Men in Black II (2002)
Reviewed on 2011 July 18
While this wasn’t as funny as the first movie, it was still good, with some of the usual dry wit but more silliness leavening the sequel. I usually prefer my humor dry and crunchy, but I still got a kick out of it and I think it’s worth a few bucks to get the DVD.
After an intro that reminds me of the hopelessly cheesy “research” shows of the ’70s, we find a disgruntled J (Will Smith), trying to keep harmony between the humans and non-humans in New York and dealing with an unsuitable partner (the underused Patrick Warburton). Apparently J was spoiled by his partnership with K (Tommy Lee Jones), who’s just done with the whole alien thing and now blissfully working in a post office. J goes on a mission to retrieve K and bring him back to the fold. Not only does he miss the guy, but once again, only this duo may be able to save Earth. A vicious alien queen named Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle) is doing her best to retrieve something called “The Light of Zartha”, which was apparently stashed on our little corner of the universe. Serleena is as nasty as her name implies, and doesn’t care who she destroys, alien or human, to get what she wants.
It’s hard to create a sequel that has the impact of the first movie, and part of MIB II’s problem is we know the premise, so some of the wow factor is lost simply by default. To its credit the sequel only recycled a few of the jokes, and even then they were tweaked enough that they didn’t seem stale to me. I think my favorite part of the movie was the whole post office sequence, and I wish they’d had a little more fun with that. Jones and Smith did their usual great work as the deadpan straight guy and hip funny man, and it’s worth watching just for them.
Three chocolate morsels.