Men In Black 2

Review Date:
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Robert Gordon, Barry Fanaro
Producers: Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes
Will Smith as Agent J, Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, Lara Flynn Boyle as Serleena
“About 1500 aliens looking like humans, live amongst us on Earth. A top-secret agency called the Men in Black (MIB) monitor and police these creatures’ every movement to ensure that the public never finds out about them. One day, a “bug” alien lands on Earth, and suddenly, the destruction of our planet may be near.” That’s the exact word-by-word plot description that I used for my MIB review, now replace the word “bug” with “alien queen” and that’s MIB2.
Can you say, “been there, done that”? Well, if you can…and you don’t mind saying it over and over again, while enjoying most of everything that you loved about the original MEN IN BLACK, than you will likely be entertained by most of the rehashed scenarios presented here. Just don’t go in expecting anything original because there’s nothing in here that hasn’t been seen before. We get the same basic plotline, we get the same “slick” and “chief” antagonistic banter between Smith and Jones, we get most of the same alien beings who “worked” in the original, we get the same potshots at celebrities who might be apparent aliens, we get the same guns and so on and so forth. It’s not a “bad” movie per se, but it’s a lot like watching the first one over again. It also moves very quickly (barely runs 90 minutes), has the most minimalistic plotline, some fun stuff to look at, some cool technological gadgets and admittedly, even though most of the stuff is recycled, the banter between Smith and Jones is pretty funny at times (although it feels “forced” at other times as well). The talking dog, on the other hand, was absolutely hilarious! In fact, I would even go as far as to say that he stole every scene that he was in. The same can be said for the slick talking worm dudes, who chainsmoked and drank their way through the entire picture (gotta love those cigars and martinis!) Pretty funny. But wait…now that I think about it, there was this one group of characters that was new and original to this installment: the small dudes in the locker. I can’t say much more on them, since I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say that they’re quite humorous and inventive (…in this film? Who woulda thunk it?).

Some of the stuff that really didn’t work for me included the so-called villainess, Lara Flynn Boyle, who definitely looked hot, but generated little excitement and seemed to have shot all of her scenes in one day. Most of her sequences took place in one building, and she barely ever interacted with either of the leads in the entire movie. Strange. Then again, the entire plotline is thin to begin with, so if you’re looking for real thrills and drama, go elsewhere, young Jedi. Johnny Knoxville’s character was somewhat interesting, but what the heck happened to him at the end? They just seemed to drop him off at some point in the picture, never to be seen or heard from again. Rosario Dawson was good (gorgeous eyes by the way…call me!), but her “love” connection with Smith didn’t work for me either, and once again, felt forced into a paper-thin screenplay, scripted almost like a remake of the original, but without the uniqueness. As for the CGI, it was pretty decent for the most part, with special marks going out to the whole underground worm fella (brrrrrrr…love those teeth!), but the finger snakes on Boyle’s character were just too CGI for my taste.

All in all, the film doesn’t present you with anything that you haven’t seen in the original, does re-deliver most of the stuff that you liked from the original and barely lasts long enough for you to remember anything on your way home. Is it fun? Yeah, I suppose that it’s never boring and it does feature some cool sequences and a few laughs, but if you were expecting this sequel to take things to another level…you will be sorely disappointed, because the only place this movie is going is…the packaged goods section at your local Cineplex (and yes, a Burger King makes its way into one of the alien airport scenes…for the love of Christ…enough with the friggin’ obvious product placements already!) Stop the madness! Too déjà vu for my taste. Check it out on video, if interested.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Men In Black 2