Men In Black II
***.4 BM
Starring: The Fresh Prince, Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Rosario Dawson, Rip Torn, Johnny Knoxville, Patrick Warburton, David Cross, The Diabolical Biz Markie

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The first Men In Black film left me rather flat at first, since it seemed way too short and relatively anti-climactic, and the 'danger' never felt real, and therefore it was nothing more than a smart-alecky goofy fun movie. This time, I was EXPECTING this, so it was much more enjoyable.

The Fresh Prince is Agent J again. In the five years since the last movie, he's become a hardass and a bit of a prick, since he's suddenly realized that not being able to have any personal relationships means he doesn't get any "poo-nannie." You might've wanted to ponder that before you signed up, Fresh. He unalso has a habit of neuralyzing his partners, which is used to explain the absence of Linda Fiorentino in this movie, but it's also unfortunately used to write Patrick Warburton out of the film way too early. Then a case shows up where they have to go pull Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) out of retirement. Conveniently, his wife left him, so he has no reason NOT to be in the MIB anymore, unless he'd rather keep that cockroach-gullet-gun-seeking memory out of his brain. In my case, I'd pick working in a post office with The Diabolical Biz Markie over alien-chasing anyday. I really like the idea of beat-boxing as an alien language, and I've got that "ppttt-ananga-pttt-ananga" rhythm thing that The Fresh Prince speaks to the Biz with still resonating in my cranium. But anyway, K comes back, they save the world from a tarted-up Lara Flynn Boyle alien, ka-zaam.

This is some goofy fun, and what it lacks in funny zippy ranting Tommy Lee Jones quips ending in "slick," "ace" or "champ" it makes up for in better use of David Cross and talking pug. It should just be a one-note dumb joke, but talking pug never stops being funny. Especially talking pug with a cigar. I would have loved for the Biz to have a bigger part, though. I'm wondering, though if I'm too much of a movie geek now, because not only did I recognize director Barry Sonnenfeld in his bit part, but I also noticed the back of respected make-up artist Rick Baker's head in one sequence. Eek.

Will Smith is in his likable smooth mode, which makes one curious as to why he chose to effect a "hardass" style in his new requisite MIB "hit single." A couple of things about this new song, Prince. Number one - the generic guitar crank you've got backing you on this song is not gonna cut it, because the last song was only a hit because you took a catchy tune and inserted lyrics about aliens to make it work. There's nothing catchy about this new thing. Number two - You're never going to make "Nod Your Head" sound cool or badassed, no matter what tough-guy voice you use. That's like having a song called "Scratch Your Nose! Let me see you Squint Your Eyes like this!" Number three - you shouldn't be using a tough-guy voice at all, because the Fresh Prince works best as a laid-back Jiggy Wit It easy-flowing groovester. Yes, "Boom! Shake The Room!" might've been big in Spain or something (heck, I even kinda liked it), but the Fuh-Fuh-Fuh Fresh Puh-Puh-Prince is who you are, and I wibbida-want you to tibbeda-tibbeda-tell me what's up without you trying too hard to "rock" me.

Word up.


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