Men in Black II

2002

Men in Black II

Critics Consensus

Lacking the freshness of the first movie, MIB 2 recycles elements from its predecessor with mixed results.

39%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 198

45%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 925,907
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Movie Info

Otherworldly villains are on the loose again, and it's up to Earth's interstellar police force to bring them to justice in this sequel to the sci-fi comedy blockbuster Men in Black. Agent Jay (Will Smith) has become a high-ranking member of the Men in Black, the secret government task force designed to deal with unruly visitors from other worlds, while his former cohort, Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones), had his memory wiped clean and now lives a simple but contented life as a mailman. However, an especially nasty alien threat has reared its not-so-ugly head; Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle) is a shape-shifting Kylothian alien who is in pursuit of another escaped visitor who holds the key to powers that would allow her to destroy the world. Making Serleena all the more dangerous is the fact she's taken on the appearance of a lingerie model, making her irresistible to most men. When the rampaging Serleena takes control of the MIB offices, Jay is forced to turn to the only man who can help him save the world -- the former Agent Kay. After restoring Kay's memory, the two remaining Men in Black set out to conquer Serleena with a motley band of friendly aliens, including a handful of worm creatures and a talking dog named Frank (voice of Tim Blaney). Jay, meanwhile, has his head turned by Laura (Rosario Dawson), an attractive waitress who was an unwitting witness to an alien attack. Men in Black 2 also features Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, David Cross, Patrick Warburton, and Johnny Knoxville. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Will Smith
as Agent J
Rosario Dawson
as Laura Vasquez
Johnny Knoxville
as Scrad/Charlie
Tony Shalhoub
as Jack Jeebs
Peter Spellos
as Motorman
Michael Rivkin
as Man With Dog
Lenny Venito
as New York Guy
Howard Spiegel
as New York Guy
Derek Cecil
as Repairman Agent
Sean Rouse
as MIB Agent
Peter Spruyt
as MIB Customs Agent
Kevin Cotteleer
as MIB Customs Agent
Marty Belafsky
as MIB Customs Agent
Rick Baker
as MIB Passport Control Agent
Nick Cannon
as MIB Autopsy Agent
Andre Blair
as Central Park Agent
Jeremy Howard
as Bird Guy Alien/Postal-Sorting Alien
Mary Stein
as Bird Lady Alien
Marty Klebba
as Family Child Alien
John Alexander
as Jarra/Family Dad Alien
Denise Cheshire
as Family Mom/Locker Alien
Ernie Grunwald
as Young Postal Employee
Chloe Sonnenfeld
as Young Girl At Post Office
John Andrew Berton Jr.
as Split Alien Guy
Peter Graves
as Himself
Linda Kim
as Ambassador Lauranna
Paige Brooks
as `Mysteries in History' Lauranna
Stephanie Kemp
as Neuralyzed Mother
Barry Sonnenfeld
as Neuralyzed Father
Victoria Jones
as Neuralyzed Daughter
Michael Garvey
as Corn Face
Michael Dahlen
as Flesh Balls
Kevin Grevioux
as Pineal Eye
Derek Mears
as Mosh Tendrils
Philip Goodwin
as Diner Guy
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Critic Reviews for Men in Black II

All Critics (198) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (77) | Rotten (121)

Audience Reviews for Men in Black II

  • Apr 17, 2015
    I don't know that Men in Black II is really thaaat much worse than the rest of the trilogy, as most other people seem to think. I mean, in my opinion, it's actually better than the third. But these are all basically the same movie. So they can only go so right or so wrong from one to the other to the other. It's not awful (well, the faces on that poster are, my god), but it's not like... good.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2013
    Tommy Lee Jones & Will Smith give great performances, but it is not enough to grasp the attention of its audience as it fails to garner the touch from its predecessor. Men in Black II lacks the originality and goes excessively in too deep on its already familiar settlement. 2/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2012
    Yes indeed, folks, the dynamic, dark suit-donning duo is back, though not necessarily blacker than ever, seeing as how Will Smith can't get any blacker, being that he's just too darn white and everything. Seriously though, the boys are back in black; they hit the sack, they've been too long and they're glad to be back, and certainly more glad than a lot of the critics. They're bigger, badder and blacker, yet bigger isn't always better, but hey, the original wasn't all that especially good either, so it's not like this film has all that high of standard to reach, or at least I don't think that it does, because "Men in Black" is hard enough to remember by the end of the day, let alone by the end of a 5-year hiatus. No, the original "MIB" isn't all that forgettable, being memorable enough for me to feel at least somewhat eager to see Will Smith, as white as he is, get black in saddle again, though not literally. As much as I'm hearing people say that they're not too excited to see the black make a comeback, I can think of plenty more people who would say that we don't need a sequel to "Wild Wild West". Well, people, if that dark day every comes, it's going to be a while, so we're going to have to stick with this film as the definitive messy sequel to a Smith sci-fi film, or at least everyone other than me can stick with this film as that, because I for one didn't find this film to be all that much of a mess. Still, make no mistake, as decent as this film, it's not exactly cleansed of messiness, nor is it rich with the fresh ideas that were already fairly limited in the predecessor. Okay, now, it's not like this sequel is a total rehash that lifts most every key plot spot from the predecessor, yet this sequel lifts quite a few aspects from the original "MIB", some of which were graced by reasonable uniqueness that, of course, goes thinned out, if not all-out dismissed in this been-there-done-that sequel, thus depriving this film of much of the freshness that sparked a fair degree of immediate intrigue within the predecessor, yet was still rather lacking in the predecessor in question. Certainly, Ed Solomon's script for "MIB" had its share of unique touches to the overall story concept, yet as far as final plot structuring was concerned, time and again, the film collapsed into more than a few glaring components to formulas done to death within films of its type, and with this sequel lifting quite a bit in the way of plotting from its predecessor, well, needless to say, this film is also formulaic, having the occasional twist that may be rather familiar, though not too hard to see coming, yet being, on the whole, much too predictable, which of course leaves the collapses even into what formulas that were refreshing in "MIB" to go further pronounced. This film hits many tropes, both of its own genre and of its own series, and yet, with that said, this film flaunts the occasional aspect that wasn't found in the predecessor, with one of the aspects in question being unevenness in humor, as this film will keep, or at least attempt to keep faithful to the more relatively clever tastes of its predecessor, only to suddenly and rather awkwardly turn into considerably more broad and over-the-top sensibilities in humor. It doesn't help that quite a few of the less subtle jokes, and even a few of the more "clever" comedic efforts fall flat, sometimes as a mere comic misfire and sometimes as rather cheesily misguided. This film isn't quite as uneven as its predecessor got to be on occasions, yet there's not too much comfort in this film's flow, which goes further thrown off by considerable conventionalism that calls more to attention this story's really not having all that much kick to begin with. Really, I must reluctantly admit that there are a fair couple of aspects within this film's story concept that, if reasonably well-handled, could have given this film's substance more weight than what was worn by the predecessor's substance, yet this film never stood a chance of being heavy, being pure popcorn fluff whose momentum goes slowed down enough by fall-flat occasions and consistent conventionalism for the final product to sputter out as even more underwhelming than its already underwhelming predecessor. Still, with that said, with all of its shortcomings, whether they be natural or incidental, this film remains an entertaining one that keeps you going through and through through, if nothing else, its production value. Like its predecessor, this film boasts such pieces of production value as set design that are rather lacking in quantity and, upon arrival, dynamicity, and yet, also like its predecessor, when this film does, in fact, have a more practical production design to flaunt, it shows it off well, with a nifty distinctiveness that sells you on the environment, as sure as Rick Baker's less prevalent yet nevertheless impressive makeup effects sell you on the character they help in crafting. As for the digital effects, this film keeps faithful to its predecessor's effects' being faulty at times, whether it be because of dating or whatever, only this film is five years younger and with a budget that's $50 million higher, thus the final product really doesn't have too much of an excuse for delivering on more than a few visual effects that aren't too convincing, and is left in need of the compensation that is, of course, here, meeting every visual effect that falls flat with a visual effect or two that accels as both reasonably convincing and dazzling, with dynamicity in conceptual structuring and clever usage. Technically, this film isn't really as sharp as you would expect it to be with its $140 million budget and heavy focus on technicality, yet more often than not, the film's technicality hits and occasionally dazzles, breathing into this film some livliness that goes intensified by strengths that are found, not in the technical departments, but in the, believe it or not, writing department, because although this film's humor, like the visual effects, fall flat at times, partially because of unevenness and partially because some jokes just plain don't work, this film's humor hits home more than it's being given credit for, not exactly turning in effective jokes with as much consistency as its predecessor, yet still delivering on its fair share of clever dialogue pieces and even more than a few amusing, if not just plain rather fun comic set pieces and sight gags. This film's humor is hit-or-miss, yet when the humor does hit, it has its share of times in which hits rather hard, livening up a story that is already fairly lively in the first place, for although this film's plot is quite conventional, quite often rather mishandled and, in too many areas, not quite as well-concieved as the predecessor's still fairly thin, conventional and altogether underwhelming plot, Robert Gordon crafts a reasonably fun story that, when executed through Gordon's and Barry Fanaro's script, takes on a kind of constant fluffy momentum that may do nothing to really thicken substance, yet creates a moderate degree of immediate engagement value, intensified by livliness within the man in charge of bringing the vision of the story to life. Barry Sonnenfeld returns as director, and brings quite a few familiar flaws to go with some new flaws with him, yet there is a misstep made in "MIB" that goes abandon in this sequel: unevenness in pacing, because as entertaining as "MIB" was, it had its slow spells, whereas this film never abates from reasonably tight and lively momentum that goes much too undercut by much too many mistakes both made and not made in the predecessor, yet still puts quite a bit of engaging charm and color to this film. Sonnenfeld's storytelling is about as flawed as most every other key aspect that brings this film to life, yet it has enough livliness to keep you going, though certainly not as much as an actually faultless key aspect that brings this film to life: the leads, as Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones deliver about as sharply as they did in the first installment, being exceedingly and distinctly charismatic by their own individual rights, and when these charismas bond into chemistry that I will go on record as saying is even more palpable in this otherwise inferior installment, the memorable dynamic duo of Agents J and K are all but impossible to resist. Most everything else about the film, however, loses you all too often, and while that can be said about 1997's "MIB", this film makes just enough mistakes to fall beneath an already fairly underwhelming predecessor, yet not to where it doesn't climb up just enough to keep charm and entertainment value pumping through thick and thin, even if the shortcomings are quite thick. Overall, the film is made predictable by far too many collapses into formulaic conventions, much like its predecessor, only without much of the freshness within the more relatively unique touches within the predecessor, from which much too much is lifted, except full consistency in humor, whose sensibilities get to be all over the place and sometimes not all that effective, thus creating quite a few fall-flat moments in what should be compensation for the thin plot that goes into making this film an underwhelming one and inferior sequel to an also underwhelming film, yet not so much so that this film falls too bad flat, as generally impressive technicality and quite a few effective moments in humor that compliment a reasonably lively story - made all the livlier by Barry Sonnenfeld's generally charming direction and leading men Will Smith's and Tommy Lee Jones' ceaselessly charming peformances and chemistry - go into making "Men in Black II" an entertaining popcorn piece, though nothing more than that. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2012
    'Men in Black II' feels a lot less original compared to its original. This could have been a new, clever chapter for both Kay and Jay. Instead, it feels like the original story, but its lost its punch and humor.
    Samuel R Super Reviewer

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