Men in Black 2

posted Jul 03, 2002

Review: Men in Black II is more of the same of Men in Black I. It's not quite as good, mostly because all the stuff that was secret in the first movie isn't secret anymore. If you liked the first one, you should find the second one enjoyable.

update: Warning, I'm about to go meta. MiB2 is not as good a movie as MiB1 was. As my wife says, MiB2 was a story wrapped around a series of jokes, where MiB1 was a series of jokes wrapped around a story. As any film critic will tell you, all else being equal the latter is preferable.

But in the end, MiB2 is the movie I'd rather watch again. Much of the fun of MiB is discovering what MiB is, what cool toys they have, what's going on with the Galaxy, etc. By the time all the explanation and build-up is done, very little time is left over for "the story". In fact, look closely, and there's about the same amount of story in both movies. MiB2 doesn't have to explain what MiB is, or coerce Will J into joining, or do a number of other things which all boil down to slowly raising the curtain. As a result MiB2 has a lot more time to do other things, including several scenes with Frank in which he nearly steals the show.

I've noticed a trend in my reactions to movies over the last couple of years; I'm starting to enjoy longer movies, sequels, or miniseries because they have more time to spend on guts; they don't have to spend 50%+ of the movie just laying a foundation. I enjoy the Dune miniseries put on by the Sci-Fi channel; 4 hours, if you try to watch it straight. Harry Potter was a good length, perhaps even short for my tastes. And then there's Lord of the Rings, which if you can wait until Nov. is supposed to come out in an extended (original?) cut of 3 hours, forty minutes, which multiplied by 3 is 11 hours to watch the whole book. Sounds like fun to me.

I wonder how many people feel the same way I do?

(So there, a proper review, wherein the limited original target of the review is deftly transformed into a mere hook for a proper explication of some obscure philosophical pet idea of the author's. Somebody hire me to write for them. My transformation into a writer is nearly complete...)


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