Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Men in Black II

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Some vulgar humor
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Comic book-style peril, sometimes intense, scary creatures
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters are strong, brave, and smart
Movie Release Date:2002

The original Men in Black (1997) is one of my all-time favorite movies, just for originality and sheer attitude. Director Barry Sonnenfeld, production designer Bo Welch, and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, and Vincent D’Onofrio achieved near perfection with a tone that was just off-center and the essence of cool. The story and special effects were perfectly satisfying, but the movie was all about throwaway lines like “Now I’m going to have to buy the white album again” and “We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here.” I highly recommend the DVD, which has one of the best packages of extras I have ever seen, especially the commentary from Jones and Sonnenfeld.

The sequel has flickers of the original spirit, but it is like a fifth generation photocopy, a blurry reproduction rather than a re-imagined original.

Sonnenfeld, Welch, Jones, and Smith return, along with MiB1’s Rip Torn and Tony Shaloub, but the movie squanders our pleasure at seeing favorite characters return and then makes things worse when the additions and new characters are not up to their level. Worst of all, the underlying story line is lackluster, with plot holes and a brief running time that suggest that we may get a lot of deleted scenes on the DVD.

At the end of MiB1, agent J (Smith) erases the memories of his partner, K (Jones), so that he can return to a normal life. But as MiB2 begins, a scary-looking alien (disguised, of course, as a Victoria’s Secret model and played by Lara Flynn Boyle) returns to earth and only K knows how to deal with her. J has to track K down (he works for a post office in Massachusetts), un-erase his memory, and work with him to save the planet from the scum of the universe.

Along the way, they meet up with a variety of characters, both alien (a subway-swallowing serpentish thing named Jeff and the cutest little furry guys since Dr. Seuss) and human (the very lovely Rosario Dawson). The talking dog and smart-alecky worm guys from MiB1 are back with more screen time as well.

Parents should know that the PG-13 rating is for intense peril, graphic violence (comic-book-style), some gross-out special effects, and some vulgar humor, including a sight gag about kneeing an alien’s most vulnerable spot. Some viewers will find the resolution of the story unsettling.

Families who see this movie should talk about what they think creatures from other planets might be like, and why the way we think about them tells us more about us than it does about them. Why doesn’t J want to erase Rita’s memory? Why is it important to find someone you can tell your real feelings to?

Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy the original and director Sonnenfeld’s Addams Family Values.



  • Mary Miller

    Do you have a review and suggested audience for the original Men In Black?
    Thanks…love your site for checking out the appropriateness (if there is such a word) of movies for my 8, 10 and 12 year olds!

Previous Posts

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor"
Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, "Mentor," the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival th

posted 3:56:57pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"] The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity

posted 1:23:59pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: "Avatar" Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in "23 Blast"
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in "Avatar." But in "23 Blast," based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a good guy, the coach who encouraged and supported him. I talked to Lang about actin

posted 5:56:30am Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Filmed as though it was almost entirely one long, stunning, audacious, breathless and breathtaking shot, "Birdman" (subtitled "The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance") explodes with ideas and visions, adopting the language of dreams to explore and upend the very idea of storytelling. Michael Keaton p

posted 5:59:46pm Oct. 23, 2014 | read full post »

John Wick
This is a movie directed by two stunt men, which means it is pretty much a first-person shooter video game projected onto a movie screen. But that also means that it is directed by people wh

posted 5:44:02pm Oct. 23, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.