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on July 4, 2002
With tongue planted so firmly in cheek as to be in danger of serious injury, Barry Sonnenfeld set out to surpass his own 5 year old triumph with Men in Black II. He didn't quite clear the mark set by MiB, but he came much closer than I ever thought he could.
Clearly, the goal of the MiB2 cast and crew was to expand the best elements of the first movie and lose those bits which didn't work so well. They had a great idea and implemented it well, but I think that they may have gone just a tad too far in paring the story and script down. MiB2 is a great ride, from the first frame to the last, and rarely have I seen 90 minutes go by so quickly. A little too quickly, as it turned out.
This flick is even more densely packed with one-liners, droll humor, visual puns and delightfully cynical satire than the first. It opens with a segment from a no-budget TV series on strange and unexplained phenomena (hosted by Peter Graves, of course) describing how the Earth narrowly escaped destruction in 1978 when we were caught between Serleena, a powerful and evil alien, and the object of her desire, a mysterious force known as the Light of Zartha. At that critical juncture 25 years ago, a super-secret government agency (which licenses and polices alien activity on Earth) kept us out of the line of fire by refusing the Zarthans' request to hide the Light on Earth.
Cut to the present day and Serleena's back. Naturally. She's still looking for the Light of Zartha and she's severely POed that she hasn't found it yet. Arriving on Earth undetected, her first problem is the same faced by the galactic cockroach in MiB: find a disguise that will pass among the primitve humans. As a shape shifting nest of snake-like apendages, though, she had an easier time of it than the 20 foot Bug. Almost immediately, she comes accros a magazine open to a full page Victoria's Secret ad and before you can say "brand new Edgar suit", she's taken the form of Lara Flynn Boyle . . . in nothing more than Victoria's best black lingerie. This is one dangerous alien.
Actually, Boyle does a good job of filling Vincent D'Onofrio's shoes. She's a smarter (if less ghastly) villain than the Bug and before long has put J and K at a serious disadvantage by completely taking over MiB headquarters.
Ah yes, Jay and Kay. Let's face it: the real key to the success of Men in Black was the hillarious juxtaposition of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Well, Kay is back and the chemistry has lost very little zing in the 5 years it was on the shelf. it turns out that the erstwhile Agent K is the only human being who might possibly know how to find the Light of Zartha. Unfortunatly, he's still got a 35 year gap in his memory and is working as the Postmaster of a small town in Maine. Zed dispatches J to bring him back and get him de-neuralized, post haste.
I won't give away any more of the plot than this; it's thin enough as it stands and I wouldn't want to spoil what few surprises there are. Fortunatly, the movie isn't really about the plot, now is it? it's about the gags, the special effects and watching Smith and Jones have *way* too much fun. Several other characters from the first flick also return, including Tony Shalhoub as the occaisionaly headless pawnbroker Jeebs, the four ungrateful worm guys and the wisecracking, karaoke singing pug, Frank.
Go see it, it's a hoot. The humor is a bit more juvenile than in the first movie, perhaps, but it really doesn't suffer much for all of that.
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on March 29, 2015
Excellent movie! Be warned about the downloadable instant movie. The sticker on the plastic protector states valid till the next year.. Yet, the insert states expired the year before! Had replaced & the same thing occurred!
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on December 31, 2011
I know a lot of people don't agree with me, but I rank MIB II among the very few sequels that do just as well as the originals. MIB is one of my favorite movies of all time, and MIB II is just as good.
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on July 10, 2002
I really enjoyed Men in Black. I thought the relationship between J & K (Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones) was wonderful. Tommy plays a wonderful straight man to Smith's zaniness.
I went to see Men in Black II last week, and I found that it fit like a thoroughly used, but still kind of comfortable glove. It's nowhere near as good as the first one, and it suffers from recycling too many of the jokes as well. The talking dog returns in a much more prominent role, the worms are back as well and have more to do. While funny (listening to the dog sing Gloria Gaynor is hilarious), ultimately they don't work as well in expanded roles. It feels almost like running the joke into the ground. A much more successful return is the ever-wonderful Tony Shalhoub as Jeebs. He's in for one scene, but he's still great.
Lara Flynn Boyle completely fails, in my opinion, as Serleena. First, she doesn't play menacing very well. Secondly, she doesn't seem to handle the wry humour and the quips that a villain in a picture like this requires. She comes across as very flat. Thankfully, Rip Torn is wonderful, and Jones and Smith slip into their comfortable roles very easily. They really make the movie.
The film is very short (88 minutes), which also tends to make it seem rushed. The characters jump from place to place without much reason. When reason is given, it's usually very quickly so as to move the plot along to the next set piece.
It was a funny film. No doubt about that. It was worth the [money] that I paid for it. Just don't go in expecting something as good as the first one.
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on October 29, 2002
Okay, so this may not be a patch on the original movie and a may have a weak plot that would struggle to fill a half hour TV show but it's also nowhere near as bad as most people have made it out to be and still has it's high points and amusing moments.
Five years after the original hit movie Men in Black took movie theatres across the world by storm, the world eagerly awaited Barry Sonnenfield's follow up which reunited the hit pairing of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. What the world expected was another hour and a halves worth of comedy and kickin'...action. What we get is a plot that, much like the original, has an alien villain, Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle) endangering Earth's population and the future of our planet, in her quest for the Light of Zartha. As it so happens, the only person who knows where the light is hidden is Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) but he's now working in a Maine post office and completely unaware of his MIB past, having been neuralized at the end of the first movie, leaving Agent J (Will Smith) to set about retrieving both K and his memory before it's too late. Cue a glorious laugh riot and lots of fun action. Well, you would hope so but....
One of the problems with sequels is that they invariably have so much weight of expectation but with the very odd exception (Godfather II, Empire Strikes Back etc.), they nearly always fail to be a match for the original and in some cases, such as Escape From LA, Highlander 2 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, they can be just plain awful. Many sequels just try to copy the successful formula of the original, missing out all the talent, originality, wit and imagination that went into making the original movie such a hit in the first place. Unfortunately to a great extent is the case with MIB 2, with many of the scenes and much of the plot being too similar to the original movie.
MIB II is in the end all action and FX but it is also generally uninspired and less entertaining than the original. I also think it missed Linda Fiorentino's presence but having said that, it does have its moments and it does have some good laughs: The high point of the movie is perhaps seeing Agent K as a militant postmaster complete with comedy shorts and long socks, as opposed to the cool black suit and shades of he usually wears and some of the scenes with Frank (the dog) are also amusing. However, that's about as good as it gets and seldom does it rise above average. Don't get me wrong though, this is not a bad movie, I did find it entertaining and it's hardly going to damage anybody's career. Most kids will love this regardless of its faults BUT although entertained my overwhelming memory of this movie is a sense of déjà vu.
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on December 20, 2015
When I originally saw this movie when it came out, I maybe didn't appreciate it. It was a fast paced and decent fun movie without much in the way of stakes or anything that kept me interested. But watching the movie now, I can appreciate it more. While I don't think it touches the first MIB, it does enough new and interesting things to keep things fresh.

Many of the original films cast comes back for round 2. And it does give us a chance to get more screen time out of certain characters who may not have had much of a chance to shine before. So the dynamic of the movie feels quite a lot different. Especially since the roles of teacher and student have been reversed.

Now the biggest change about this film is pacing. Whereas the first film has points of discovery, and gives you time to take the world in that it has built, the sequel doesn't let up. This is a movie that has a lot to take in. And most things happen pretty rapidly. There is a real fast pacing. And even when the movie slows down for certain scenes, it still drives the movie forward.

The weak points are definitely a lack of a strong villain. Funnily, I think the second ban n Ana character that Johnny Knoxville plays would have made for a better central protagonist. Certainly, he had the most memorable role on the villains side.

And the ending I felt was very weak. The movie just sort of ended. The climax and the ending overall just didn't get much of a rise out of me. It felt a bit like an afterthought.

But overall, it's a film worth watching, and I can say now that even though it isn't perfect, and it has its rough spots, the constant pace that the movie sets really makes the movie for me.
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This movie pokes fun at just about everything while starring two of my favorite actors, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. An energetic score, as the background for this movie, was written by the enormously talented and creative composer, Danny Elfman, who tragically died recently in a private plane crash. Few sequels are able to carry the "joke" as well as this movie has done.
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on March 12, 2016
This movie has earned a top place in the sci-fi humor movie genre! Sequels that are "better" than the original are rare gems in the industry, and this one fits the bill. Memorable characters, great story-line, super special effects!
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on April 19, 2016
Without question the best of the MIB movies. While the first movie was great, like Star Wars, the second movie was the best of the first three. I watched with my 9 and 11 year olds and they both loved it.
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on August 27, 2015
It had been awhile since I first saw MIB I, so I had forgotten some of the peculiarities of this storyline. Now having recently seen MIB II, I'm surprised I didn't remember! Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones make a great couple of "planet protecting special agents"! Additionally, the special effects for the alien creatures used in the show are very impressive, considering how far digital graphic effects have evolved in the past decade. I'd call this an entertaining film suitable for families with children above the age 7. There is lots of action, special effects body morphing and object transforming (I love cars that convert to spacecraft at the push of a button). There is also great humor, and lots of science-fiction weaponry. It's the classic saga of good over evil, saving the world from destruction by alien forces sent to planet Earth. You'll enjoy it, despite the predictable ending that we all expect in such tales.
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