Building off the unexpected $152-million momentum of the first film, "Sex and the City 2" is more than enough - especially at nearly two-and-a-half hours - to satisfy the original devotees and bore all those dragged along in protest.

Building off the unexpected $152-million momentum of the first film, "Sex and the City 2" is more than enough - especially at nearly two-and-a-half hours - to satisfy the original devotees and bore all those dragged along in protest.

In the two years since her courthouse wedding to John, aka "Big" (Chris Noth), Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) has written a fourth book, a satire on starting a marriage. Her own marriage, however, is far from perfect. Seems John is a bigger fan of takeout and TV than her fabulous nights on the town.

Fortunately, they get some time apart when Carrie joins the oversexual Samantha (Kim Cattrall), the overworked Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and the overwhelmed Charlotte (Kristin Davis) for a luxury vacation in Abu Dhabi.

Their Middle Eastern misadventures take a strange turn when Carrie's former fiance Aidan (John Corbett) coincidentally appears in an Arab spice market, leading to new questions about the future of her marriage.

Writer/director Michael Patrick King largely neglects the other women in favor of focusing on Carrie's problems - though a bar scene between commiserating mothers Miranda and Charlotte is a highlight.

You can't help but wonder, though, why a woman who spent so many years chasing after the love of a particular man would be so unwilling to compromise when he doesn't want to attend every lavish gay wedding (another highlight) and crowded movie premiere that comes along.

"Sex and the City 2" isn't flawless, but it's the kind of epic fantasy that's the perfect summer movie escape.