With writer-director Michael Patrick King and the whole gang back, 'Sex and the City 2' is as dry as the country they leave the city for.
Not only are the jokes unfunny, but the film is too long at a running time of two hours and 27 minutes.
The plot is also as thin as a pencil, and New York City, which is the centerpiece of the series and unofficial fifth character, is no longer part of the equation.
Despite all this, fans of the long-running HBO series and first blockbuster are sure to buck the critics and flock to the theater.
When last seen, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) had all their problems resolved. Carrie finally married Mr. Big aka John J. Preston (Chris Noth). Miranda forgave her husband, Steve, for cheating on her. Charlotte became pregnant after adopting, and Samantha moved back to New York to be with her girls after experiencing a midlife crisis.
Picking up two years later, all seems to be right on the outside as the girls are set to attend the wedding of Stanford and Anthony. Once there, cracks in their lives start to unravel: Carrie clearly isn't settled on being a married woman and having to give up going out every night. Charlotte's kids are entering the terrible twos, Miranda isn't as composed as usual with the stress of work taking a toll on her family, and Samantha's facing menopause.
After Samantha receives a work-related, all-expense-paid trip to Abu Dhabi, in which her girls are allowed to tag along, the comfort of being single again without their significant others is enough for the girls to easily say yes, and off they go.
Halfway across the world, the girls find themselves lavished with their own private suite on the plane and their own cars once they reach the Middle East.
Miranda is the leader of activities, getting the girls to go camel riding and shopping. Still, danger looms when Carrie runs into old flame Aidan (John Corbett) and Samantha breaks cultural laws when her flirtation runs rampant.
When the first film made a robust $415 million worldwide, producers just knew a sequel was inevitable.
One can argue that taking the girls out of New York City is a big no-no, and placing them in a country where the culture is not in sync with their lifestyles is a misstep.
The best way to describe this film is that it's excessive from the running time, to the clothes, to the constant whining from Charlotte, to Samantha's compulsion for sex, and to Carrie's craving for shoes. For once, Miranda is the bearable one.
Fans of the series will be happy to see their favorite characters back on the screen, and it gives them a reason to go out as a group to see this ultimate chick flick.