starring Sandra Bullock, Regina King, Enrique Murciano, William Shatner
screenplay by Marc Lawrence
directed by John Pasquin
by Walter Chaw Where the first Miss Congeniality bravely took on three formulas (fish out of water, rogue cop, Cinderella), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous takes on at least six (fishes out of water, rogue cops, vanilla race tension, buddy movie, Beverly Hills Cop 3-/Bird on a Wire-style glossy big-budget cop procedural, nerd-makes-good underdog intrigue)--all with a black sidekick, which is a genre unto itself. It's a joyless, lifeless machine that can't even delight when it gets William Shatner to whine "there's a cannon in my porthole" in one of what seems like thousands of missed opportunities in the script or the scenario to do something bawdy or, failing that, something that doesn't have the texture and stink of week-old fish. Deafening silence is the only appropriate response to the picture. Guided this time around by John Pasquin, the genius behind Joe Somebody, The Santa Clause, and Jungle 2 Jungle (last time it was Donald Petrie, the genius behind Richie Rich and Welcome to Mooseport), producer/star Sandra Bullock demonstrates that for as problematical as her appeal may be to the non-clinically gaffed, harder still to understand are the choices Bullock makes of whom to entrust with her cash and career. I guess Jon Turtletaub and Garry Marshall were busy that week.