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Men In Black II

movie reviewmovie review out of 4




Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
3.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review movie reviewvideo review

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

He's back and in fine form this time. After two colossal turkeys (WILD WILD WEST and BIG TROUBLE), director Barry Sonnenfeld, working from a cute script by Robert Gordon (GALAXY QUEST) and Barry Fanaro (KINGPIN), is back with a satisfying sequel to his MEN IN BLACK. Summer is the time for popcorn flicks, and MEN IN BLACK II (MIIB) is a fun one. Running a fast 88 minutes, it won't tax your seat or your brain. All you need to do is sit back and let the good times roll as aliens of all shapes and sizes entertain you.

If you've always found aliens a little too, well icky, you'll like Serleena, the lead villain in MIIB. When this alien arrives on earth, it flips through a magazine in order to find out what earthlings look like. Since it turns out that we look like Victoria Secret's lingerie models, Serleena, played with sexy wickedness by Lara Flynn Boyle, adopts a look that's to die for, literally. With a pasty white complexion and a push-up bra that shoves her breasts through her throat, Serleena, a woman with a Medusa complex, is on the third planet to retrieve a long, lost light. Forget that. The plot I mean, since it is totally unimportant. You're there to enjoy all the dead-pan acting and the crazy creatures.

The movie again stars Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K and Will Smith as Agent J, who are both back saving the earth. This time they are ably assisted by a talking pug named Agent F, who had a small part in the original film. Agent F is a real card, but he's a jokester with a sensitive ego. "That's canine profiling, and I resent it," F tells K, when K doesn't give proper respect to F's species.

Hand's down, the funniest scene occurs in a locker at Grand Central Station. It's so priceless that if you miss it due to a restroom break, it's worth paying to see the entire movie again just to catch that one small incident.

A properly PG-13 rated film, it'll have you going, "yuck," as tongues and tendrils go into ears and out noses. And some of the monsters, although hilarious, are also prime candidates to scare the little ones. This is no MONSTERS, INC.

If there is a slight disappointment with MIIB, it is the absence of Linda Fiorentino (THE LAST SEDUCTION), who was so terrific in the original and who looked certain to have a part in the sequel. Boyle ("The Practice"), however, proves to be an excellent alternative as a female costar for Jones and Smith. I don't want to upset Jones and Smith, who deserved the extremely lucrative deals they were given to repeat their roles, but they are upstaged by a dog (Mushu). Let's hope they paid Mushu with something more than dog biscuits.

MEN IN BLACK II runs just 1:28. It is rated PG-13 for "sci-fi action violence and some provocative humor" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it a full ****. He liked the freshness of the material for the sequel, the blend of seriousness and humor, the creative special effects and the acting. Overall, he thought it was a really funny film.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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