Men in Black II

"Good"

Men in Black II Review


In an interview, director Barry Sonnenfeld told me about four years ago that he didn't want to make another Men in Black. The studio wanted it, he said, but he just wasn't interested. What a difference Wild Wild West and Big Trouble will make to your choice of film projects!

And so Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return to their black suits in one of the most uninspired sequels in recent memory, going through the motions while spouting one-liners en route to encounters with familiar characters at the familiar locations which made the original Men in Black so endearing.

The conceit of this 88-minute, blink-and-ya-missed-it affair is that Jones' retired Agent K is needed once again to save the planet from some encroaching threat that will destroy the entire earth within the next few days. Unfortunately, K's memory (which holds the key to saving the planet from said threat) was erased at the end of the last movie by his old partner Agent J (Smith). The first third of the film sets up the threat (in the form of a panty-clad Lara Flynn Boyle -- excellent casting, there -- in disguise as an enormous worm-type alien thingy). The next third involves the quest to get K's memory back. The final act, of course, pits our heroes against the alien as they bring out their crazy plastic guns and take an amount of brutal physical punishment that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger wet himself. It really feels like a cartoon... if only it weren't for the actual humans appearing in the movie....

While Sonnenfeld musters the energy to get to the obligatory Men in Black theme of alienation among one's own kind, the film never becomes as endearing as its predecessor. The talking dog just isn't as funny when he's humping a giant alien's tentacle. Tony Shalhoub's Jeebs isn't as much fun now that we know his head grows back. And while some of the casting is inspired -- including David Cross as the perfect video store geek and cameos by would-be aliens Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart (uncanny in its timing!) -- some of it is oh-so-obvious in its pandering to the MTV generation. Johnny Knoxville? I haven't seen a supporting role this blatant and pathetic since Tom Green appeared in Charlie's Angels. (Though, in fact, Knoxville is a far, far worse actor.)

The rest of the movie is harmless, forgettable, and simply uninteresting in comparison to recent action flicks like Spider-Man and Minority Report (yes, you can have your sci-fi and your mind food, too). The special effects are nothing new and are rarely even credible. The script is as subtle as Kung Pow (potshots at postal workers? Puh-leeze...). And even the cute ending is spoiled by what comes after: Will Smith's atrocious "Nod Your Head" musical number as yet another movie-inspired anthem for our youth. How lazy are today's kids, that nodding your head actually passes for a dance move, anyway? Elvis, where are you?

You know what they say about guys with big guns.



Men in Black II

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 3rd July 2002

Box Office USA: $190.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $441.8M

Budget: $140M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, MacDonald/Parkes Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 39%
Fresh: 75 Rotten: 118

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Walter F. Parkes

Starring: as Kevin Brown, Agent Kay, as Agent Jay, as Zed, as Serleena, as Scrad/Charlie, as Laura Vasquez, as Jack Jeebs, as Agent Tee, as Ben, as Newton, Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine as Hailey, Peter Spellos as Captain Larry Bridgewater, The Motorman, Michael Bailey Smith as Creepy, Rick Baker as MIB Passport Control Agent, as Agent M, as Joey, as Mosh Tendrils, Michael Rivkin as the man with Harvey, the dog, as New York guy, Howard Spiegel as New York guy, Alpheus Merchant as MIB guard, as agent, Jay Johnston as the younger Pizza Parlor MIB agent

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.