Friday, June 25, 2004

Men in Black II (2002): A Review

Friday, June 25, 2004
A film by Barry Sonnenfeld

After 1997’s wildly successful “Men in Black” film, someone apparently decided that it would be a good idea to make a sequel. After all, the director and the two stars are returning, what could possibly go wrong? A great deal, as it turns out. The first film covered a good deal of ground and a good deal of story points. The second film had the opportunity to really build on that as well as becoming a movie that is just as entertaining as the first. “Men in Black II” fails to measure up to the first film. What felt fresh in the first movie feels tired and just recycled in the sequel. There are some good moments, but if you’ve seen the trailer, you have seen most of the good moments.

The basic plot is that there is an alien named Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle) who is searching for something called the Light of Zartha. It would be very dangerous for the Earth, as well as several other planets if Serleena is able to acquire the Light, whatever it may be. When Serleena holds up a pizza place and leaves a witness, one of the Men in Black is called in to investigate. Agent J (Will Smith) meets the witness, an attractive young woman, and finds out what went down. But Agent J can’t solve this case on his own, he needs Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones). Viewers of the first movie will remember that K retired, had his memory wiped and is now working at a post office in some small town. Of course there is a way to reverse this and the partners are reunited and are fighting the evil aliens of the universe.

There are some funny parts to this movie. I loved the talking/singing dog/alien/agent. There were several funny gags and funny lines, but taken as a whole I didn’t care for the movie all that much. It passed the time. I know this is not the type of movie that one is supposed to take too seriously, but even on that basis, it’s still not that good. “Men in Black II” is not horrible, but everyone involved has done better work.

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