Why it's better
It's not that it's better - it's roughly the same. & by "same," I mean "same." Same in 'look & feel,' sure -- but more importantly (and disappointingly), same in structure and scale.
However, the reason it makes this short, short list is: if anyone were to ask me (& people rarely do) what I thought to be an example of Will's best work as an actor, I push for this otherwise lackluster sequel from beginning to end. More so than than MIB one, Ali, and even a tad more than I Am Legend. Will may still be best known for his talents as a comedian, though trying his Jim-Carrey-best to demonstrate his obvious dramatic range as of late. (I still protest Dumb & Dumber to be Jim's best performance). Well, if he truly is a comedian, then this film proves him to be one of the greats, thus and so making it more than noteworthy.

Why it's worse
Anyone keeping score knows: my idea of a great sequel is one that moves as far away from the formula of the first, while still being able to carry the label of 'sequel.' A close runner-up would be merely continuing the story in a logical, competent way. This film does neither, & chooses to roughly tell the same story again by quashing any developments made in the first film (stay tuned for more of those on this list).

"I'd be like, 'no...'"


Tyler Foster said...

I also like the verve of Men in Black II. It feels like it has more ridiculous comic energy to it; the first one is more deadpan in comparison. It also looks pretty slick.

The film's CG, on the other hand, contains some of the worst big-budget work I've ever seen (the shot of Rosario leaving the planet is appalling), a terrible villain (I read they wanted Famke Janssen, that might have worked better), and Johnny Knoxville gets kicked in the face and vanishes for the rest of the movie. The brand of sequelitis it suffers from is almost identical to that of Ghostbusters: the movie gets sidetracked by throwaway gags from the original like Frank the Pug and The Worm Guys (the MiB equivalent of Slimer), probably because there was a cartoon show for younger audiences inbetween and the sequel is forced to split the difference.

I always laugh at "WHAT IS A GAME BOY!?" though.

Tyler Foster said...

I also feel somewhat similarly about The Mummy Returns. I think Brendan Fraser is a lot funnier in the sequel, and Rachel Weisz gets a lot more to do, but it's a crappy rehash of the original.

P and J said...

I remember that shot of Rosario getting an audible laugh in the theater.

joeymauro said...

I second that opinion on Jim Carrey. I'm very on and off about this sequel...I actually am I really big fan of the first film, it's pretty much the best you can get from a "Summer Action/Sci-Fi", it's actually at times a believable and sophisticated science-fiction film, were I think some times people consider it "Independence Day" or some other Ronald Emmerich, Michael Bay type film. When I first saw the sequel I actually really liked. Now years later I think it's one of the worst sequels ever made. What I like in it is that they both are rich in that great grimy, urban environment that Sonnenfield created, but as you said, it tries to be the first one. That's it's biggest failure. Any joke that worked remotely well in the first one, is now shown again but dragging it in the mud, and shoving it in your face. Honestly, did we really need Frank the Pug and the worms to be secret agents? What is this another one of those moronic children films were the dogs and cats are action heroes? Basically, now because of the sequel, the original doesn't have that sort of rugged, mysterious quality to it anymore.

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