Men in Black II
This eagerly awaited sequel to the 1997 blockbuster takes up where the first film left off. It’s been five years since Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) retired and had his memory erased by Agent Jay (Will Smith). But an old threat has returned to Earth in the form of the powerful Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle), an evil Kylothian looking for the Light of Zartha. Zed (Rip Torn), head of MIB operations, sends Jay to bring Kay back into service from his retirement as Postmaster in Truro, Massachusetts. Because only Kay knows where to find the clues that lead to the Light, if his memory can be restored. But Serleena takes over MIB headquarters and the countdown to Earth’s destruction can only be stopped by finding the Light, and keeping Serleena in the dark. Audiences will once again enjoy the humorous roller coaster of an adventure in alien encounters from, as one clue puts it, “the secret files of an agency that doesn’t exist.”
Although some of the encounters are more violent than others, most of the violence is almost slapstick as alien heads grow back after being splattered by futuristic weapons, or bisected bodies rejoin. Remarkably, the foul language, which made the original largely unacceptable, has been greatly toned down. Only a couple of mild obscenities are heard, but numerous crude terms are used. Boyle shows off some “miracle” curves as a lingerie model before revealing her evil self, but most of the crude, sexually suggestive remarks are left to Frank, an alien that looks like a pug dog. (Reviewer’s note: Men in black suits who see things the rest of the world misses, and save the world by finding the Light seems strangely allegorical.) Despite the improved vocabulary, “Men in Black II” still features frequent violence in a humorous manner with too much crude and suggestive material for the expected younger audience. We can approve this film for older kids and have given the film a 12+ rating.