Sequel has same quirky characters, less pleasing plot

If you are looking for a replica of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” in the movie’s sequel, it is just about certain that you will not be pleased with “The Edge of Reason.”

However, if you long to see Bridget and her antics on-screen again, then the new flick should satisfy your craving.

Ren?e Zellweger’s reprisal of her role as Miss Jones should not earn her a second Academy Award nomination, but she remains delightful, spunky and spirited in what most will agree is the best role of her career.

The question Bridget poses this time around does not concern how she can finally get a boyfriend, but rather, once you have one, “What happens after you walk into the sunset?”

In Bridget’s life, nothing can be so simple as ‘happily ever after.’ Naturally, insanity and hilarity ensue in accordance with the disorganization and mayhem that exist in her own mind.

Without a doubt, the highlight of this film is the fabulous returning cast. Zellweger’s Bridget is as endearingly insecure as ever.

Her new boyfriend, Mark Darcy, as played by the perfectly cast Colin Firth, is sweet and charming, yet somehow suitably stiff and snobby.

The dastardly scoundrel we love to hate, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), returns in a far larger role than was allotted to his literary counterpart. Luckily for us, this decision allows for more intrigue and interaction with the other leads, including another classic fight scene between nemeses Darcy and Cleaver.

The adaptation remains relatively close to the novel and the chain of events this time around will seem quite ridiculous, silly and unreasonable to just about all moviegoers.

One may raise eyebrows at the thought of Bridget’s stint in a Thai jail, but it will induce hearty laughter.

Bridget’s personality quirks have been exaggerated, but she still shines when we get a glimpse into her psyche. For example, in one particular scene, Darcy stands at her doorstep after they have had a fight while she talks to his answering machine, overanalyzing the future of their relationship. Her behavior remains true to the essence of her character.

“The Edge of Reason” utilizes much more slapstick than necessary. However, this is balanced by the welcome injection of dry British wit and verbal quips. The film also benefits from the addition of a far more dynamic and crowd-pleasing ending, as did the first.

The most unfortunate flaw in “The Edge of Reason” is the lack of use of an amazing supporting cast. In the first film, Bridget’s circle of friends, “Tom, Jude and Shazzer,” offered comic relief and wonderful banter. This time, Shazzer gets the most screen time when she accompanies Bridget on her trip to Thailand and she is not as amusingly embittered towards the male population but, instead, is easily fooled by a handsome male passenger.

Tom and Jude are almost shadows of their former presence.

Bridget’s parents remain their usual, unique selves and it’s a shame to not see more of them; her mother (Gemma Jones) is still incredibly zany and self-obsessed, and her father (Jim Broadbent) is always brilliantly deadpan.

The majority of critics are, no doubt, going to overwhelmingly dismiss this adequate effort of a sequel. It is not perfect, but neither is Bridget, and that’s why filmgoers came to love her in the first place.

Overall, it is a rollicking good time with the reunion of an exceptional and energetic cast of actors who know their roles. Even if you don’t enjoy it as much as the original “Diary,” it just about goes without saying that it will make you smile.