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Men in Black II

A movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, Eric Armstrong, and Michelle Palmer

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Would have made a better pilot for a live action Men in Black show

  • Aug 8, 2010

I saw the first Men In Black film in theatres and remembered hearing about that film while the world was ooohing and ahhhing Independance Day, both films which feature Will Smith.  I thought that not only was Men In Black much better and funnier but the sets, action and chemistry Tommy Lee Jones had with Will Smith was great and they made two cool dudes with cool looking toys taking on the galactic scum of the universe and keeping everything under wraps.  The sequel which came practically 6 YEARS later must have been made from some left over ideas that didn't make it into the first movie and introduces nothing new not to mention the movie is only 80 minutes long, when an hour long show is 40 minutes acounting for commericals, this could have been a two part series premiere for a MIB show and NOT a movie.

The plot has Will Smith's Agent Jay being dissolusioned with idiotic partners and when he learns that a new alien is in town and causing havoc looking for an alien light, he learns only one man can find it, Tommy Lee Jones who has had his memory wiped and retired from the MIB Agency.  Jay must get Jones's Kay and go on a scavenger hunt to job Jones memory to find the light and save the Earth from Sarleena, the evil alien also looking for the light.

I was entertained, more acurately I was entertained while I waited for the good stuff to come.  The problem was the good stuff is half hearted and not nearly as original or funny.  The creators of the movie went out of their way bringing back as many names and faces from the previous film so that we can play "spot what was cool from the first movie" kinda like when you watch a Marvel movie and spot heroes for their one appearance on the screen.  The only new face that I can think of is Rosario Dawson who plays Will Smith's potential love interest.  Beautiful as always and talented, her screen time is slim.

Hype is established in the trailer for all the hype can do for the movie.

The movie is a sequel to the big 97 summer action movie.  It is very mainstream and has two of the most recognizable names in Hollywood.

This gets a 1.  It's not a BAD movie but things are really slipshod and everything is crammed into the short running time.  The aliens aren't that funny and the movie really hangs on Jones and Smith's presense on screen to save it.  I didn't touch on Sarleena much, I'll sum her up, shes a small weed that turns into Lara Flynn Boyle.  All 80 lbs of her and wearing a lingerie piece throughout most of the movie.  Theres in shape, theres slim, theres waif and then Lara Flynn.  I don't like basing a like or hate on a character on attraction as long as the acting or character holds up, but Lara Flynn isn't the best choice for this character and to ME isn't attractive, I'm sorry.  Want a cool/sexy actress to play the evil alien?  Gillian Anderson, Claudia Black, Famke Jansen, Sigourney Weaver or yes Rosario Dawson recast as the villain are all names that come to mind who have sci fi or action background, look good, can act and would have been a better choice.

If you liked the first film or any of Will Smiths other big summer action films then this one isn't bad but you'll probably want to watch it twice since this thing is over in a blink of an eye.

MIB II runs way too short and is a little too slim on original ideas.  Yes it was fun and more of the same but it really felt too much "same" to have been really good.  If it ran another 20 minutes, had some really good solid ideas and jokes and it really would have been better and at least as good as the original.  A third movie is in the works with a reported time travel story that already sounds better then this.  I do wish I had one of those neuralizer beams from these movies to erase the movie from my mind and have Will Smith tell me that it really wasn't that bad and en even better movie is coming.

Would have made a better pilot for a live action Men in Black show

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October 21, 2010
I hope three is better
October 21, 2010
Men in Black 3D...man, I don't know. I'm not too keen on the whole 3D experience.
August 09, 2010
I really liked the original film and this was a HUGE disappointment compared to the fun original. I am not sure, but it had the right formula that followed the original and yet, it never does anything with it and ends up being a hm-hmmm. Thanks for the great review!
August 09, 2010
Yeah, even though it was a dissapointment it wasn't BAD but like I said, it's too short and too retreaded.
More Men in Black II reviews
review by . June 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
* out of ****    Barry Sonnenfeld is one of those directors who just wants you to have a good time. That seems to be the motive behind each and every one of his motion pictures so far, and that must also be the motive of "Men in Black II". But as I watched it, I realized in no time at all that this wasn't a "good time". This wasn't entertaining, well-made, or funny. This wasn't even half-decent. In fact, this was just down-right crummy. Sonnenfeld had brought an interesting and …
review by . May 02, 2011
Men in Black was not a movie that needed a sequel. As a stand-alone movie, it was great, but it made a shitload of money at the box office, so a sequel was inevitable. Waiting five years for this was a huge deal, so naturally this film was a hugely anticipated one. When people saw this in theatres, a great many walked out disappointed. I can see exactly why. Men in Black II isn't really a bad movie, but it's still a colossal disappointment for a sequel to a movie as popular and memorable …
Quick Tip by . August 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Total cash in sequel that thankfully runs only about an hour thankfully lest we be treated to it's SHAMELESS product placement and unoriginal or rehased aliens and jokes. Lara Flynn Boyle also could do with eating a couple of cheeseburgers and getting a good tan.
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of the first movies that I loved with Will Smith being in!
review by . March 18, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
A great example of how the second movie can make money without being so hot.You have good actors trying their best but they can't raise this picture beyond a B movie let alone come close to the first one.Smith is funny but not believable, I think they could played te love interest angle different but that's not his fault. Jones overplays the lost agent, Tony Shaloub is a bright spot in the cast and Rip Torn delivers.The over use of Frank the dog didn't help (he's no K-9) and the worms got old real …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this movie


Reuniting director Barry Sonnenfeld with most of the original hit film's cast, MEN IN BLACK II picks up with alien-monitoring secret agent Jay (Will Smith) in a rut. Weary of the isolated life of an MiB operative, Jay continually fires new partners until MiB director Zed (Rip Torn) teams him up with the talkative pug, Frank (voiced by Tim Blaney). Together they investigate an "alien-on-alien" murder witnessed by the lovely Rita (Rosario Dawson), who Jay immediately falls for. The case eventually leads Jay and Frank to track down agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones), who now works at a rural post office, completely unaware of his former life. Unfortunately, it's what Kay can't remember that may save the world from destruction at the hands of the shape-shifting alien Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle). As Jay attempts to jog the memory of the reluctant Kay, Serleena takes over MiB headquarters, building up to a big New York City showdown.

A fast-paced follow-up to the 1997 sci-fi comedy, MEN IN BLACK II sticks ...
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