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Men in Black II (2002)

Reviewed 2001-12-04
: It's not as much fun as the first MIB, but that film was something most of us had not seen before: science fiction that Second Look Reviewwas intentionally funny. Still, Men in Black II, or as the marketing hype would have it, MIIB, has its own diversions and perversions — just enough to keep you laughing on the same frequency with the designs of director Barry Sonnenfeld.

Lara Flynn Boyle as Serleena
"Silly little planet. Anyone could take over the place with the right set of mammary glands."
The villain this time is not some ugly bug played by Vincent D'Onofrio, vacationing from Lawn Order, but the beautiful temptress Serleena, played by the beautiful temptress Lara Flynn Boyle. She's really a Kylothian monster who had been tricked into looking elsewhere for something she wants to steal, but which Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) hid from her before he was "neuralized" and took the identity of lowly postmaster Kevin Brown, but lacking the memories that could save the planet. His trainee from last episode, Agent J (Will Smith), is now a full MIB and must restore K's memory and save the day. He isn't helped this time by sexy coroner Linda Fiorentino (did I really just write "sexy coroner"?), but enlists Laura Vasquez (Rosario Dawson), an employee at a pizza parlor. The action gets cracking when K is de-neuralized with the help of returning alien/citizen, and pawn shop procurer, Jack Jeebs (Tony Shalhoub), although Jack loses and grows back a couple of heads in the process.

Having directed the original MIB, Sonnenfeld has a sure hand on this sequel. The performances by Smith and Jones were equal to their previous efforts. It was good to see Rip Torn in his role as Zed, and the aliens, including the expanded presence of the "worms," and the rather annoying Frank (a dog/alien voiced by Tim Blaney), were well animated. Ms. Boyle is believable both as a villain and as a Victoria's Secret model (way too thin!). As sequels run, this is one of the better models.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance reviewer.