Men in Black II


Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld
Star: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville

Yes, this is a cynical cash-in, inspired entirely by greed. And you expected perhaps...? Yet, while plot and characters are largely recycled, it's done with enough style and invention to make me forgive such mercenary cynicism - though I confess the fabulous CGI short which preceded this in the cinema, The Chubb Chubbs, had me grinning broadly before the main feature even started. Smith and Jones return as agents J + K, once more protecting the Earth from the scum of the universe (Boyle and Knoxville), who are after some widget or other left here three decades ago. Only K knows its whereabouts, which is unfortunate, since he has had his memory wiped and is working in a rural post office. Despite some surprisingly variable effects - Boyle's tentacles and Knoxville's second head are particularly unconvincing (actually, Knoxville's first head isn't much better) - there are moments of brilliance, such as an entire civilization living in a left-luggage locker, worshipping anyone who opens the door. This, and the pop-culture jabs, are highly effective, and the Smith/Jones chemistry is as reliable as ever - the latter manages a surprisingly poignant moment at the end. Even if the product placement is unsubtle (Sprint and Burger King in particular - though the Ebay nod made me laugh), the hardware on view has clearly been the object of much loving creation and you've gotta laugh at a pug singing I Will Survive. Or maybe that's just me...

B-


Cool. VERY cool
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