Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones star in the box-office smash. (Sony/Columbia)
If you want something fresh, don't go see "Men in Black II." It's the same as the original. But if you want to laugh out loud, go see it. It's funny.
"Men in Black II" is nothing more than a retread of the first movie. Agent Jay (Will Smith) opens the film chasing down an alien. The scene has special effects and some street humor. With that, the story begins.
The story, such as it is, concerns the return to earth of an alien named Serleena in search of a cosmic light. She is aided by an alien named Scrad who proves that two heads are not necessarily better than one.
The only person who can aid Agent Jay in the fight against Serleena is Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones). The problem is that Kay's memory was erased at the end of the last movie, and he's now working at a post office in Cape Cod. Jay has to bring Kay back to MIB—the unofficial government agency that regulates aliens living on Earth—and restore his memory to help save the planet.
Along the way, a talking pug and some worm-like creatures steal the show. There's even a cameo or two.
Smith and Jones do the same job they did in the first movie: Smith plays street-wise and Jones plays world-weary. And since saving the earth has to clock in at about an hour and a half, there's no time for real depth of issue or character.
In the end, "Men in Black II" is not serious stuff. It will win no acting, writing or directing Oscars. It may win for best make-up, which reflects the genius of Rick Baker.
It's just a fun summer movie in the tradition of "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters." There are wonderful moments of hilarity, and they do nothing to add to the national awareness of any issue.
It's just funny.
Mike Parnell is pastor of Burgaw Baptist Church in Burgaw, N.C.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some provocative humor
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writers: Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro
Cast: Kay: Tommy Lee Jones; Jay: Will Smith; Zed: Rip Torn; Serleena: Lara Flynn Boyle; Scrad/Charlie: Johnny Knoxville; Laura Vasquez: Rosario Dawson; Jeebs: Tony Shalhoub