Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
While the first movie was filled with enough engaging personalities and a sufficiently human narrative that it was able to draw the viewer into the lives of its characters, the sequel feels more like a light, vacuous comedy that never strikes at anything below the surface. Renée Zellweger does have a real talent for physical comedy, and she does make Bridget into a likeable individual even with the limitations of the story with which she has been presented, but everyone else in the movie is utterly forgettable. Hugh Grant, who was truly hilarious as the vain, dishonest Daniel in the original film, does admittedly have a couple of good lines, but these merely emphasize how completely he has been wasted here
Similarly, some of the situations and gags the director has included work well, but others do not. Bridget's ability to say precisely the wrong thing at a dinner party she is attending with Mark, for example, is both excruciating to watch and honestly funny. Her bonding with the female inmates in a Thai jail, however, is just excruciating. Watching the protagonist singing Madonna's "Like a Virgin" with her fellow prisoners, or seeing her realize how foolish she was to find fault with Mark, when, unlike her new friends lovers, never made her prostitute herself or take drugs, is entirely contrived and untouching. The whole film veers back and forth between successful and bungled scenes.
Fortunately, the movie's failures are never so bad they ruin its good moments. Unfortunately, its good moments are never so well done they compensate for its bad. In the end, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is an amusing diversion. It simply is never more than that.
Review by Keith Allen
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