September 02, 1996 12:00 PM

Shelley Long, Gary Cole

Last summer’s The Brady Bunch Movie was a distinctive little satire that managed to turn the laughably inane TV sitcom, which made Mr. Ed look like Molière, into a parody of 70s kitsch. This sequel, in which Tim Matheson turns up as Mrs. Brady’s long-lost first husband, is content to be your standard dumb comedy, not ashamed to bring in Zsa Zsa Gabor for a cameo.

The same cast returns to play the various Bradys. These aren’t exactly roles that deepen with time. Cole repeats his dead-on impersonation of the late Robert Reed as paterfamilias Mike; Long, as mother Carol, wisely makes no attempt to out-act her lacquered blonde wig; and Jennifer Elise Cox, as frumpy middle sister Jan, is a textbook study of an American suburban teenage female neurotic. Jean Smart, so funny as a sex-starved neighbor in the first movie, is sorely missed. (PG-13)

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