Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Review

This is posted over at OK Magazine:

It's not often a horror film reaches into the depths of my soul, grabs
my heart and shatters it into a billion terrified pieces, and rarer
still that a sequel manages the trick. But Sex and the City 2 managed
to do just that, proving that Michael Patrick King, that baron of the
grim and terrifying, didn't blow all his tricks in the 2008 horror

Allow me to paint a scene: a middle-aged man, minding his own
business, reading the newspaper on the couch, is terrorized by the
shrill banshee (Sarah Jessica Parker) with whom he swore a blood oath
with to save his own life at the end of the first movie. She
unreasonably demands he take his feet off the sofa. He flees to the
bedroom in another scene and turns on the TV. With a preternatural
ability to stalk him and cause further misery, she storms in and
demands he turn it off. The man bargains with the banshee for some
time apart, and his wish is granted only when the beast teams up with
three kindred dark souls in order to regroup in the Middle East to
plan further exploits.

From there the scene shifts to a house of horrors in which none other
than Liza Minnelli -- the Boris Karloff of our era -- unleashes a
grotesque performance of Single Ladies that puts Michael Jackson's
Thriller to shame. If you get to that early point in the movie and are
too terrified to proceed, I'll understand. I only stuck around because
I was too afraid to move.

I applaud the job of the makeup department for truly crafting some
terrifying monstrosities. Parker is a dead-on replica of the Wicked
Witch of the West. Cynthia Nixon resembles Richard Nixon's re-animated
corpse and Kim Cattrall is a ringer for Swamp Thing in a yellow wig.
It's understandable that the effects wizards had little left to ugly
up Kristin Davis, given the extensive resources put into the other

Most horror films try to get you with shock value, loud scores and
copious gore. But not Sex and the City 2, which grinds away your
suspension of disbelief and confronts you with the prospect of endless
mental torture. Throughout the 146-minute running time the monsters
top one another with dreadful puns, revolting sexual innuendo and
strained catch-phrase inventions, such as "interfriendtion." At one
point, Swamp Thing is on an airplane and grabs a date off a plate.
There's an infinitesimal pause as you cringe, wondering if she'll
actually say what she thinks she's about to say, and then, yes, she
remarks that she just left and "already has got a date," prompting her
evil companions into a hideous cackle. You stare at your watch: still
90 minutes to go.

Many horror films lose their punch when they cross the seas, losing
their cultural relevance, but because this film is centered around a
journey to Abu Dhabi I can only imagine the film would be even scarier
in the Middle East. Assuming the role of ugly, xenophobic Americans to
horrific perfection, they mercilessly mock the fundamentalist culture
surrounding them and try to apply their vapid worldviews and
sensibilities to the foreign culture. At one point the antagonists
gather for a tortured karaoke performance of I Am Woman, which threw
me into shock and very nearly caused me to soil myself.

Only the brave and stout will dare take this movie on. Beware, for you
will emerge changed. Your soul blackened, your hairline receded, your
eyes wilted in defeat and part of your heart forever dead. Bravo,
Michael Patrick King, you have made me afraid not only of your
characters, but of the entire world for spawning such a chilling

Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall. Written
by Michael Patrick King, based on characters from the book by Candace
Bushnell. Directed by King. 146 minutes. Rated R.


Heather said...

Heh. Perfect.

Emily Jasper said...

You ever notice SJP's hands are terrifying? I think I have a whole new perception on SATC now, thanks!