Directed By: Bill Duke
Written By: James Orr, Jim Cruickshank & Judi Ann Mason
Based On Characters created By: Joseph Howard
Cinematography By: Oliver Wood
Editor: Stuart Pappe, Pem Harring & John Carter
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Wendy Makkena, Kathy Najimy, Mary Wickes, Barnard Hughes, James Coburn, Michael Jeter, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lauryn Hill, Robert Pastorelli, Alanna Ubach, Ryan Toby, Jenifer Lewis
The sisters come back to Delores’s show to get her back as Sister Mary Clarence to teach music to a group of students in their parochial school which is doomed for closure. One of the girls, who is the most talented of the bunch, is forbidden to sing by her mother, although the choir has made it to the state championship. A group of stereotypical incompetent monks tries to stop them.
The film never seems to shake its beginning. It starts with a vegas stage show and the whole film feels the same way as production. That is glossy and slick and never feels real while it tries to impart a message. Though it comes off as hammy as a hallmark presentation movie. Put on the big screen full of cliché. In fact, Whoopi Goldberg hated making the first one though it revitalized her career one of the reasons she decided to appear in the sequel was that Disney agreed to finance her dream project SARAFINA. If she made this film.
The film makes no sense half the time whereas at the end of the original Whoppi Goldberg’s character seemed to be world-famous and here she is a vegas star. Though no one seems to recognize her when she dons the habit. (Hence the title) to become a nun again to teach inner-city children. Even the administration. One of the few pleasing aspects of this film is that it seems more of a film to highlight fresh new talent in acting and performance. In fact, this was the first time I remember seeing singer Lauryn Hill. She has practically the near lead out of all the students and Ryan Toby of the R & B group City High.
I guess it was more intended for family audiences. Whereas the first one was also but played more for the adults. This one seems more aimed at teenagers. It takes place in the inner city but is the nicest inner city you’ll ever see. In fact, Lauryn Hill’s plotline involving her mother made no sense. it only seems to be here for false conflict.
The recognizable big-name cast in the film. That is cast in small supporting roles. Seem here to add marquee value to the dwindling film. Making the film look more respectable. Though the actors are only here for a fast paycheck and also so they can be in a film that looked to be a slam dunk at the box office. Though it is nice to see them they only add to the gloss and make the film shiny while never cutting deep.
I will tell the truth I am a fan of the first film. In fact, it still holds the record for the movie I saw the most in theaters (As well as such films as PULP FICTION, HEAT, THE BIRDCAGE and GET SHORTY) SISTER ACT was PG-13 and I could actually go see it without a parent. I also remember all my friends and family wanting to see it. So I would volunteer to see it with them. The film was very charming to me. It was also cute and funny. When I didn’t ask too much about my entertainment and art. When this film first came out I liked it. I didn’t hate it. In fact, I still don’t. Just watching it now is so disappointing. It hasn’t aged well at all. Though I doubt it was ever really good. It seems like a film that tries hard to be hip and meaningful but was played out even before it went to theaters.
It plays like a film that is only interested in making money for its brand and seems like they tried hard to try to come up with a reason for a sequel. Though the answer wasn’t really that good. I still find it to be a mild guilty pleasure as it reminds me of the time that it came out. I did like the film and its music I even bought the soundtrack and think Lauryn Hill’s rendition of His Eye is on the sparrow is spectacular and haunting. Wait for Television,
This is one of the last times I feel Whoopi Goldberg really gave of herself and put in a performance. No matter how much she seems on autopilot here at least she looks like she is trying and engaging. Especially considering the material.