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Tuesday, August 20, 2002

"Men In Black 2" is just plain wrong, folks.

I'm sorry to say it, believe me, because the first film in this series was a tasty treat, with delicious servings of knowingly geeksome SF fun to spare. Somewhat regrettably, the sequel takes everything that was fun about the first movie, blithely rejects it and inexplicably replaces the 1997 original's wit, verve and deadpan jocularity with jokes which fall consistantly flat, special effects which look suspiciously like they were created by Lance the Work Experience Kid on his lunch break, and performances which suggest that all concerned were mostly bothered about the swift processing of their grossly-overinflated paycheques.

(The best thing about going to see "Men In Black 2"? Viewing it in the presence of my super-genius girlfriend, the lovely and amazing K., who figured out every plot twist twenty minutes in advance of the characters on screen, did her best not to groan at the incompetance so brazenly displayed on screen, and generally summed up every terrible thing about this flick in a far more concise and cutting way than this review ever could...)

Will Smith is adequate, but hardly exciting, as Agent J., self-consciously eschewing the hip-hop-inspired irreverance of his cocky young partner in the first film, for an ostensibly mature and world-weary characterisation in this sequel - His love life is non-existant, thanks to his being an Above Top Secret, Below The Radar Tool of The Shadow Government and having to neuralyse potential better halves whenever they ask him how his day at the office was. Also? He's going through MIB partners like the hero of a cliched cop flick (Wait a minute, that sounds familiar....). There's not much joy to be derived from his work in this film - The trailer exchange about J. representing "New Hotness" to Tommy Lee Jones' craggy experience comes across as particularly hollow, this time around.

Tommy Lee Jones seems to be more or less phoning it in for the money as Agent K., and villains of the piece, Lara Flynn Boyle and Jackass Elect, Johnny Knoxville barely register, so it's left to "Josie and the Pussycats" alumnus, the charmingly toothsome and wide-eyed Rosario Dawson, to inject some much needed life into the flick - Were there any actual scenes worth stealing, she'd have little trouble making off with them.

As for director Barry Sonnenfeld, one can only assume that his role on this film was similar to that of Gus Van Sant's, during his cameo in Kevin Smith's "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back". He should know better, although given that he's just made "Wild Wild West", "Big Trouble" and this in swift succession, he might not be quite as smart a helmsman as I believe him to be.

I'll pass on the seemingly inevitable "MIB3", if it's all the same to you.....


You are 32% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.


You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!


Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!


You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com



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