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July 05, 2002

Movie Review: Men In Black

Movie Review: Men In Black II

Went to see Men in Black II last night. It was mildly entertaining. As with most sequels, it attempts to capture the spirit and feel of the original, and as with most sequels, it falls short. Yeah, there are some funny bits and I didn't leave feeling like I wasted my money. I went to be entertained, and I was. I didn't leave disappointed or let down. (As opposed to when I left "Attack of the Clones". Massive let down even though "Phantom Menace" did a really good job of keeping my expectations low.)

The big problem with the film is that it is so derivative. The plot of MIB 2 is essentially the same as the first. Powerful and grotesque bad alien comes to Earth looking for powerful relic hidden by other peace-loving aliens. MIB must retrieve said relic first in order to prevent the destruction of the Earth. Will Smith plays the funny man to Tommy Lee Jones' straight man. The good guys win, the bad guys lose, sorry if you think this gives away the ending.

Somewhere between the original and the sequel Zed (played by Rip Torn) and agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) picked up some kung-fu moves that recall The Matrix, but they seem poorly done and out of place. In one fight scene, K kicks an alien in the crotch, expecting said alien to be out of action. The alien turns out to be a "Ballchinian" which immediately brings to mind South Park's "Boy with Balls on Chin" episode, and less immediately brings to mind a line spoken by Iman's character to Captain Kirk in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country". ("Not everyone carries their genitals between their legs" or something like that.)

The roles of the talking dog and the worm aliens from the original movie are reprised and enlarged. The alien arms-dealing pawn shop owner character is back, sprouting new heads, but there are no new and interesting aliens that play a significant part in the movie. There was one new alien bad guy with a second evil head, a la the Mike's Hard Iced Tea commercial. He is pretty entertaining and has potential, but he disappears about half-way through the movie. The only other new character that stands out is a neophyte MIB agent played by Patrick Warburton, lately of "The Tick" television series. His character is not too vaguely reminiscent of The Tick and he too disappears early on.

That being said, I still enjoyed myself, even though the popcorn was a bit stale and I had to sit next to two kids that kept fighting over their common armrest. I give the movie a B or three stars on a five star scale.

On another note, the preview for the new Austin Powers movie, "Goldmember", was pretty entertaining and had the audience chuckling. I expect that movie will be the comedy hit of the Summer, unless "Bubba Ho-Tep" comes out of nowhere.

Posted by Kehaar at July 5, 2002 01:18 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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