Miss Congeniality 2 Armed and Fabulous Preview

Very disappointing week in the world of BMT. I fully expected to be announcing the first BMT Live! of the year as xXx: The Return of Xander Cage was released. Alas. Somehow it was able to garner 42% on RT due to a plethora of “Good for what it is” type reviews. Fuck that. Sigh. Instead we’ll wait on some other obvious choices later this month and move right onto the Girls Night Out. Only two real options for the category: Sex and the City 2 or Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Patrick hasn’t gotten through the entire series of Sex and the City in prep for the film (unfortunately that is not a joke) so we are going for Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. I’m actually excited about that. Great title. Let’s go!

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005) – BMeTric: 61.3

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(This is the greatest 2011 inflection ever. I think it is because you literally see it go from 0 votes to 53,000 (the first data point has 71 votes!). That is why the rating fluctuates so much in the beginning too, it was just shit on by those 71 people, and then it jumped immediately to 6.0 (early fans of the original), and then is faded to where it belonged. This is a very “sustained excellence” plot, which I think means this is going to be a classic. Nary a regression to the mean to be seen and high 4 / low 5 is genuinely terrible for IMDb. Getting excited.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Bullock returns as FBI agent Gracie Hart, for public relations purposes, becomes the “face of the FBI.” When Burns and Shatner are kidnapped, the bureau’s beauty and her bodyguard (King) abandon PR duties and try to find the hostages. Forced (and redundant) sequel has only a couple of bright moments and never hits a comedic stride. Several celebrities have bit parts.

(You finished writing your novel yet, Leonard? That last statement is real vague. Just some celebrities popping in… to let you know.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZZ-rWnoGbk

(Jesus Christ. So let’s go through a few things. (1) Benjamin Bratt is removed from the sequel with an off screen phone call. (2) Cameo by at least Regis. (3) The audacity to claim that all of a sudden Bullock’s character is some undercover wonder. (4) Set in Las Vegas. Roll all that up together with that fact that literally everything good from the original (Bratt and Caine at least a little bit) just are no longer there and this is a recipe for disaster. I’m excited.)

Directors – John Pasquin – (Known For: The Santa Clause; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; Jungle 2 Jungle; Joe Somebody; Notes: Basically Tim Allen’s personal director. He even directs and co-produces Allen’s current show Last Man Standing.)

Writers – Marc Lawrence (characters & written by) – (Known For: Miss Congeniality; Music and Lyrics; Two Weeks Notice; The Rewrite; Forces of Nature; BMT: Did You Hear About the Morgans?; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; The Out-of-Towners; Life with Mikey; Notes: And this guy’s like the personal writer for Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. He wrote 4 Bullock films and 4 Hugh Grant films, including one (Two Weeks Notice) where they both appear. Weird. Nominated for an Emmy for producing Family Ties.)

Katie Ford (characters) – (Known For: Miss Congeniality; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; Notes: Wrote on Family Ties with Lawrence. Mostly has written for TV. Only feature is Miss Congeniality with a character credit on the sequel.)

Caryn Lucas (characters) – (Known For: Miss Congeniality; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; Notes: Wrote with Lawrence on a short lived sitcom Pride & Joy. Jesus, this guy must be the king of the Rolodex. Pulling out his contacts to make all these films and shows.)

Actors – Sandra Bullock – (Known For: Gravity; Crash; The Proposal; Minions; A Time to Kill; Miss Congeniality; Speed; The Heat; Demolition Man; The Prince of Egypt; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; While You Were Sleeping; Two Weeks Notice; The Vanishing; Infamous; Forces of Nature; The Thing Called Love; Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; Lisa Picard Is Famous; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; All About Steve; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; The Net; Premonition; Love Potion No. 9; Stolen Hearts; 28 Days; Hope Floats; Murder by Numbers; Gun Shy; Practical Magic; Our Brand Is Crisis; Loverboy; In Love and War; The Lake House; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Actress for Speed 2: Cruise Control; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst Supporting Actress for Demolition Man. Won an Oscar for The Blind Side and nominated for Gravity. My favorite fun fact about her is that she was once engaged to Tate Donovan.)

Regina King – (Known For: Friday; Jerry Maguire; Boyz n the Hood; Enemy of the State; Ray; Mighty Joe; Planes: Fire & Rescue; Higher Learning; The Ant Bully; This Christmas; How Stella Got Her Groove Back; Year of the Dog; BMT: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; Daddy Day Care; Down to Earth; Our Family Wedding; A Cinderella Story; Poetic Justice; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate; Notes: Won a couple Emmy’s recently for her role on American Crime.)

William Shatner – (Known For: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Miss Congeniality; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Over the Hedge; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Judgement at Nuremberg; Star Trek: Generations; Osmosis Jones; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Airplane II: The Sequel; A Christmas Horror Story; Kingdom of the Spiders; Big Bad Mama; Incubus; Free Enterprise; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Showtime; The Wild; The Devil’s Rain; Escape from Planet Earth; Loaded Weapon 1; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Actor, and Director for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Actor of the Century; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1995 for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek: Generations; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; His daughter Lisbeth was Miss Golden Globes. Classic fun fact.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $48,478,006 (Worldwide: $101,393,569)

(That … actually doesn’t seem that bad. But dropping from a $100 million dollar comedy to about half of what it raked in a few years earlier obviously meant the end to the franchise. And the end to Bullock’s romantic comedy career for a bit. She would come back with the one-two punch of the very successful The Proposal in the same year as the widely panned (BMT) All About Steve.)

#35 for the Action Heroine genre

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(Near future BMT Resident Evil Extinction, which makes sense. We last saw this during the Hall of Fame preview for Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li. This film did substantially better and really came right before the genre collapsed. Since then it has clawed its way back very successfully. This plot doesn’t count Rogue One so it’ll continue to grow as well.)

#14 for the Cinderella Complex genre

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(Ooooo right near BMT favorite The Prince and Me. Such an odd genre. And I’m sensing a trend, this also collapsed right around 2005. I think 2005 was a point in time: a point when the studios realized if they were just a tiny bit more careful they could just print money. So they relegated this to straight-to-DVD Disney affairs (I assume).)

#62 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

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(So … We finally discovered the root of the sequel collapse. Hollywood wasn’t replenishing their comedy coffers, they literally just couldn’t function for a bit between 2005 and 2010. That year basically marks a collapse across the board in certain “bad movie genres” as they hibernated and started to mull on the next big hit. 2008 was Iron Man, so they didn’t have to wait too long. But Miss Congeniality 2 Armed and Fabulous seems like something special. It sat on the edge of the abyss and dared people to look at it, see what our hubris wrought as critics whispered “The horror! The horror!”.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (22/145): Sandra Bullock is still as appealing as ever; too bad the movie is not pageant material.

(Blech, “pageant material,” RT? That’s the best you can do? If this came out this year I bet it would get a 42% and everyone would just say “It’s dumb as a box of hair, but it delivers on what it promises.” God, I’m just so angry about xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.)

Poster – Miss Congeniality 2 Armed and Sklogulous (D-)

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(Violates everything I hold dear: too much white, weird framing, no dominant coloring, and (worst of all) no tagline! Only thing it does OK is have a fairly unique font. Would be hard to spoof.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F-)

(I need to collect together all the films that don’t have a tagline on their poster and start a letter writing campaign to shame the producers. Unacceptable behaviour and we don’t have to stand for it. Theory: Some producer thought the tagline Armed and Fabulous was so good that it needed to be a subtitle.)

Keyword(s) – female protagonist; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.6 Catwoman (2004); 85.0 Date Movie (2006); 84.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 80.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 79.5 Crossroads (I) (2002); 78.6 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 78.5 BloodRayne (2005); 78.3 Ultraviolet (2006); 76.7 Spice World (1997); 73.1 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009);

(Phew, I thought Bullock was going to go for a two-fer with Miss Congeniality 2 sneaking in at the end. Catwoman is incredible, and honestly this is a really fun list. Imagine watching those ten movies in a row! I’m in, let’s do it.)

Notes – Eileen Brennan, who plays Stan Fields’ mom, is actually a year younger than William Shatner, who plays Stan Fields. He was born in 1931, she was born in 1932. (wot?)

In Miss Congeniality (2000), there was supposed to be a storyline where Gracie Hart’s mother was killed in the line of duty. The storyline was included in this sequel.

A Miss Congeniality (2000) poster can be seen in the background at the Las Vegas airport during the scene where Gracie is supposed to be flying back to New York. (wot?)

An entirely different sequence was filmed wherein the limo driver was portrayed by Jeffrey Tambor. (That fact is fun!)

The “Las Vegas FBI HQ” building used in the film is actually the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse located in Downtown Las Vegas.

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