Andrew O’Hehir at Salon:

It would have been more merciful for writer-director Michael Patrick King to have rented Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda out to the “Saw” franchise, or to Rob Zombie, so we could watch them get shot in the head or skinned alive by Arkansas rednecks. Instead of that, we get something that’s truly sadistic: the SATC girls as haggard specters, haunted by their freewheeling ’90s past and stupefied by the demands of work, marriage and/or motherhood. This bloated, incoherent movie mimics an SATC episode in structure — vague social relevance at the beginning and the end, conspicuous consumption in the middle — with virtually none of the wit or panache, and seems devoted to destroying our affection for these characters…

It’s offensive to an entire audience who came of age with these women and who remain breathtakingly loyal, and out of nostalgic affection may not have the heart to turn away from them. It’s offensive to King’s own creations, toward whom he now seems to feel nothing but contempt. It’s offensive because it keeps cattle-driving a franchise once based on sparkle and economy toward new heights of painful, frantic emptiness. I kept telling myself, over and over, that Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte — the real, flawed, funny, recognizably human ones, not these lobotomized zombie replacements — would never do anything so dumb.

Wajahat Ali was correct to complain in Salon that King’s portrayal of the Muslim world is dumb and offensive: The “SATC2″ coven has no problem with the “new Middle East” when it’s all about private manservants, endlessly flowing fruity-tooty cocktails and a comped luxury suite that looks like Al Pacino’s house from “Scarface,” only less tasteful and metastasized to infinite proportions. The foursome develops a sudden concern with the oppression of Arab and Muslim women only after the pipeline of pornographic bling-juice is cut off…

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