I don't know if I'm mutating into a real movie critic or if films just aren't fulfilling their potential
these days. Take Men In Black 2 for example. It's been 5 years since the 1997 original film
wowed audiences and grossed them out with the alien busting duo of Jones and Smith. The ending of the original
pretty much sealed Agent K's fate and left the door wide open for Agent J and Agent L to continue their duties.
After watching Men In Black 2, you might wonder why they couldn't have come up with something better
in 5 years? MIB 2 sadly enough feels pretty rushed and lacks the slick, sly, originality of the original
film. The dialog was wittier, the acting was better, the plot was more interesting, and the characters were
just plain better. But here's another thing that needs to be mentioned. The original had more foul language,
and was more gruesome and violent. The audience is clearly aimed at the younger ones this time around, but
the content still contains too much inappropriate stuff for them. Although, it was cleaner enough to be
noticeable and stand out so differently there from the original.
Like in The Mummy Returns, it was great to see a lot of the characters back together, but something
was missing. Again the filmmakers had no problem speeding the pace up a bit more and tossing out any further
character development or meaningful time for the characters. It goes so fast it barely stops long enough to
let you on to enjoy the ride. Both original movies had a certain careful attention paid to it when crafting
it that didn't transfer on to the sequels. The acting was okay this time around. Only major problems I
saw were Rip Torn's Zed seemed a little too worn out and tired for his part. Zed had a certain spark 5 years
ago that is absent here. And while Tommy Lee Jones is one of my all-time favorite actors, he wasn't given
much to work with here, but did well with what he did get. Making Frank the pug dog a major character
just kind of wreaked of Jar Jar Binks from the Star Wars films. He was a little too cute for the
kind of film the original was and might have worked better in smaller dosages. MIB 2 wasn't big
enough. For a sequel it just seemed to hold back visually and in overall presentation. It would be hard to believe
the sequel to such a big film (was the twelfth highest grossing film of all-time after its release and is
currently the twenty second of all-time) would have a smaller budget. But the fact is it's actually larger,
but most of it probably went to lining the pockets of Smith and Jones to get them to do another movie.
Lara Flynn Boyle did a decent job as the film's villain, but had some pretty big shoes to fill. The
alien "Edgar" from the original was so unique in that he was an insect inhabiting a dead human (who
decomposes as the film progresses), that Serleena immediately pales in comparison to the creativity
of Edgar. While gross beyond reason in appearance, Edgar was funny in his mannerisms as he fought
to control the human body he inhabited. There was something humorous beneath the darkness of the character.
Serleena is almost completely serious and there just isn't a whole lot of chemistry
between her character and the boys in the suits. But part of the problem is that the filmmakers
didn't allot enough time to build it either. Another problem is the finale of the film has little
to no payoff. You keep wondering when it will climax and it just barely does.
What worked? It was great seeing the characters on screen again. Sequels are usually nice regardless
of how disappointing they might be because you get to revisit some old theatrical friends. There were a handful
of laughs (some hearty), but MIB 2 just doesn't measure up to its predecessor.
All in all, MIB 2 was a nice effort, but a disappointment for anyone expecting a bigger, better
Men In Black installment. Still worth a peek, but let's hope if MIB 3 gets made that
we're treated to a new side of the MIB that we haven't seen before.
- John DiBiase
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: Serleena's character is that of a Victoria's
Secret model. We see her often in a bra and panties that show cleavage and the like. There are several sexual
comments made, but nothing especially explicit. Also, we see an alien called a ballchinian which has testicles
hanging from its chin (which we only see briefly). A small community inside a locker mention adult entertainment
and we see them entering a small building with "sex" written on the outside. Serleena sticks her tongue
in K's ear in a sensual way to torture him.
Vulgarity/Language: 2 "b*tch," 4 "cr*p,"
9 "d*mn," 7 "a" words, 7 "h*ll," 1 "G-d," 1 "Oh my G-d"
Alcohol/Drugs: We see some of the worm aliens having drinks.
Blood/Gore: Neither bloody or gory, but
we see Serleena run the tentacles from her fingers around Charlie's neck and through his ears
and nostrils (but to interrogate him, not kill him). We see the rubbery skin of a dead human who was an alien
on the floor (not bloody or gory either). We see a worm creature in half before he pulls himself together (not bloody or gory either).
When an alien who's head is shot off, there's a splatter of green goo, but nothing especially graphic or bloody.
Violence: People thrown around, punched, creatures blown up, etc.
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content. However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.