or “How to Piss Away Six Seasons of Viewer Goodwill”
or “Why Michael Patrick King Should Never Be Allowed to Direct Films Ever Again”
or just “Why?”
In case it wasn’t already painfully obvious, I saw Sex and the City 2 tonight. I’d like to start this review with a disclaimer:
What follows is a review of Sex and the City 2 from a huge fan of the Sex and the City TV show.
Okay, so this movie was pretty meh.
To be very clear Sex and the City 2 is undeserving of the tidal wave of vitriol that is flowing it’s way. It’s no worse than the even larger tidal wave of dude movies that glut theatres every weekend and receive moderate to respectable reviews, but neither is it any better.
To start with, it was – again – a mistake to use Michael Patrick King as the director – as I mentioned with the first film, which to be fair now looks like Citizen Kane in comparison – perhaps this time even more so. His direction too often feels amateurish and even student-level with some shots begging to be noticed despite their banality. Furthermore there is a sense here that someone needed to pull in the reigns a little as the film dragged at 146 minutes, especially when it seemed to take the first 100 minutes to set up what was about to unfold.
Sex and the City 2 was too “knowing” for it’s own good. There is such a thing as a subtle nod to the audience but the experience in SATC2 was more like being hit on the head with sledge hammer. Repeatedly. It spent so much time drawing you out of the narrative that for me there was only one truly engaging moment in the whole film. Everything feels so forced that it’s hard to really get into it at all, really.
This brings me to perhaps my most important point which is that while the whole Sex and the City franchise is built on the friendship shared by these four women, this film simply attempts to celebrate it rather than actually tapping it, and in doing so creates something that feels ungrounded and shallow (which the TV series was anything but). In trying only to “celebrate,” Sex and the City 2 strays too far out of the fourth wall and falls flat.
Also, there’s not nearly enough Miranda, and I love me some Miranda. I always think of Miranda as the heart of the group. She’s not particularly warm in a traditional sense but she’s the most realistic of these New York women and I would argue that, whether you love or hate her, she provides the voice of reason amid the din of extravagance, which is only toned up on celluloid. While the first film wasn’t great, the Miranda storyline managed to keep it watchable and engaging.
The film has other problems too:
It was billed as a caper but is never quick or witty enough – good pacing being something that very much eludes the whole affair, being honest.
It’s too vulgar. I like a good dick joke but this got a bit out of hand.
The ending is terrible, coming along far too quickly despite the laborious nature of the middle of the movie.
Carrie’s bon mots feel forced beyond all previous definitions of that word.
There are many others but I’m tired and going to bed.
Basically there just isn’t enough story here. I get the idea of it being fashion-porn and a good time but the TV series was all that and so much more and that’s why this feels so disappointing.