Men In Black II (2002)
Main cast: Tommy Lee Jones (Kay), Will Smith (Jay), Rip Torn (Zed), Lara Flynn Boyle (Serleena), Johnny Knoxville (Scrad/Charlie), and Rosario Dawson (Laura Vasquez)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld


Men In Black II is one movie that shouldn't have been made. Even if you argue that LA is a cesspit of scum-sucking substance-abusing corporate whores who would pimp not only their grandmothers but also every orifice in their body in the name of the almighty Dollar, there is still no excuse for this movie.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, the latter looking more and more like the wrong end of a dyspeptic, senile bullmastiff as the minutes tick by, and Barry Sonnenfield have no right to offer up their audience for this, a truly underbaked waste of time that depends on flash and more flash rather than any decent plot. If this movie has a brain, the brain shuts down the moment the Men In Black headquarters turned into a whorehouse for product placements for a certain fast food restaurant and a soft drink. When Michael Jackson tries to use this movie as an attempt to get people to remember him (this is before his ridiculous attempt to be the new Malcolm X of the recording industry), this movie is definitely nothing more than a shill for corporate money. Go buy the action figures and eat the happy meals now, you gullible twits in the audience!

The story? Err, it's something about Kay's alien old flame (this is before Kay's wife whom he claims to miss a lot in the first movie, and this is after the writers wipe clean the history of the characters with a swipe of their snotty tissue paper before proceeding to carelessly rewrite it with a shocking don't-care nonchalance) leaving behind something called the Light of Zartha. An alien named Serleena - did they pad up Lara Flynn Boyle because she actually looks as if she has eaten a burger at least in this movie; maybe she's also pitching a burger for her fellow twigstick fans now? - anyway the alien, after a great injoke scene that pokes fun at Boyle's bulimia/anorexia rumors, decides to hunt down the Light. Don't ask me why. Serleena and her henchmen, including the ugly chimera alien of Charlie/Scrad, hijacks the MIB headquarters, after which Charlie/Scrad thoughtfully disappears, his fate never again to be addressed in this movie.

In the meantime, Jay is lonely. He has gone through so many replacements after his mentor Kay retired at the end of the previous movie that he has gotten a reputation for being difficult. When Serleena appears, Jay has to bring out Kay from retirement, and look, the cocker spaniel and the bullmastiff are back together again!

They proceed to spend the rest of the movie in a cockaninny treasure hunt thing to regain Kay's memory, and the girl carrying a vital clue to the light, Laura, becomes Jay's new object of infatuation. But alas, destiny is against their side, and this movie ends in a bad mishmash mumbo-jumbo of duty, loyalty, and shilling for Ray-Bans and Swatches and all the designer goodies they can cram in one hour and thirty minutes.

I admit, there is something compelling and even poignant underlying Jay's personality, ie loneliness with no way out. But this angle is rarely exploited, the movie preferring to wade deeper into its morass of shiny, blinky-blinky, and inhuman spectacle of special effects and unfunny recycled jokes from the previous movie. I admit, the singing bulldog Frank is hilarious, but everything else will probably appeal only to New Yorkers looking for weak jokes about their home.

A rushed ending that seems to be pulled out of someone's ass seals it for me. I want my money back. Or at least someone to use that neuralizer thing on me so that I can at least not remember that I paid money for this complete waste of time.

Rating: 36


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