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Published on June 1st, 2008 | by simeon


Men In Black II

With the big 4th of July weekend upon us, Hollywood execs are licking their lips over the expected box office that is usually generated over the holiday weekend. Aside from Memorial Day, the 4th is often one of the biggest weekends of the summer, and films are positioned to take full advantage of this. With the big Summer hits such as “Spider-Man” and “Attack of the Clones” having already amassed the bulk of their box office, the 4th offers a fantastic platform for a studio to launch a big-budgeted film on a public that is eager for the next big summer spectacle.

This summer, audiences are given the further adventures of J. (Will Smith), and K. (Tommy Lee Jones), who are better known as the Men in Black. With a box office of over 200 million the last time out, it was only a matter of time and money before the studio convinced the stars and director Barry Sonnefeld to slip on the dark suits and Ray Ban sunglasses and battle the scum of the universe once again.

When the film opens, a evil alien named Sarleena (Larra Flynn Boyle), has come to earth to possess an object known as the Light of Zartha which will give her ultimate power and if not found in time, destroy the earth as well. Since Sarleena is a parasite, she disguises herself as a lingerie model in order to better accomplish her plans. As Sarleena is getting started on her mission, J is busy breaking in a new partner T. (Patrick Warburton), who is a little too emotional for his work. A giant worm ride and some mind zapping later, J. is starting to realize how much he misses his mentor K. and that the life of an MIB agent is often one of loneliness and anonymity.

Following a murder of a local alien by Sarleena, J. is tasked by his boss Zed (Rip Torn), to locate agent K. and restore his memory, as only K. possesses the knowledge to save the earth. Naturally K. has no knowledge of his life as the top MIB agent, as he had his memory wiped at the end of the last film. Instead K, now goes by Kevin and is in charge of a post office in a small Massachusetts town. K. is highly skeptical of J. and his promise to fill in his missing memories, but agrees to come along.

The investigation that follows is at times funny, but ultimately flat and lifeless, as the two stars seem to be struggling to do their best with an uninspired script that is more of a collection of segments than a story. Imagine as if someone decided to take a collection of skits and make a movie from it and you will get an idea of how “M.I.B. II” plays out. There are some funny moments in the film, but sadly the film’s trailer has spoiled all the best lines, and many scenes lack the setup that is needed to push the film over the top. The audience in general does not care about the Light of Zartha as there is little that is explained about it other than bad things will happen if it is not found and taken from the earth. The climax of the film was rather dull and uneventful as are sadly many of the films special effects, as they register more a sense of been there, seen that for the audience. I ‘d liked to think that somewhere on the editing room floor are the missing scenes that complete this film, but as it stands now, “M.I.B. II” is an at times funny, but mostly forgettable popcorn flick that is more style than substance and pales when compared to the original.

2.5 stars out of 5

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