tek's rating:

Men in Black II (PG-13)
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I assume if you're reading this, you've already at least seen Men in Black. So it won't count as a spoiler to say that at the end of that movie, K tells J that he hasn't been training him as a new partner, but a replacement for himself. K retires, and J has to neuralyze him. In the next scene, we see that Dr. Weaver (L) becomes J's new partner. Which seemed quite fitting, and she continues to work at MIB in the animated series, but not in the sequel. Early in this movie, J's partner is T (played by Patrick Warburton), but he's clearly not cut out for the job, so J neuralyzes him. It's pretty clear also that J has become the top agent, in the five years since K retired. Everyone at MIB seems to sort of fear and respect him, and he's obviously learned a lot in those years. Also, it seems as if he's neuralyzed a bunch of partners over the years, though it's not clear how many... the only ones we know of for sure are L and now T. So J's new partner will be... Frank the Pug. (At least for a little while.)

But the movie actually starts with a cheesy "Unsolved Mysteries" type of show (but for alien conspiracy nuts), hosted by Peter Graves. A clip introduces something that supposedly happened 25 years ago, and of course it turns out to more or less be true. There was this alien queen named Serleena, who wanted to obtain something called the "Light of Zartha." Some other aliens wanted MIB to protect the Light, but they refused, because of regulations or whatever. So Zed ordered the Light to be sent offworld, and Serleena has spent the last 25 years looking for it, throughout the universe. But now she returns to Earth, having received a message from some jackass who worked for her, saying he'd found it on Earth. She takes on a human form (which we like), and she and her idiot underling work on tracking the Light down (he'd actually exaggerated about having found it; he just knew someone who knew where it was).

And she ends up killing that someone. But there's a witness, a woman named Laura Vasquez (who we like). J talks to her, and decides not to neuralyze her. Because he likes her. Later, Zed tells J that K was the agent who was ordered to send the Light away. Which means he's the only one who knows what really happened... except that he doesn't, because like I said, he'd been neuralyzed at the end of the first movie. So now he was working in a post office (it was cool to see K having his same old personality, in spite of not remembering the last 30 years or so; particularly seeing how that kind of personality fit a postal worker). J went to bring him back to MIB and have him deneuralyzed, but then Serleena and her stooge show up and take the place over. So J finds another way to get K's memory back... but it still doesn't... completely come back. I'm not sure it really made sense, but I'll chalk it up to the subpar method used to retrieve his memory (there's another explanation in the movie, but I find it less believable than... what I'm sayin'). Still, K immediately resumes the driver's seat in his relationship with J (both literally and figuratively), and J reverts back to a rookie mentality, in spite of trying to hold onto his current top dog status.

I don't want to say any more about the plot. But I will say that both the story and the humor of this movie are inferior to that of the first movie. And that this movie definitely seemed to be predominantly a comedy, whereas the original was a more equal mix of comedy and sci-fi/action drama. And I kind of feel like certain aspects of this story detract from the drama of the first movie. I suppose I should also mention that Frank, Jeebs, and the worms all had slightly bigger roles this time than they did in the first movie, especially Frank. Anyway... there were definitely some good moments. Some genuinely good humor, as well as some just plain dumb humor. It was a decent movie, even if a bit disappointing, given the dropoff in quality from the original. But yeah, definitely decent.


science fiction index

MIB * The Series * Men in Black II * MIB 3