBI agent – quite the Bridget Jones-Inspector Clouseau hybrid as she reels from a break-up with boyfriend Eric (who conveniently dumps her by phone). Interestingly, this replaces Eric – symbolically, at least – with a no-nonsense, Time Out-reading female FBI agent, Sam (Regina King), who is sparring partner, protector and eventual friend to Gracie. Most laughs come courtesy of their fights, both physical and verbal (‘a little ebony-and-ivory action’, as flamboyant makeover expert Joel puts it).
Plot-wise, it’s hammy stuff: bumbling gangsters’ kidnapping exploits are not exactly involving, and the investigation hardly stands up to close inspection. There’s also an agonising scene in which Gracie seems to be under the impression that only one Dolly Parton lookalike can exist in Las Vegas. But despite the flaws, the guns, gags and glamour combo works well enough to make this a respectable light comedy with an extra dose of camp.