Men In Black II (2002)

BARRY SONNENFELD

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5

USA, 2002.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Amblin Entertainment, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation.  Story by , Screenplay by Robert Gordon, , based on Malibu Comics by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Sequel to the 1997 blockbuster hit is no better or worse than its predecessor: distractingly entertaining throughout with a minimal impression left afterwards.  Will Smith returns as the secret agent working to monitor alien activity on planet Earth, and in this particular adventure he gets a big assignment when a bombshell villainess () arrives on terra firma in search of an alien artifact that will maintain her great powers. The only person with a strong background on this evil lady is Tommy Lee Jones, but unfortunately he retired from the service and has no memory of his work with the MIB agency. Not for long, though, because Smith needs to pull him back in and give him his old memories back in order to help save the planet from complete destruction.  also perks up the proceedings as a love interest for Smith, though like every other plot thread hers is severely undercooked. It’s obvious that the filmmakers paid attention to what audiences loved in the first instalment (more of Eddie the dog, the fabulously funny worm guys), and provide plenty more of it, plus makeup designer Rick Baker (who won an Academy Award for the original) comes up with even more incredible creatures to wow viewers with. Most of the puns actually work, and the easy charm between the two leads is an entertainment in itself, but it also helps that the villain in this case is better than Vincent D’Onofrio in Part 1, though like the first film she is disposed of way too easily and the film could afford to be a little longer.

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