The Importance of Being Earnest

Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Lara Flynn Boyle.
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.
Running Time: 88 mins
Rated: PG
Men in Black 1 was a film that divided the crowd. You either loved it or hated it. I loved it which only adds to my sense of disappointment at this sequel.

Four years on from where we left off last time, the wicked sorceress Serleena (Flynn Boyle) comes to earth to retrieve a life-giving crystal for which she has been searching the universe over the last twenty years. The Men in Black are called in to save the day. Early on Agent Jay (Smith) knows that to stop Serleena he needs the former Agent Kay (Lee Jones). He
coaxes Kay out of his retirement job at the post office and gets him back into alien hunting. The only problem is that Kay, who had dealings with Serleena two decades before, has lost his memory. Kay he has a lot of catching to do so that he and his partner can prevent an alien war.

In the first film the combination of a novel idea, innovative special effects, snappy tongue-in-cheek writing and a light touch helped Men in Black become a cult film. All that's left to enjoy in this film are the special effects, which are as clever as ever.

The disappointment comes because, as characters, Jay and Kay are notfurther developed in this film. Flynn Boyle is too straight as the Kylothian snake monster, the ideas are no longer novel and Sonnenfield's touch is not nearly as light as in the first film. Maybe it's a case of
familiarity breeding contempt.

It seems a tragedy to say that Frank the talking dog, who is Jay's first partner on this case, is the funniest thing in the film. But there are also two other things going for Men in Black 2. It only runs for 88 minutes and it's rated PG.

Richard Leonard SJ

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