Men in Black II

The men in black are back, but this time they are way less funny and have even less heart. The MiBs have to get a "galaxy" off the planet before an alien race destroys the earth. One problem: the only person who knows where this "galaxy" is was former agent K who was neuralized at the end of the first movie.

The movie is just one set piece after another until you just don't care anymore. There are jokes that go nowhere leading one to believe that they were not jokes to begin with. The first is when MiB headquarters gets taken over by the villain and J and K are flushed out into Times Square. J, trying to jog K's memory, says "You loved getting flushed. Every Saturday you'd be like " J flush me" and I would say "nah"". I have no idea who thought that this was funny, let alone funny enough for one of the biggest movies of the 2002 summer season.

The next joke involves J trying to piece together a series of clues that will lead the MiBs to the next stop of their tour of New York City. J is walking around a pizzeria saying that this points to this and this points that this, all the while K knows what the clue is. J stops and pulls a can of sardines from the fridge and says this is the clue. The scene runs way too long and just adds to the length of the movie.

The only two people that come out of this movie unscathed are Tommy Lee Jones and Rosario Dawson. Jones is funny letting J look like a buffoon the entire time, while Dawson is given nothing to do. Why have Rosario Dawson, who is a great actress and has a great presence to her, in the movie at all if you give her nothing to do.

Men in Black II came out five years after the original and was a movie that I was looking forward to. I remember watching it and having a depressing feeling throughout the movie. All the pieces were there: Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, director Barry Sonnefeld, effects by the legend Rick Baker, and the score by Danny Elfman. Everything was in place, but something was missing. Everyone was doing the movie for money and lost sight of what made the first movie so great. The movie had heart. It had soul. It had people who wanted to be there, not just for the money, but also because they wanted to make a good movie. The first movie had passion. This movie does not.