Glammed-up undercover FBI agent Gracie Hart (Bullock) is back, this time as the public face of the FBI. But when her good friends, Miss USA (Heather Burns) and pageant host Stan Fields (Shatner) are kidnapped in Vegas, it's time for Miss Congeniality to go undercover again.
There are films that demand sequels, and then there's Miss Congeniality. Oh, the 'dowdy cop goes undercover at a beauty pageant and gets in touch with her inner babe' comedy was enjoyable enough, and gave Sandra Bullock one of her better roles as the clunky, accident-prone Fed - but nobody (except perhaps Bullock's bank manager) was crying out for a follow-up. Nonetheless, here it is and, sad to report, it's exactly in line with expectations, never rising above the mundane.
Initially, it looks like we might be in for something above and beyond the norm, as Bullock's affable Gracie Hart becomes a self-obsessed bitch, but director John Pasquin quickly drops this in favour of flat set-pieces, lame one-liners and a surfeit of touchy-feely 'respect your inner self' bollocks, all of which needed a dynamic director to make them spark. In Pasquin's hands, though, the film just trundles along, colourless and largely joyless.
In the face of such overwhelmingly rote material, Bullock, who's always such a natural screen comedienne, resorts to every trick in the book (pratfalls, disguises, funny voices) to get laughs, and succeeds more than she should have a right to. But by the time she and fellow feisty Fed Regina King are belting out a dance number at a drag bar, you could cut the air of desperation with a Jimmy Choo stiletto.
Bullock tries hard, but who knew that formulaic could be a four-letter word? A third helping won't be necessary.