We polled our entire team and ranked every Men In Black film across six categories. We weighted each category based on their overall value to the success of the movie.
Plot - 25%
Character Development - 20%
Villain - 20%
Action - 12.5%
Intangibles - 12.5%
Supporting Cast - 10%
Film: Men In Black II
Release Date: July 3, 2002
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 39%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 45%
Opening Weekend: $52,148,751
Gross US: $190,418,803
Gross Worldwide: $441,818,803
Synopsis: Agent J is sent to find Agent K and restore his memory after the re-appearance of a case from K's past.
Analysis: Just because something went well the first time does not mean you should do it over and over and over again. I wish someone would have told this to the creators of Men in Black before they tried to ride the coattails of the first movie into its sequel. Maybe they were neuralyzed and forgot they made the first one. They made the guns bigger and the villain sexier, but that is about it. At the end of the day, we still end up with two men in suits saving the world from a single alien villain set on gaining ultimate power.
Analysis: Agent J and Agent K flip places from Men in Black II with no real depth behind the change. There was a perfect opportunity to create a great character growth story for K after he lost his memory in the last movie. Unfortunately, they dropped the ball and we ended up with many holes in this story.
Bio: The shapeshifter next door with a license to kill and a very big green thumb.
Evil Plan: Serleena has seen the light and she wants it. Using her beautiful exterior and hideous interior she scours New York City in order to gain the power of the Light of Zartha to rule the universe. Once she finds it she does everything possible to claim her prize including being shot, blown up, and eaten by a giant worm (RIP Jeff).
Analysis: Hot, check, villain attitude, check, cool powers, check. Right off the rip, Serleena checked off all of the boxes for a great movie villain. The problem is she might have peaked a little too early. There was very little character growth and depth and basically all we got were her snide remarks to Scrad and Charlie. She was able to infiltrate the entire MIB a little too early in the story and a little to easily only to plateau and be taken out multiple times in the end. Just another part of this movie that was mishandled.
J and Silent K
One and a Half Heads Are Not Better Than One
Class of 2002 Most Improved
Analysis: The supporting cast is again one of the strong suits for the Men In Black universe. From some of our favorites like Agent J, Agent K, Frank, and the worms to the many new aliens we met in the post office, at MIB headquarters, and on the streets of New York, the creativity and fun nature of each character is what makes the Men In Black series what it is. However, we had to dock a couple points just because Johnny Knoxville's character is absurd.
Analysis: Jay vs Jarra came close to being the best fight, but we had to go with the final showdown between Serleena and the boys as Laura tried to escape the planet. This battle brought us back the old wild J and the calm and sarcastic but badass K along with a giant alien, big ray guns and a pretty sweet firework display over NYC. The fact that there are two battles worthy to be considered number one gives us some quality action, but still subpar for a space movie in the new millennium.
Just a Post Friend
Analysis: From Michael Jackson to Biz Markie to Nick Cannon, this movie was not short of superstar guest appearances. In a way, this was a strength and created fun little surprises spread out evenly throughout. On the other hand, these guest appearances were supplemented with over the top raunchy humor, which took away some of the fun jokes we got from some familiar faces. We definitely lost some charm from the original.
Analysis: The anticipation for this movie was high with the success of Men In Black, but it ended up falling on its face. The film leaned on characters we already loved, but gave them hardly any growth. Between that and a larger use of CGI to create bigger aliens and fight scenes, there was not much else left. In many ways, this movie was like a pencil pushing worm alien disguised in a David Hasselhoff skin suit, beautiful and exciting on the outside with not much going on under the hood. Now if only we had a giant neuralyzer to forget this sequel ever happened...
Image Credits: Columbia