Verdict: Style overtakes substance in this disappointing sequel
Sex and the City, the first feature, was the perfect way to end what our four favourite fashionable New Yorkers had started in their six seasons on television.
It was a good fun chick flick that made you laugh and made you cry, and it gave a sense of closure to the lives of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) in an appropriately glossy, over the top, big screen way.
Commercially it was a successful film, which goes some way to explaining why two years later we're delving back into their lives.
While the sequel is neither as hilarious or emotional as its predecessor, it at least ups the ante for endless wardrobe changes. If you're just interested in the fashion, throw another star on to this review, the clothes are worth it.
If you are, however, interested in the character's lives, then you might find them somewhat shallower, and more self-involved and privileged than when you last saw them.
These women are now petrified of flying economy, make cupcakes in vintage designer outfits, complain about looking after their kids when they have a full-time nanny, and never take off their high heels, even when walking around in their own homes.
Just like the original, this film is more about Carrie and Samantha than Charlotte and Miranda and their families, and it unfolds like a series of episodes strung together. Carrie is determined not to settle into married life with Big (Chris Noth) even though that's the fairytale life she's always wanted, and Samantha is up to her old tricks but with the added complication of menopause.
Charlotte is happily married but has become obsessed with her husband cheating on her with the nanny and Miranda finally lightens up after quitting her job, but her main job in this film seems to be informing the girls on the cultural etiquette of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, to which they pay little attention. Abu Dhabi is where most of the action takes place as the girls leave the city (and sex) behind, heading off on an all-expenses-paid work trip Samantha organises for her and her three "soul mates".
Just as Carrie is worried about the sparkle going out of her marriage, the sparkle seems to have gone out of Sex and the City 2.
The story feels as if it is driven by its exotic location rather than the characters, and though the the script is filled with smart quips, it lacks any real substance and comes across as wooden and uncomfortable, especially the parts between Carrie and her husband.
Cattrall works overtime to lighten the mood, and thankfully is outrageous as usual, and there are moments - such as Liza Minnelli performing a Beyonce song - that are priceless, but these are few and far between. It's entertaining viewing as long as you're a loyal fan, but as easy as it is to watch, it takes a long time for very little to happen.
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon
Director: Michael Patrick King
Running time: 146 mins
Rating: M (sex scenes, offensive language)