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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.57%
Worth A Look: 14.29%
Just Average35.71%
Pretty Crappy: 16.07%
Sucks: 30.36%

4 reviews, 88 user ratings

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Men in Black II
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Mind-foldingly inept sequel."
1 stars

In 'Men in Black II' -- directed, like the first one, by the once-promising Barry Sonnenfeld -- the hard-bitten Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and the eager rookie Agent J (Will Smith) have switched places.

K, having been "neuralyzed" at the end of the first film to erase his memories of the MIB program, is brought back into the fray by J, who now has five years of experience under his belt. Jones' bafflement -- he's been working in a Cape Cod post office -- plays nicely against Smith's quiet eye-rolls of exasperation. When K gets deneuralyzed, though, the dynamic goes back to that of the 1997 original. So does everything else.

Apart from one unaccountably daffy scene involving a village of tiny aliens who have been living in K's abandoned locker and worshipping his wristwatch, MIIB (as the ads have it) is about the most uninspired rehash of a popular hit I've ever seen. On the principle that the only thing the original lacked was a babelicious villain, Sonnenfeld and writers Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro order up a vicious alien, Serleena, who wants to find some bracelet and conquer the world; and in the person of Lara Flynn Boyle, she looks so gaunt that when the movie stoops to a barfing joke (Serleena devours a male attacker, then notices her sudden tummy bulge and vomits him back up) it comes off like an anorexia joke in the worst taste.

It's undeniably fun to see Tommy Lee Jones as an amiable, harmless postal worker named Kevin Brown pre-deneuralyzation. As usual, he sneaks dry volumes of wit into his crisp monotone. He's doing this in the same what-the-hell, pass-the-paycheck mood in which he did Batman Forever. Will Smith, on the other hand, seems to be coming down with Eddie Murphy disease. He may feel he's beyond the honking little aliens now, and maybe he is -- in the five years since MIB, he's been nominated for an Oscar. But oddly, this one-time comedian doesn't give himself to the goofiness the way Jones -- who spent most of his career being as serious as cancer -- can. If I'm not mistaken, there's a touch of sullenness in Smith's work here: "Y'all didn't come out for Ali -- you only like me in shit like this."

The sullenness could extend to Smith's director. Has Barry Sonnenfeld lost his mind? Certainly he no longer has any grasp of humor or even rudimentary entertainment. There's one decent moment of simple slapstick when Smith fumbles his way down a pile of inflatable tubes -- the comically static staging recalls his bit in the original with the table scraping loudly across the floor. But for the most part Sonnenfeld just points his camera at non-existent CGI beasts to be added later. Bringing back Tony Shalhoub as a shady alien dealer doesn't help; neither does recruiting Johnny Knoxville as a never-funny two-headed alien in cahoots with Serleena. More than once, the neuralyzed K is said to be "in neutral"; so is Sonnenfeld. Why is he doing these movies? Wild Wild West, Big Trouble, now this -- he doesn't bring anything to them except exhaustion and desperation.

And perhaps greed. Everyone involved in MIIB knows it's a surefire July 4 hit; it will own its weekend and make everyone bankable again. It may seem nave to point that out; but this sequel, more than any other in recent memory (you'd probably have to go back to Beverly Hills Cop III for an equally soulless, cynical and laughless "comedy" sequel), seems only in it for the money. (Hell, even the embarrassing Attack of the Clones at least emerged from George Lucas' highly specific vision, inane as that vision often is.) We get the same gross-outs, the same bellowing monsters, the same chattering little worms, the same heads exploding in sticky guck.

'MIIB' seems to want to neuralyze the audience: it wants the original movie's fans to remember that film enough to remember that they liked it and want more, but it wants them to forget it enough so that they don't realize they're not getting more. They're not even getting the-same-only-different; they're getting the-same-only-more-same.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1994&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/15/07 00:03:48
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User Comments

3/24/18 morris campbell not bad good creatures some funny lines 3 stars
6/04/12 Dane Youssef Should've stopped with the first one. They just wreck it all here. Nearly every scene hurts 1 stars
4/05/12 SEAN DUTRA fine but tedious and rushed and uninspired 3 stars
1/24/11 Jeff Wilder Fantastic concept the first time. This proves it can only be done once. 2 stars
12/26/10 sequelitis This was just pure insipid, uninspired, worthless tripe. An insult to the original! 1 stars
6/08/10 Harvey Scott Why does this exist? They did it for the money! 2 stars
2/19/09 CTT Unenergetic, despite some funny lines 3 stars
10/06/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Cast!! 5 stars
7/21/08 the dork knight Was Tommy Lee Jones contractually obligated to do this? 2 stars
6/24/07 Anthony Feor I think I might wanna leave this planet now 2 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Not much of the original, but the duo manages to make it look good. 3 stars
1/31/07 Matt More a reshash than a sequel ant only half as good. But, hey, it ain't that bad. 3 stars
12/25/06 johnnyfog So did Lara Flyn Boyle go away yet? Yes? Oh good. 1 stars
2/06/06 Anthony What a sequel 3 stars
10/26/05 chris apalling sequel puts mib 1 to shame 1 stars
10/15/05 Quigley one of the worst sequels in cinema history. and you people hated the first one? think again 1 stars
9/12/05 Total Crap Want a Review for this movie, read my name. 1 stars
9/12/05 Evan God, this is a really bad, muddled mess. Talk about "over done". 2 stars
3/13/05 Ronin Gibbo the problem is it is almost no fun unlike it's predecessor. 2 stars
2/12/05 John Bale Replay of the original but has some great fun effects and Tommy Lee is good value 4 stars
8/30/04 Gibbo Was a good movie if you didn't take it seriously. It is meant to be fun remember. 4 stars
5/01/04 J Good but not Great! ** 1/2 3 stars
4/28/04 X Another disapointing sequel 2 stars
2/27/04 Littlepurch Nowhere near as good as the original & the ending just made my head hurt but it WAS funny!! 4 stars
2/26/04 sarah knoxville! johnny knoxville is soooo ace in this movie, got it on dvd the day it came out! 5 stars
9/30/03 Samuel Justus Nowhere as good as the origional! 3 stars
7/21/03 I Would Worth watching only to see probably the biggest budgeted film to clock at under 90 minutes 2 stars
6/25/03 the Grinch MIB was entertaining...this insulting garbage just makes me angry...velly angly... 1 stars
5/26/03 bender Should not have made as much money as it did. Bad.......................................... 2 stars
4/07/03 Ian The plot is re-hashed from the first movie. Not good at all. 2 stars
2/03/03 Turtle It doesn't hold a Series 4 De-Atomizer to the original, but hey, it was really fun. 4 stars
1/09/03 Ange Faitore Let's marry Laura and Eminem and set them in a flaming SUV. 1 stars
12/27/02 PsiSeeker Ho-Hum!... at least LFB provides some eyecandy. Will Smith's one liners make me sick! 1 stars
12/16/02 Interrog8 What is this shit?! No comparison to the first one. 1 stars
12/12/02 madk you guys are the biggest negative loosers the world has ever know! 5 stars
12/01/02 palaboy101 The first half was funny, the second half was REALLY BORING! 3 stars
11/01/02 matthew none 4 stars
8/11/02 KMG SUCKED: It had no plot, no storyline, and was too short even if it had the 1st two 1 stars
8/11/02 MackeyDaManiac JustAverage ONLY because of these REALY GREAT special effects,and some funny stuff... 3 stars
8/10/02 chouck yawn 3 stars
8/02/02 pointman7071 ok! 3 stars
7/28/02 Franny Mib was witty and suprising. Its sequal is too similar and predictable. 3 stars
7/27/02 Butterbean It was such a good idea for the movie! Why ruin it with stupid slapstick? I hated them both 2 stars
7/27/02 max zhang I'd rather watch two angry black lesbians rape a skinny white boy than this shit. 1 stars
7/24/02 FJ Didnt that feel nice........ 2 stars
7/11/02 Hotaine I think Tommy Lee Jones is actually dead and they just CGI'd him in 1 stars
7/11/02 Jiz Mediocrity at its best. Boring, predictable, forgettable, not worth seeing 3 stars
7/10/02 Interrog8 Didn't see this coming. Tradgic that a sequal to such a great movie could be this bad. 2 stars
7/09/02 Register to vote NOW or else! It was absurd, but it had its moments... 3 stars
7/08/02 Banky Edwards I didn't think it was that bad, but then what do I know, I laugh at dick & fart jokes! 4 stars
7/08/02 Never see movies twice I was very surprised that a sequel would be so funny Once you go worm ... Hilarious!!! 4 stars
7/08/02 bob stank,another crap movie 2 stars
7/08/02 iambubby Yikes! They missed the mark on this one. 3 stars
7/08/02 Janine Lay pretty boring, no originality, magic is gone 2 stars
7/08/02 daedalus Good enough for a fun night out, but not worth the $7.50 4 stars
7/07/02 FJ It sucked. Didn't expect this. 1 stars
7/07/02 I can't bleive I saw this shit! The worst piece of shit since Scooby-Doo 1 stars
7/06/02 ajay I laughed outloud like once or twice at least Lara Flynn Boyle was hot 2 stars
7/06/02 friscojohn C+..........was hoping for an A 4 stars
7/05/02 Josh Opotzner (Josh120@aol.com) Just ok. If you feel like another movie after Minority Report/Sum of all Fears. 3 stars
7/05/02 Danielle Ophelia (L'Originale) I love Sno-Caps. 3 stars
7/05/02 Philip F Kromer Very enjoyable, but very similar (tho possibly better than the first) 4 stars
7/05/02 B Complete waste of time and money. Not a single laugh. 1 stars
7/05/02 Dr. Laura Is a Bitch (Doo Dah, Doo Dah...) A couple of great movie moments, but otherwise, nothing exciting. 3 stars
7/05/02 Todd I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either 3 stars
7/05/02 Nick2k wow. this makes 'pearl harbor' look good. fucking waste. i shoulda seen powerpuff instead. 1 stars
7/05/02 Benjamin.Lesbian Entertaining, but it felt more like an episode of a TV show than a full-blown movie 4 stars
7/05/02 strider3700 not exiting not interesting not worth full price, rent or cheap night it's worth it though 3 stars
7/05/02 B Complete waste of time and money. Not a single laugh. 1 stars
7/05/02 Joe Bacon A retread even DUMBER than the original! 1 stars
7/04/02 Gajha Me Runga Kinda funny, but none of the awe or zeal from before. Felt like a quickie mini-episode 4 stars
7/04/02 Blaise Well, it's definately not shakespear, but i wasn't bored either. 3 stars
7/04/02 Roy Smith FX do not a decent film make - wait for the 2nd run theaters, not even worth a matinee. 3 stars
7/04/02 Jim Mediocre. Jones phoned in his performance. Worms didn't live up to hype but the pug did. 3 stars
7/04/02 Butterbean I wanted to like this movie, but they crammed everything into 90 minutes and made a mess! 2 stars
7/04/02 brent young this is taking way too much flak --sure it's mindless & has ads, but it's a popcorn flick. 4 stars
7/04/02 The Spam Handler btw, david cross died in the first one... 3 stars
7/03/02 bullit17 Relied too much on the first movie. Could have been a little more original 3 stars
7/03/02 Jamie Wasn't mind blowing, but compared to the crap released in the past couple years.... 4 stars
7/03/02 Veronica Foxx This wasn't a bad movie, but the same movie. For that it gets knocked down to...---------> 3 stars
7/03/02 J Wasn't quite as good as the original but I'm actually with R.W on this one to be honest. 4 stars
7/03/02 jeenyus It was hardly high art, but I wouldn't call it a miserable waste of a movie either 3 stars
7/03/02 Ramblin' Wreck Looked fine to me...... 4 stars
7/03/02 Reviewing the reviewer Wait, movie 1 good. movie 2 clone of 1. movie 2 bad? Explain how. This one is awesome! 5 stars
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  03-Jul-2002 (PG-13)



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