Men in Black II Preview

Jamie, Patrick, and LePumice lounge poolside in Vegas. Just one stop on the tour couldn’t do any harm. Besides, LePumice brought his time machine along disguised as a vintage 2003 PT Cruiser, so they can jet at a moment’s notice back to the present. “Suns out, sipping drinks with the bros, our PT Cruiser is looking sweet (duh). Cheers!” Jamie says, luxuriating. Nothing could spoil this day, for sure. Suddenly, Mikey Myers (of Mikey Mike and the Mikey Mikes fame) comes hurrying over. “Vegas, we have a problem,” he says and they all laugh because that’s his catchphrase. But this time he’s serious. “I… uh… just came from the gift shop. Not to freak anyone out, but… uh… I was there.” They laugh again. Silly Mikey, of course he was there because he just said… Patrick shoots up looking startled. “Shit, shit,” Jamie says, picking up the vibe. Future Mikey Myers has found them and is ready to settle the score. Mikey Myers starts to leave with them, but Jamie and Patrick stop him. With hands on his shoulders they tell him how proud they are. By the end of the beautiful speech tears are streaming down all their faces. “We obviously want you to help us, Mikey, but you have a gift.” They turn away ashamed, knowing deep down that selfishly they don’t want Mikey to come because this tour is the key to their Bad Movie Twins empire. LePumice taps his watch, indicating that it’s time to get their PT Cruise on, but as they head away from the pool they stop short at the sight of Future Mikey, dressed in the standard issue black suit of the time cops. They turn back and are aghast at the sight of another Future Mikey. “What thuuuuu…” Jamie says dumbly. That’s right! We’re going classic with Men in Black II. Hard to remember that this film was a critical failure at the time, but it did qualify. Good enough for us and our neverending Chain Reaction which takes us from Walking Tall to Men in Black II through Johnny Knoxville. Let’s go!

Men in Black II (2002) – BMeTric: 31.1; Notability: 129

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 22.4%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 35.3%; Higher BMeT: Crossroads, Rollerball, Halloween: Resurrection, The Master of Disguise, Feardotcom, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Boat Trip, Half Past Dead, The Sweetest Thing, Derailed, Scooby-Doo, Queen of the Damned, Swimfan, Maid in Manhattan, They, Full Frontal, The Truth About Charlie, Snow Dogs, The Tuxedo, and 36 more; Lower RT: Killing Me Softly, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Derailed, Hansel & Gretel, State Property, Ritual, Try Seventeen, Hard Cash, The Master of Disguise, Deuces Wild, Feardotcom, Half Past Dead, Rollerball, Darkness, Serving Sara, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, New Best Friend, Boat Trip, The New Guy, Dragonfly, and 64 more; Notes: Notability off the damn chart! See this is what I’m talking about. A 100+ Notability BMT qualifier? They literally barely exist!

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Some sequels continue a story. Others repeat it. ”Men in Black II” creates a new threat for the MIB, but recycles the same premise, which is that mankind can defeat an alien invasion by assigning agents in Ray-Bans to shoot them into goo. This is a movie that fans of the original might enjoy in a diluted sort of way, but there is no need for it–except, of course, to take another haul at the box office, where the 1997 movie grossed nearly $600 million.

(Yeah, I do kind of remember the film was just kind of the same except with J and K just swapped since K lost his memory at the end of the first film. So that makes a lot of sense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4NJHqoojOU/

(Yeah … odd trailer. You don’t see any of the actual bad guys from the movie. One good thing is they don’t spoil the big joke of the movie, so that’s nice. Still, how many aliens did you see in that trailer? Just the worms basically. Weird choice.)

DirectorsBarry Sonnenfeld – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; The Addams Family; Get Shorty; Addams Family Values; Big Trouble; Future BMT: RV; For Love or Money; BMT: Wild Wild West; Men in Black II; Nine Lives; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Won an Emmy for Pushing Daisies. He is directing television, specifically episodes of Schmigadoon! for which he is also a producer.)

WritersLowell Cunningham – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; Future BMT: Men in Black: International; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: Writer of the original comics which was published by Aircel Comics (which was later bought out by Malibu Comics which in turn was also bought out by Marvel Comics). There were, amazingly, only six issues ever published.)

Robert Gordon – ( Known For: Galaxy Quest; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Addicted to Love; Future BMT: Wonder Park; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: He is tapped to write the upcoming Galaxy Quest TV movie … sequel? Remake? Hard to tell.)

Barry Fanaro – ( Known For: Kingpin; Future BMT: The Crew; BMT: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Men in Black II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry in 2008; Notes: Was the executive producer and writer on The Golden Girls for its first four seasons for which he won four Emmys. He has apparently written five movies since 2009 which have been options, none of which, evidently, have ultimately been produced.)

ActorsTommy Lee Jones – ( Known For: No Country for Old Men; Captain America: The First Avenger; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Ad Astra; Jason Bourne; Lincoln; Men in Black 3; Natural Born Killers; JFK; Love Story; Small Soldiers; Under Siege; The Comeback Trail; Space Cowboys; Wander; In the Electric Mist; The Client; Volcano; The Homesman; Future BMT: U.S. Marshals; Criminal; Double Jeopardy; The Family; Blown Away; The Hunted; Man of the House; Rules of Engagement; Just Getting Started; Nate and Hayes; BMT: Batman Forever; Men in Black II; Mechanic: Resurrection; Fire Birds; Notes: Went to Harvard where he was roommates with Al Gore and was part of the undefeated 1968 football team.)

Will Smith – ( Known For: King Richard; Independence Day; Men in Black; Bad Boys for Life; I Am Legend; Enemy of the State; Aladdin; The Pursuit of Happyness; Ali; Bad Boys; Focus; Hancock; Men in Black 3; Bright; I, Robot; Hitch; Six Degrees of Separation; Concussion; Spies in Disguise; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Gemini Man; Shark Tale; Bad Boys II; Seven Pounds; Collateral Beauty; Made in America; BMT: Wild Wild West; After Earth; Men in Black II; Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Original Song for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … well, you know Will Smith, Oscar Winner for King Richard. He somewhat notably (I’m not sure you would have heard this) was suspended from the Academy for slapping Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. Little known fact.)

Rip Torn – ( Known For: Men in Black; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Hercules; Men in Black 3; Marie Antoinette; The Insider; Bee Movie; The Beastmaster; Wonder Boys; The Man Who Fell to Earth; The Legend of Awesomest Maximus; King of Kings; Airplane II: The Sequel; Coma; Defending Your Life; Sweet Bird of Youth; How to Make an American Quilt; A Face in the Crowd; Canadian Bacon; Extreme Prejudice; Future BMT: Zoom; Down Periscope; Summer Rental; Senseless; City Heat; BMT: Men in Black II; Yours, Mine & Ours; Freddy Got Fingered; RoboCop 3; Welcome to Mooseport; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Freddy Got Fingered in 2002; Notes: Died in 2019. Somewhat sadly/amusingly he was arrested for robbing a bank, but in reality he was drunk and, since his residence was in the same building, he broke in merely thinking it was where he lived.)

Budget/Gross – $140,000,000 / Domestic: $193,735,288 (Worldwide: $445,135,288)

(Yeah maybe not what you want domestically after the first made about $50 million more and overall the first made over $100 million more. Still a decent blockbuster though. I imagine TLJ was the big sticking point since they eventually wrote him out of the series.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (76/197): Lacking the freshness of the first movie, MIB 2 recycles elements from its predecessor with mixed results.

(Yeah, there it is. Still a bit stunning at the drop from the prior installment. I just watched the original, it ain’t that good. And I imagine MIB II isn’t thaaaaaat much worse.)

Reviewer Highlight: After five years, the chemistry has curdled. – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Poster – The Notorious MIB

(I like the stark black and white. Funny they brought back the weird egg chairs from the first one for this poster. It is certainly a distinctive scene, but not notable and I don’t think they ever show up again. Good font. Good poster. A-.)

Tagline(s) – Back in Black. (C-)

(I can’t be too hard on it. It’s short and honestly that’s where my mind would go too. Hard to shake the similarity between the words Black and Back and so I would be stuck making something like this too. Still, just not very good.)

Keyword(s) – alien

Top 10: Dune (2021), Eternals (2021), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Don’t Look Up (2021), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (2016), The Suicide Squad (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Future BMT: 80.6 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 71.5 Supergirl (1984), 66.3 Max Steel (2016), 65.4 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 63.4 Meet Dave (2008), 61.1 Space Chimps (2008), 59.0 Suburban Commando (1991), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011), 55.8 The Stupids (1996), 54.5 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)

BMT: The 5th Wave (2016), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Battleship (2012), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Pixels (2015), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Predator (2018), Species (1995), After Earth (2013), Men in Black II (2002), I Am Number Four (2011), Howard the Duck (1986), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Lost in Space (1998), Dragonball Evolution (2009), Battle Los Angeles (2011), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Masters of the Universe (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Mac and Me (1988), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), Battlefield Earth (2000), Ghosts of Mars (2001), The Host (2013), Doom (2005), Dreamcatcher (2003), Skyline (2010), The Darkest Hour (2011), The Space Between Us (2017), Species II (1998), Alone in the Dark (2005), Virus (1999), Critters 2 (1988), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Escape from Planet Earth (2012), Wing Commander (1999), Meatballs Part II (1984)

Matches: Eternals (2021), The Fifth Element (1997), Venom (2018), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Man of Steel (2013), The Avengers (2012), Starship Troopers (1997), Captain Marvel (2019), Aliens (1986), Arrival (2016), Annihilation (2018), The Tomorrow War (2021), Transformers (2007), Independence Day (1996), A Quiet Place Part II (2020), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The 5th Wave (2016), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Cosmic Sin (2021), Green Lantern (2011), Oblivion (2013), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Thing (1982), War of the Worlds (2005), Mars Attacks! (1996), They Live (1988), Ender’s Game (2013), Men in Black: International (2019), The Faculty (1998), Galaxy Quest (1999), Megamind (2010), Power Rangers (2017), Men in Black 3 (2012), Krull (1983), Pixels (2015), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), The Watch (2012), Alien 3 (1992), Paul (2011), Riddick (2013), Lilo & Stitch (2002), We Can Be Heroes (2020), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Species (1995), Slither (2006), Men in Black II (2002), The Abyss (1989), Treasure Planet (2002), Alien: Resurrection (1997), I Am Number Four (2011), Predators (2010), Cocoon (1985), … (an many more)

(So many alien films. And I suppose amusingly since we did What Happens in Vegas last week that first movie in the Future BMT section (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas) also technically takes place in Vegas! The alien is the Great Gazoo, obviously the thing you want to bring to the Flintstones movie franchise is the huge mistake they introduced in like season 7 right before they got canceled. That makes sense.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tommy Lee Jones is No. 2 billed in Men in Black II and No. 3 billed in Mechanic: Resurrection, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The original pug from Men in Black (1997) was used to play Frank again, but since the pug was now seven years old, they used makeup to hide the gray fur around its nose.

J’s line on the “driver airbag” (“Actually it came with a black dude, but he kept getting pulled over.”) was improvised by Will Smith. The producers liked it so much it even made the theatrical trailer.

Famke Janssen was originally cast as Serleena, and even completed some of the filming, but was forced to drop out of the project due to a death in her family. Lara Flynn Boyle was then cast in her place.

The extra head attached to Scrad is called a ‘symbiote,’ and was first developed in Men in Black: The Series (1997). It is the most obvious development of the animated series to be carried over into the movies.

Linda Fiorentino was originally intended to reprise her role as Agent L, before eventually being dropped from the script.

The children of the cast/crew make an appearance in the film: the little girl at the post office who wants to buy Rugrats (1991) stamps is Barry Sonnenfeld’s daughter Chloe Sonnenfeld.Tommy Lee Jones’s daughter appears in the film as the little girl in the apartment where J, K, and the worms acquire weaponry. and the two children who look up as the MiB car flies overhead are Will Smith’s kids.

Reputedly Jack Nicholson insisted on the casting of Lara Flynn Boyle. Sony were keen to get Nicholson for their Adam Sandler comedy “Anger Management”, and Flynn Boyle was Nicholson’s girlfriend at the time.

The beatboxing alien in the post office is played by the rapper Biz Markie, who also has a recurring role on the kid’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! also showing off his beatboxing talents

Barry Sonnenfeld took issue with the producers wanting to focus on the love story between Agent J and Laura: “I learned on Wild Wild West (1999) that audiences didn’t want to see Will Smith as the straight man. And until Tommy Lee Jones comes back into the movie, by definition, Will’s the straight man.”

The locker that holds the tiny aliens who worship K is numbered C18, the same number of the locker used in the film Get Shorty (1995) that contains the “dirty” money. Both films were directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

Though Linda Fiorentino’s character was prepped to co-anchor in the sequel alongside Will Smith, it has been reported that Tommy Lee Jones only agreed to return under the direct stipulation that Fiorentino wasn’t invited back.

Fire Island Lighthouse, New York, serves as a stand-in for the Truro, Massachusetts, Post Office.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Lara Flynn Boyle, 2003)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: