Men In Black 2
Starring:
Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Lara Flynn Boyle, Rip Torn
Directed By:
Barry Sonnenfeld
Grade C

In the sequel to the successful Men in Black movie, which was based on the independent comic by the same name, Agent J (Smith) finds himself in need of the retired Agent K (Jones), who had his memory erased at the end of the first movie. Apparently, an alien by the name of Serleena (Boyle) is hunting for an "all-powerful light" that was supposedly on earth many years before, but was sent away. Or at least, it was supposed to be sent away. And since Agent K was there when Serleena originally visited the planet looking for the light, MIB needs to help Agent K remember what he knows.

Both Smith and Jones excellently reprise their charismatic roles from before. Smith plays the standard egotistical smooth-talker as he's done in many summer blockbusters before. Jones' dry, no-nonsense Agent K balances Smith's over-the-top mouthiness. Some of the best parts of the movie come from the bit actors and the aliens, including the hilarious Worms that J and K enlist to help them with the mission.

Special effects and production values are top notch, but this is really not unexpected as MIB2 is obviously one of the studio's summer blockbusters. The movie sports a lot of parts that are funny, but unfortunately, the basic plot is rather weak. There's very little development of anything - from the main characters to even the supposed villain. At no point in the movie did I actually feel any degree of menace from Serleena. The film lacked conflict.

I would have to say that the scripted lines were well done, but on the shallow skeleton-frame of a plot, they just couldn't stand on their own. In fact, most of the film seemed to be an excuse to run from one "fan-favorite" to the next. MIB2 was more of a reunion tour, giving fans an update on their favorite aliens.

And for those who hadn't seen the first film, you won't have much idea of who's who. Very little effort is made to explain too much. To be honest, MIB2 is more of an add-on than a sequel. With very little depth, the film just isn't as good as the first. There's a few laughs, but the whole ride is rather shallow.

- - Kinderfeld

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