johnlink ranks MEN IN BLACK II (2002)

I ranked the original MEN IN BLACK back in January, and am just getting to the second one now. Liz is excited for the third installment this summer. For some reason, I am too. The third has every reason to be a train wreck. Solid first movie, uninspired sequel, ten years between the second and third movies… it will probably be rough. However, any chance to see Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones playing off each other will get me in the theater. But the second one? Bland.

I watched MEN IN BLACK II (2002) on 5.5.12. It was my third viewing of the film, and first since the DVD was released.

There are some hilarious sequences in this movie which, in a better movie, would elevate something very good to something great. The first scene with Tommy Lee Jones is perfect. The Tony Shalhoub scene, he with the regenerative head, is very funny. The reoccurring gag with the automatic driver draws laughs (especially the best line in the movie when Smith says the driver used to be black until he kept getting pulled over). However, the rest of this movie is so bland that these moments instead turn a throw-away sequel into a mediocre viewing experience.

And that’s really too bad. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith deserve better. They deserve better than a weak and uninteresting villain, a lame Macguffin, and a talking dog. They deserve better than a script which tells us they have an hour left before the world explodes and then the villain asks somebody to build her a space ship, and it literally takes the twenty minutes to get it done. It deserved better than CGI which looked dated in 2002, and looks downright appalling now.

For its flaws, the first movie really created a great environment for these guys to excel in. The movie was fast-paced, enjoyable, and fun. In the sequel, while Smith and Jones showed up and love interest Rosario Dawson does enough to be effective, the writers and Director Barry Sonnenfeld merely go through the motions. Nothing inspired happens here.

The third has more than a passable chance to be good. They took some time, got Smith and Jones back, added Josh Brolin as a spot on young-Jones, and the previews I’ve seen look as though they took their CGI tasks seriously. I just hope the movie remembers, because the second one forgot, that we’d much rather watch these guys banter and get into funny sequences than watch them fake-ride a fake worm through a fake subway tunnel.



Negative bonus point for the horrible CGI. In case you couldn’t tell, I hated it.



~ by johnlink00 on May 6, 2012.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks MEN IN BLACK II (2002)”

  1. […] of mop up work. This series was spread out through the year. I watched the first one on 1.10.12, the second one on 5.5.12, and then the newest one on […]

  2. […] MIB II article here […]

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