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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.57%
Worth A Look: 14.29%
Pretty Bad: 16.07%
Total Crap: 30.36%

4 reviews, 88 user ratings

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Men in Black II
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by DrChumley

"Back to Black an Off-track Bushwhack"
3 stars

When I first saw the trailer for Men in Black II, I turned to my friend and said, “This movie will be either really good or really bad.” My past experiences with sequels had led me to believe that most were nearly un-watchable (the entire Batman debacle or the upcoming travesty, Seriously Dude, Where’s My Car) while only a select few were much, much better than the original (The Empire Strikes Back, for instance) Well for the record, I was wrong. In fact, I was about as wrong as it is possible to be. Men in Black II was neither good nor bad. It was smack-dab, down-the-middle, fence-sitting mediocre.

Since neuralizing his partner, Kay (Tommy Lee Jones), at the end of the original, MIB agent Jay (Will Smith) has partner issues. In fact, he ends up neuralizing his fifth partner since Kay’s departure (played Patrick Warburton—a man who will play the exact same character for the rest of his life…)

This is all fine and good until evil alien, Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle, from TV’s The Practice), shows up back on Earth looking for another small trinket that harnesses massive amounts of power and will allow her to destroy some race or another. What makes this all the more difficult is that the one person who knows where the trinket is located has been neuralized.

Jay tracks Kay down and convinces him to return to the city where he is de-neualized and gets his memory back. Of course, wackiness ensues. And we all live happily ever after.

Where the original MIB relied on wit, great writing, and a terribly inventive story to enthrall audiences, MIIB simply re-hashes the same old things. A limp-noodle screenplay by Robert Gordon (Galaxy Quest) and Barry Fanaro (TV’s The Golden Girls and Benson) is lacking the intelligence and humanity that made the original so enjoyable. Instead of writing a movie script, Fanaro and Gordon have written the next episode of a television show. And you can tell: The jokes are so worn out and predictable they feel as though they belong in an episode of The Golden Girls. But what is lacking most of all is a sense of continuity and a through-story. What set the original apart from most other movies was its ability to tell a unique story in a wonderfully inventive way. MIIB seems more interested in getting Smith and Jones back on screen together and hoping for general giddiness instead of storytelling. The result is moderately enjoyable, but certainly not stellar.

Much to my surprise, the even the lead actors hinder MIIB. Rumors have been passed around claiming Smith really had no desire to do MIIB. However, the studio insisted on MIIB before they would bankroll Smith’s Ali. If that is actually the case, you can tell. Smith’s trademark energy and quippiness (is that even a word?) are off, and Jones’ deadpan delivery lacks any character or warmth and simply comes across as mean.

Even directory Barry Sonnenfeld’s “faster, louder, funnier” style of directing is unable to save this film. While his early work as a cinematographer has allowed him to create a tremendously vivid and rich world, without a solid story or fleshed out plot, the film flounders.

That’s not to say the MIIB is without merit. There are genuinely funny moments sprinkled throughout the film—including a campy 1970s Peter Graves “documentary” about the original Serleena incident. We even almost get moments of touching human emotion. And of course, Danny Elfman revives his perfectly appropriate, driving score from MIB to great effect—as if we could expect anything less. All in all, MIIB is a mildly entertaining film. In comparison to its predecessor however, it just can’t hold its own.

Is it worth going: Well that depends. If you’re a big fan of the MIB original—or the comic—then, yes. It’s fun to see Smith and Jones back on screen together, even if the chemistry is missing. If you’re not a big fan, wait for the dollar theatres or the DVD.

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originally posted: 07/05/02 16:11:11
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User Comments

3/25/18 morris campbell not bad good creatures some funny lines 3 stars
6/04/12 Dane Youssef Should've stopped with the first one. They just wreck it all here. Nearly every scene hurts 1 stars
4/06/12 SEAN DUTRA fine but tedious and rushed and uninspired 3 stars
1/25/11 Jeff Wilder Fantastic concept the first time. This proves it can only be done once. 2 stars
12/26/10 sequelitis This was just pure insipid, uninspired, worthless tripe. An insult to the original! 1 stars
6/09/10 Harvey Scott Why does this exist? They did it for the money! 2 stars
2/20/09 CTT Unenergetic, despite some funny lines 3 stars
10/07/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Cast!! 5 stars
7/22/08 the dork knight Was Tommy Lee Jones contractually obligated to do this? 2 stars
6/25/07 Anthony Feor I think I might wanna leave this planet now 2 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Not much of the original, but the duo manages to make it look good. 3 stars
1/31/07 Matt More a reshash than a sequel ant only half as good. But, hey, it ain't that bad. 3 stars
12/26/06 johnnyfog So did Lara Flyn Boyle go away yet? Yes? Oh good. 1 stars
2/07/06 Anthony What a sequel 3 stars
10/27/05 chris apalling sequel puts mib 1 to shame 1 stars
10/16/05 Quigley one of the worst sequels in cinema history. and you people hated the first one? think again 1 stars
9/13/05 Total Crap Want a Review for this movie, read my name. 1 stars
9/13/05 Evan God, this is a really bad, muddled mess. Talk about "over done". 2 stars
3/14/05 Ronin Gibbo the problem is it is almost no fun unlike it's predecessor. 2 stars
2/13/05 John Bale Replay of the original but has some great fun effects and Tommy Lee is good value 4 stars
8/30/04 Gibbo Was a good movie if you didn't take it seriously. It is meant to be fun remember. 4 stars
5/02/04 J Good but not Great! ** 1/2 3 stars
4/29/04 X Another disapointing sequel 2 stars
2/28/04 Littlepurch Nowhere near as good as the original & the ending just made my head hurt but it WAS funny!! 4 stars
2/27/04 sarah knoxville! johnny knoxville is soooo ace in this movie, got it on dvd the day it came out! 5 stars
10/01/03 Samuel Justus Nowhere as good as the origional! 3 stars
7/22/03 I Would Worth watching only to see probably the biggest budgeted film to clock at under 90 minutes 2 stars
6/25/03 the Grinch MIB was entertaining...this insulting garbage just makes me angry...velly angly... 1 stars
5/27/03 bender Should not have made as much money as it did. Bad.......................................... 2 stars
4/08/03 Ian The plot is re-hashed from the first movie. Not good at all. 2 stars
2/04/03 Turtle It doesn't hold a Series 4 De-Atomizer to the original, but hey, it was really fun. 4 stars
1/10/03 Ange Faitore Let's marry Laura and Eminem and set them in a flaming SUV. 1 stars
12/27/02 PsiSeeker Ho-Hum!... at least LFB provides some eyecandy. Will Smith's one liners make me sick! 1 stars
12/17/02 Interrog8 What is this shit?! No comparison to the first one. 1 stars
12/13/02 madk you guys are the biggest negative loosers the world has ever know! 5 stars
12/02/02 palaboy101 The first half was funny, the second half was REALLY BORING! 3 stars
11/02/02 matthew none 4 stars
8/12/02 KMG SUCKED: It had no plot, no storyline, and was too short even if it had the 1st two 1 stars
8/11/02 MackeyDaManiac JustAverage ONLY because of these REALY GREAT special effects,and some funny stuff... 3 stars
8/11/02 chouck yawn 3 stars
8/03/02 pointman7071 ok! 3 stars
7/28/02 Franny Mib was witty and suprising. Its sequal is too similar and predictable. 3 stars
7/28/02 Butterbean It was such a good idea for the movie! Why ruin it with stupid slapstick? I hated them both 2 stars
7/28/02 max zhang I'd rather watch two angry black lesbians rape a skinny white boy than this shit. 1 stars
7/24/02 FJ Didnt that feel nice........ 2 stars
7/12/02 Hotaine I think Tommy Lee Jones is actually dead and they just CGI'd him in 1 stars
7/12/02 Jiz Mediocrity at its best. Boring, predictable, forgettable, not worth seeing 3 stars
7/10/02 Interrog8 Didn't see this coming. Tradgic that a sequal to such a great movie could be this bad. 2 stars
7/10/02 Register to vote NOW or else! It was absurd, but it had its moments... 3 stars
7/09/02 Banky Edwards I didn't think it was that bad, but then what do I know, I laugh at dick & fart jokes! 4 stars
7/09/02 Never see movies twice I was very surprised that a sequel would be so funny Once you go worm ... Hilarious!!! 4 stars
7/09/02 bob stank,another crap movie 2 stars
7/09/02 iambubby Yikes! They missed the mark on this one. 3 stars
7/09/02 Janine Lay pretty boring, no originality, magic is gone 2 stars
7/09/02 daedalus Good enough for a fun night out, but not worth the $7.50 4 stars
7/08/02 FJ It sucked. Didn't expect this. 1 stars
7/08/02 I can't bleive I saw this shit! The worst piece of shit since Scooby-Doo 1 stars
7/07/02 ajay I laughed outloud like once or twice at least Lara Flynn Boyle was hot 2 stars
7/06/02 friscojohn C+..........was hoping for an A 4 stars
7/06/02 Josh Opotzner ( Just ok. If you feel like another movie after Minority Report/Sum of all Fears. 3 stars
7/06/02 Danielle Ophelia (L'Originale) I love Sno-Caps. 3 stars
7/06/02 Philip F Kromer Very enjoyable, but very similar (tho possibly better than the first) 4 stars
7/06/02 B Complete waste of time and money. Not a single laugh. 1 stars
7/06/02 Dr. Laura Is a Bitch (Doo Dah, Doo Dah...) A couple of great movie moments, but otherwise, nothing exciting. 3 stars
7/05/02 Todd I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either 3 stars
7/05/02 Nick2k wow. this makes 'pearl harbor' look good. fucking waste. i shoulda seen powerpuff instead. 1 stars
7/05/02 Benjamin.Lesbian Entertaining, but it felt more like an episode of a TV show than a full-blown movie 4 stars
7/05/02 strider3700 not exiting not interesting not worth full price, rent or cheap night it's worth it though 3 stars
7/05/02 B Complete waste of time and money. Not a single laugh. 1 stars
7/05/02 Joe Bacon A retread even DUMBER than the original! 1 stars
7/05/02 Gajha Me Runga Kinda funny, but none of the awe or zeal from before. Felt like a quickie mini-episode 4 stars
7/05/02 Blaise Well, it's definately not shakespear, but i wasn't bored either. 3 stars
7/05/02 Roy Smith FX do not a decent film make - wait for the 2nd run theaters, not even worth a matinee. 3 stars
7/05/02 Jim Mediocre. Jones phoned in his performance. Worms didn't live up to hype but the pug did. 3 stars
7/05/02 Butterbean I wanted to like this movie, but they crammed everything into 90 minutes and made a mess! 2 stars
7/04/02 brent young this is taking way too much flak --sure it's mindless & has ads, but it's a popcorn flick. 4 stars
7/04/02 The Spam Handler btw, david cross died in the first one... 3 stars
7/04/02 bullit17 Relied too much on the first movie. Could have been a little more original 3 stars
7/04/02 Jamie Wasn't mind blowing, but compared to the crap released in the past couple years.... 4 stars
7/04/02 Veronica Foxx This wasn't a bad movie, but the same movie. For that it gets knocked down to...---------> 3 stars
7/04/02 J Wasn't quite as good as the original but I'm actually with R.W on this one to be honest. 4 stars
7/04/02 jeenyus It was hardly high art, but I wouldn't call it a miserable waste of a movie either 3 stars
7/04/02 Ramblin' Wreck Looked fine to me...... 4 stars
7/03/02 Reviewing the reviewer Wait, movie 1 good. movie 2 clone of 1. movie 2 bad? Explain how. This one is awesome! 5 stars
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  03-Jul-2002 (PG-13)



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