Men In Black 2


Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Written by:Robert Gordon, Barry Fanaro
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Rip Torn, Rosario Dawson, Lara Flynn Boyle
Released: July 4, 2002
Grade: C+

This really was a non-event.  At a pathetic 88 minutes, it’s just the same old jokes with zero story.  The first film at least had a novelty factor but this sequel looks very weary and the actors show it.  I felt tired just watching it.

So if you’ve seen the first one, you’ll know the drill.  There’s Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith who play Agent K and Agent Z.  K has retired and had his brain denuralysed to erase any memories of his service with the Men In Black.  However, when a slimy alien named Serleena (Boyle) comes to earth looking for a magic light that will help her destroy another planet, K is the only person who knows its whereabouts and needs to be called back into action.

And on we go.  We encounter a series of funny looking aliens crafted from spirited imaginations and sensational visual effects.  In fact, they show more life than the human actors.  We also get the cool weapons and gadgets that are used to subdue the alien lifeforms.  Still, they use a more comedic touch ala Get Smart.  Let’s not forget the talking dog and the funny looking worms for a few cheap laughs.

Smith and Jones try not to act too seriously but their relaxed attitude to the whole scenario really is a yawn.  They just go about their business too easily and for my money, I wanted more thrills and more action.  There were brief moments of enjoyment but too infrequent.  Keep your eyes open (if you can) for the year’s most ridiculous cameo coming from Michael Jackson - it certainly missed the mark.

Like the original, Men In Black 2 is being released on the Independence Day public holiday in the United States.  To shareholders in Columbia Pictures, this spells money, money and more money.  It doesn’t matter if the audience hurls rotten fruit at the screen because we have all been transformed into mindless drones and will most likely see this film.  That’s the power of mass media and advertising.  We’re all a bunch of zombies.