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Fans were so rapturous about "Sex and the City's" return in theatrical form they accentuated the positive and mostly ignored the shortcomings. The inevitable sequel, alas, requires similar forbearance--again overstaying its welcome at nearly 2 1/2 hours--which won't prevent Warner Bros. (the inheritor of this New Line presentation) from humming a box office tune as jaunty as the show's opening-title music. Part of the action occurs in the desert, which inadvertently proves apt, since the oases of enjoyable moments--and they do exist--suffer from being spaced too widely in what's otherwise a long, arid trek.
Then again, writer-producer-director Michael Patrick King seems to realize that for many of the franchise's loyalists, simply experiencing the gang back together again and …