Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Men in Black II

The 2002 film Men in Black II sees both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprise their roles as Agent K and Agent J. It also has Johnny Knoxville, Rosario Dawson, and Laura Flynn Boyle.
The story picks up with Agent J having to mind-wipe yet another idiotic partner (perfectly played by Patrick Warburton). Of course, Agent J has to get Agent K out of retirement to save the planet.

The humor in this film wears a little thin after awhile. Will Smith has his typical bravado swagger but that is topped in annoyingness by Johnny Knoxville's inane prattle (with TWO heads, none the less!). Frank, the talking dog, is particularly annoying. At one point, Will Smith punches an alien that belongs to the race of Ballchinian (break that down into parts and that's exactly what it looks like).

In another regard, the basic plot is superior to that of the first film. The villain is certainly more interesting. Seeing a ship blow up planets you assume it is massive but when it lands on Earth, you see it's the size of a small toy. The film has more heart with the main characters reflecting on what they've sacrificed to serve MIB. Agent K coming out of retirment leads to some neat moments that directly mirror the first film when Agent K is teaching Agent J. The use of the Statue of Liberty as a gigantic mind-wipe device is a clever development, as is the use of the alien society living inside a subway locker. In many ways, this section film follows the plot structure of a traditional mystery with the main characters following a trail of clues.

The action is somewhat lackluster in this film, though. It may have been intended as a joke, but the Playstation controller for the steering wheel in the flying car was a weak joke and it made the entire chase sequence seem dull.

All in all, MIB II serves up more of the exact same thing as the original. Although it has its clever moments and the villain is better, the comedy and action fall short.

1LR Review - 13 out of 20! It's a Glancing Hit!

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