Reviewed by: Hillari Hunter
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville, Michael Jackson | Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld | Produced by: Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald | Written by: Barry Fanaro, Robert Gordon | Distributor: Columbia Tristar
In “Men in Black II”, the five-years-later sequel to the original “Men in Black,” Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back as agents “J” and “K” working to save the world from evil intents of extraterrestrials. In this sequel, a serpentine villainess come to Earth looking for a powerful light that spells destruction for any planet who possesses it. Agent J (Smith) is sent to get his former partner Agent K (Jones), who had been returned to normal life five years ago. Of course, K’s memory of his crime fighting past had been erased, but it must be restored in time to avert major disaster. There is a witness (Rosario Dawson, “Josie and the Pussycats”) to one of the villainess’ crimes, but J doesn’t erase her memory because of his growing affection for her, so she’s brought along for the ride.
Have you ever watched a movie where it is obvious that the actors are saying dialogue that is supposed to be funny, but you’re not laughing? The original “Men In Black” worked because of the sandpaper relationship between Agents J and K, but that seems to have been watered down is this latest version since more emphasis is put on the special effects. The few amusing moments are provided by Frank, the talking dog fans from the original “MIB” will be familiar with. Several holes in the plot cause the movie to plod along, and while the movie is shorter in length (1 hour 34 minutes), that doesn’t make it any better.
There is mild profanity used by some of the characters, including incidents of sexual references and innuendo (Kids-in-Mind reports “3 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 18 mild obscenities, 1 religious exclamation…”) The alien villainess (Laura Flynn Boyle, “The Practice”) spends most of the movie scantily clad. Her character is also used in a joke that’s an unfunny reference to anorexia and bulimia. One character makes a reference to astrology.
The violence is not as icky or scary as in the prior film, but there are a lot of bullets flying and several hand-to-hand battles. Overall, not recommended.