Legally Blonde 2: Red White and Blonde (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/07/2003

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Extremely disappointing sequel that quickly uses up any residual charm the first film had left over.

The Reese Witherspoon vehicle Legally Blonde was something of a surprise hit in 2001, so a sequel was always going to be on the cards. Unfortunately, Legally Blonde 2 appears to be suffering from a severe case of Charlie’s Angels Syndrome – a curious ailment whereby, in striving to emulate the success of an unexpectedly huge hit, all the charm, wit and invention of the predecessor mysteriously disappears.

Animal Cruelty As Plot Driver

The plot is basically 'Elle Woods Goes To Washington'. Elle (Reese Witherspoon) has a great job at a prestigious law firm and is engaged to her boyfriend from the first film (Luke Wilson, criminally under-used). The problems start when she decides she wants to invite her chihuahua ('Bruiser')'s "family" to her upcoming wedding, but discovers that Bruiser's Mom is being used as a cosmetics test subject by one of the clients of her law firm.

When she raises the subject at work, she’s promptly sacked, so she goes to Washington in order to try and pass 'Bruiser's Bill'. There, she encounters the same “hilarious” blonde-related prejudices that she found in Harvard in the first movie and swiftly gets the nickname 'Capitol Barbie'. However, Elle may be shallow and obsessed with the colour pink, but she’s no Dumb Blonde, so there are no prizes for guessing how it all works out.

Flat Embarrassing Script

The main problem this time round is the script. There's only really one laugh-out-loud gag and it involves the dog and its unexpected relationship with Southern Senator Bruce McGill’s Rottweiller.

Secondly, the returning support characters from the first film (Jennifer Coolidge’s beautician, Elle’s two best friends) are both over-used and over-indulged – a cheer-leading routine performed for the senators is meant to be one of the film’s high points, but it falls embarrassingly flat.

On the plus side, there’s good support from both Bob Newheart and Sally Field, whose resemblance to Witherspoon is uncanny, so it’s a shame the film doesn’t exploit that.

The other problem involves the originality of the character. The first film had a certain amount of subtle charm - even though you knew a happy ending was inevitable, you never quite knew how you were going to get there and Elle’s actions constantly surprised and delighted you.

This time you've seen it all before and lightning doesn't strike twice. Similarly, a lot of the plot hinges on the idea of ‘Sorority sisters’, which is likely to mean a lot less to British audiences.

That said, the film does have its moments and it's nice to see Bob Newhart in a film again, but it isn't nearly as much fun as the first movie. Not unwatchable, but disappointing.

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Content updated: 17/10/2017 17:58

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