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Men in Black II

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Men in Black II
Men In Black II Poster.jpg
Genre: Sci-Fi
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld
Produced By: Walter F. Parkes
Laurie MacDonald
Written By: Robert Gordon
Barry Fanaro
Based On: The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones
Will Smith
Lara Flynn Boyle
Johnny Knoxville
Rosario Dawson
Tony Shalhoub
Rip Torn
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Greg Gardiner
Distributed By: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Date: July 3, 2002
Runtime: 88 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $140 million
Box Office: $441.8 million
Franchise: Men in Black
Prequel: Men in Black
Sequel: Men in Black 3

Men in Black II (stylized on promotional materials as MIIB) is a 2002 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and written by Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro. It is the second film in the original trilogy and a sequel to Men in Black, which was loosely based on the Malibu/Marvel comic book series of the same name by Lowell Cunningham. It was theatrically released worldwide on July 3, 2002, by Sony Pictures Releasing, under its Columbia Pictures label.

Bad Qualities

  1. One of the main problems of this film is that it is a rehash of the original film with many of the plot elements recycled and lacking much of the spirit of the original film as well as the originality.
    • Mankind is threatened by an alien who are looking for something that will help them conquer and plan to destroy Earth. Here, Serleena is looking for the Light of Zahra so she can use to destroy the world.
    • An senior agent mentors a new recruit who will later be his/her partner. In the first film, Agent K mentors Agent J, who was James Edwards III, as his new partner while in the second film, it is the other way around. Though Agent J is trying to recruit Agent K, now known as Kevin Brown, back into the organization because they need him to help save the world.
  2. Serleena makes a rather weak, somewhat generic, bland and forgettable main villain of the second film as Edgar the Bug and Boris the Animal make really interesting and entertaining villains respectively in the first and the third film. As explained in BQ#1, her goals that involve the destruction of Earth are just as very similar to that of Edgar the Bug.
  3. Agent L / Laurel Weaver, J's official new partner from the ending of the first film who is well liked, is completely absent and written out of the film with a reason why behind it during the scene where Zed obligates J to have a partner after he neuralized his replacement partners. In addition, Laura Vasquez was written in the second film to take her place as J's love interest.
  4. With the exception of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith along with the others who reprised their roles, there is some bland acting from Lara Flynn Boyle who gives a rather bland performance as Serleena in relation to BQ#2 above where she speaks in dull monotone. Also, Rosario Dawson gives a bit of a bland performance as Laura Vasquez.
  5. Almost every joke in the film are mostly generic and bland at times. There is some toilet humor added in there which includes the infamous flush scene where K and J escape the MIB headquarters via the flush when it is taken over by Serleena.
  6. The story can get confusing at times as a result of the script suffering from many of the abysmal writing since it rehashed many of the first film's elements as explained in BQ#1, and it has no sense of pacing since parts of the story can get predictable.
  7. There are several product placements in the film, e.g. Burger King.
  8. Not great direction by Barry Sonnenfeld, considering that his direction in the first film was well-received.

Good Qualities

  1. The actors who reprise their roles did a great job. Even Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith manage to pull off their great performances respectively as Agent K and Agent J.
  2. Just like the previous film, the music score by Danny Elfman is remarkably awesome.
  3. Frank the Pug gets more screen time here than in the first film and plays a more supporting role in assisting the two main characters to save the world from Serleena's wrath.
  4. The CGI effects for the aliens is very impressive and superb, just like the previous film.
  5. It has a very nice cameo of Michael Jackson trying to get in the MIB organization as Agent M.
  6. There are many funny moments, like in the scene when Agent J beatboxes with Biz Markie in the mailroom to get everyone to reveal themselves as aliens to Kevin.
  7. Despite rehashing many of the first film's elements, it does pay clever and subtle call-backs to it, such as J telling K "The last suit you'll ever wear... again."


Men in Black II received mixed to negative reviews from critics and audiences who criticized the film's rehashed story elements, but the visual effects and the acting performances were praised. On Rotten Tomatoes, Men in Black II has an approval rating of 39% based on 197 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10 and the website's critical consensus reads, "Lacking the freshness of the first movie, MIB 2 recycles elements from its predecessor with mixed results. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on reviews from 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". It also received a "B+" from audiences polled by CinemaScore on a scale of A+ to F.


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