Sci-fi
Men in Black II
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Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld
Star: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Rip Torn, Lara Flynn Boyle
Cert / Year: PG - PG13 / 2002
Format: DVD R2
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They officially don't exist but they are here to protect humanity from the scum of the universe...again. With Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) in retirement Jay (Will Smith) has become the top agent for the Men in Black (MIB). However a case from Kay's past has just reopened when the alien Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle) takes over MIB headquarters demanding an alien artifact that Kay has hidden. The only problem is that Kay has had his memory wiped when he left the service. Jay must now get Kay back and restore his mind and save the Earth, just your average day for the Men in Black.

Men in Black was a great movie, it took the Lowell Cunningham comics and gave us a genuinely original sci-fi comedy. The biggest complaint about the film was the short running time left you wanting more. Which is as well as this sequel from the same cast and director sets out to deliver just that.

The look and feel of the original have been be recreated to give a very similar experience. The initial lack of Tommy Lee Jones doesn't prove to be a problem, rather the opposite in fact as Frank the Pug (Agent F) is a hilarious replacement. The lack of Kay also affects Jay's character in a positive way. His laid back smart-ass style proves a refreshingly funny replacement. These factors and some great gag laden scenes really make the first part of the film excellent.

In fact it continues in the same vein until Kay gets his memory back. Then things go a little pear shaped. Instantly Jay goes from experienced leader to know nothing junior again, as the script tries desperately to recreate the relationship from the first film. It is a shame as a new dynamic where Kay was subordinate would have been far better. What is worse though is that Frank is relegated to hiding for the rest of the movie. It isn't a complete failure but the film loses some of its humor and Will Smith's character does suffer, meaning it never lives up to the strong beginning.

A lot of the other characters from the first film make an appearance again. The best of which is MIB chief Zed played by Rip Torn. In this one he gets some excellent lines that give the character a welcome comedic edge. Other characters like the worm guys and Jeebs are nice to see, even if they are not all given the time they deserve by the fast moving plot. The effects that bring them to the screen are much better than the original. With some neat CGI meaning the aliens finally get more to do. Of the new characters Lara Flynn Boyle is great as Serleena, never has a mass of worms looked so sexy or so evil. Unfortunately the compliments are sadly lacking for her sidekick Scrad/Charlie. Jackass Johnny Knoxville is just awful and plain annoying, thankfully he isn't on the screen too long. Also on the down side is Rosario Dawson who is as wet as a lettuce as love interest for Jay. Never mind the superb cameos from Peter Graves and Michael Jackson more than make up for it.

Men in Black II is a fine follow up to the original. It never quite lives up to the outstanding beginning, and the final third again feels rushed, but nonetheless it is a very entertaining movie. Will Smith steals the show and demonstrates Tommy Lee Jones obsolescence in terms of the narrative. Many of the laughs come from the supporting characters and many of the best of them are the alien monsters. There are minor casting quibbles but they don't derail the film, as the laughs and effects laden action rolls on at a breakneck speed. It is a pleasure to say that Men in Black II is as good as the original and is a cracking slice of sci-fi comedy.

Tagline

Same Planet. New Scum.

Quotes

Jay: Let's put it on.
Kay: What?
Jay: The last suit you'll ever wear... again.

Worms: Once you've had worm, it's what you'll yearn!

Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD
Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic Loverly sharp picture.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Works really well.
DISC 1
Features The Main Feature
Directors Commentary
Chubb Chubb's short film
Alien broadcast
Trailers
DISC 2
Features Alternative ending
Outtakes
4 making of featurettes dealing with the creature effects
Multi-angle scene deconstructions
Barry Sonnenfeld's guide to intergalactic comedy
Black Suits Coming music video
Filmographies
Photo gallery
Verdict Great film transfer and a whole ton of extras. Overall an excellent disc set.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home