Men in Black II
3Ω out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
same planet new scum It would have been impossible to recapture the fresh surprise of the 1997 original, so the cast and crew go for the laughs instead. And the result, while not particularly brilliant, is absolutely hilarious.

Alien-control agent Jay (Smith) has been going about his job for the past five years, struggling to find a new partner while Kay (Jones) enjoys the oblivion of life as a postmaster in rural Cape Cod. Then one of Kay's old cases comes back with a vengeance as the evil Serleena (Boyle) returns to earth in search of a mysterious light that has the power to destroy the universe. Jay must restore Kay's memory and find the light before midnight.

Everything about this film feels effortless, from the simplistic storyline to the easy energy of the performances. Smith and Jones work so well together that they never seem to be working at all, with each facial tic getting us giggling before the more obvious gag kicks in.

And this is one of the most consistently hilarious films in years, with more laugh-out-loud jokes than you can count (Jackson's cameo is fantastic) and only a few missteps (too much of the talking pug Frank, who does have his moments).

The cast is a bit uneven: Boyle is terrific as the slinky-scary villain, Dawson adds a nice rom-com twist, Torn is underused as the MiB boss, Shalhoub is lost in the mayhem, and Knoxville is disposable as Serleena's moronic two-headed sidekick. But once we realise we're not going to get anything original, we can just sit back and laugh. A lot.

cert PG innuendo, violence 3.Jul.02

dir Barry Sonnenfeld
scr Robert Gordon, Barry Fanaro
with Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Rip Torn, Rosario Dawson, Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Patrick Warburton, Paige Brooks, Linda Kim, David Cross, Michael Jackson
release UK 2.Aug.02; US 3.Jul.02
02/US 1h28

Dressed to kill. Jones and Smith get ready to clean up the planet...

jones smith boyle shalhoub
Men in Black 3 (2012) Men in Black International (2019)
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
same planet new scum send your review to Shadows... "I liked the first one - it was original, silly and funny. Part 2 is just a silly movie - it makes you laugh, and I love the part that all postal workers are alien. My father is a retired mailman - I intend to clear that up real quick! This is just a silly movie, made to make you laugh, and it does a good job - I highly recommend it. I even might dare to say I actually liked it better than the original!" --Laurie T, Minneapolis 11.Jul.02
© 2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall