Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #6 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. After reviewing Men In Black yesterday, I decided why not continue with the sequel, Men In Black 2.
So MIB 2, the sequel not liked by many fans or critics. I actually didn’t see this film until 2005 and after all the hate that it’d gotten I was surprised by how much I liked it and back in my teenage years I used to watch this film a lot of DVD (mainly because I didn’t own the first film). But its been ages since I saw it last time so I was curious to see how it held up.
The story can be summed up as the following:
“Agent J must bring Agent K back from retirement when the evil Kylothian, Serleena comes to Earth looking for the Light of Zartha, a source of great power that could destroy the entire Earth if it doesn’t leave the planet soon.”
The story in this film is a decent one full of interesting mythology when it comes to the M.I.B.’s history and development of Agent K’s history with this organization, however it is definitely a step down from the last outing. While the stakes are higher and the danger is at the forefront of the film, it just felt like the quality in the storytelling got weaker. Jokes weren’t as funny, the story felt a little muddled and a lot of the time the film felt like a rehash of the last one except with some role reversal stuff for Agents K and J and some slightly different dangerous circumstances for Earth’s destruction. Oh and the film just has a very silly and wacky nature about it that takes away from some of the more serious and dramatic elements. That being said I still found this story to be quite charming, funny and there are some wonderful emotional moments sprinkled throughout the film that make the relationships between some of the characters really special.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K/Kevin Brown is great. It is interesting to see K having a normal life and adjusting to this former life he used to know, but it is also great to see him get back into his MIB groove and be the same humorless, grumpy and witty man we know him as, and Jones is lovely. Will Smith returns to great effect as Agent J/James Darrell Edwards III, this film is definitely more of the Agent J show with him becoming more seasoned as an Agent and having to show K everything that he used to know. While it does feel like Smith is just going a bit overboard with his material, overall he’s still really funny and awesome. Even though some of the humour doesn’t always work, for the most part Jones and Smith are just as good together as they were before, their banter and overall chemistry make this film work.Lara Flynn Boyle as Serleena, damn. I know this is a generic guy thing to say, but Serleena is frigging hot yo, but it also helps that she’s confident, aggressive and cheeky. Johnny Knoxville as Scrad & Charlie, erm, I wasn’t too keen on them. While there are a few moments where I chuckled, ultimately these two were just weird, annoying and their presence was just distracting and unnecessary. Rip Torn returns as Chief Zed and he was just as fun as he was before with some great dialogue and more screen time.
Rosario Dawson is lovely as Laura Vasquez, Laura is the sweet and innocent lady who just happens to be at the of the crisis and she has some really good moments with Agents J and K. Dawson, is such a pretty lady and it also helps that performance is the right balance of sweet, sad and funny too. Tim Blaney as Frank the Pug is lovely, it is interesting to see this character get more screen time and moments in the spotlight, Blaney’s voice work for Frank is great as he’s so talkative, strange and funny. Patrick Warburton as Agent T is awesome, the dude is a dumb as bricks but is so funny that you can’t help but love him. Warburton is one of those actors you just can’t dislike and he does a good job in this film. Tony Shalhoub is once again pretty great as Jack Jeebs , he has some really good moments in this film and seeing David Cross return as Newton is great as he provides some good moments of humour in the film. Oh and the cameo from Michael Jackson as Agent M, frigging awesome, it is so random and odd but so jokes at the same time.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is really good, the practical effects for the aliens still look really detailed and fancy, and the use of CGI for all of the fancy-looking aliens and big action set pieces are great, though I feel like there was an over abundance of CGI here and it made the film feel a little less realistic. But I have to give a shout out to the visual effects people from crafting all of those crazy alien designs. As for the soundtrack, Danny Elfman returns and does such a brilliant job crafting a score that is just as fun, sassy and full of style and charm. Elfman retains all of the themes from the last film but creates some new ones and somehow finds a way to make the music even more energetic and upbeat.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Like I stated in the MIB1 review I’ve never read any of the original comics so I unfortunately can’t comment on it at this point in time.
So to conclude Men In Black 2 is still a decent film, it has a serviceable story, great performances again from Smith and Jones and has some pretty sweet action sequences. That being said it definitely felt like a disappointing follow-up the 90’s classic with not so funny jokes, a lot of CGI and not so interesting story. I don’t like this film as much as I used to but it’s not a total waste.
That’s 6 reviews done, only 24 more to go. So have you seen Men In Black 2 and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!