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Men in Black II

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Men in Black II
Men in Black II Poster
Director
Writer
Lowell Cunningham (comic), Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro (story and screenplay)
Exec. Producer
Producer
Laurie MacDonald & Walter F. Parkes
Tagline
Back in Black
Country
USA
Released on
July 3 2002
Runtime
88 mins
Language
English
Budget
$140,000,000
Gross
$235,200,000

Men in Black II (styled as MIIB) is a sci-fi/action/comedy film, and the first sequel to Men in Black (film). It was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, just like the original. All returning characters from the previous film reprised their roles, including Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, Will Smith as Agent J, and Rip Torn as Zed. It was released on July 3, 2002 and made $441 million with a $140 million budget. It was followed by Men in Black III in 2012.

Plot

Five years after the events of the earlier film and the defeat of Edgar the Bug from the previous film, Agent K has assumed civilian life as a small town's postmaster while Agent J continues to work for the Men in Black, the self-funded New York City-based agency that secretly monitors and regulates extraterrestrials activity on Earth. J is largely without a partner, his former partner Agent L having returned to her former task as a deputy medical examiner and her successors having been expelled from the agency by J himself due to their unsuitability. While investigating a seemingly routine crime, J uncovers a diabolical plot by Serleena , a shapeshifting Kylothian queen who disguises herself as a model, but resembles a Lernean hydra in her own form. To stop her, J must convince K who has no memory of his time spent with the agency, but is the only person alive who knows what is needed to defeat Serleena to reunite with the MIB before Earth is destroyed.

A large part of the plot centers on Agent J's relationship with a woman called Laura Vasquez, a waitress at a [SoHo pizzeria who witnesses Serleena's killing of the pizzeria's owner. Rather than erase her memory according to MIB rules, J allows her to retain it. As Laura becomes increasingly involved in the battle between Serleena and the MIB, she comes to view Agent J as her protector, while he simultaneously falls in love with her. While J tries to deneuralyze K, Serleena breaks into MIB resulting in a lockdown; J and K escape after being flushed from the building. J then takes K to Jack Jeebs, who built an unofficial deneuralyzer. Although K eventually regains his memory, he reveals that he still has no recollection of the "Light of Zartha" but left himself a series of clues in case he needed to remember.

Ultimately, Laura's true identity is revealed as an extraterrestrial princess and power-source styled the "Light of Zartha". This revelation requires her to return to Zartha, her ancestral homeworld. Serleena, who has been seeking all along to find and possess the Light of Zartha, is killed just as Laura is transported away. Agent K is said to have had a romantic attachment to Laura's mother Lauranna, after whom she is named, who was killed by Serleena twenty-five years before the film's story began. It is left unknown whether K is Laura's father. When Laura has gone, K and Agent Zed (the head of MIB) attempt to console J for his loss, only to have him answer that he needs no consolation, having accepted her departure without much sorrow. Since people all over New York City have witnessed these events, an emergency neuralyzer built into the Statue of Liberty is used to erase everyone's memory.

Two other plot threads relate the interaction of J with Frank the Pug (an extraterrestrial refugee posing as a pug dog, who becomes J's partner early in the film) and the revelation that K keeps a race of minuscule extraterrestrials inside a storage locker at Grand Central Terminal, the locker encasing their whole world. At the end of the film, K kicks open a forbidden door to reveal that a much larger locker located in an enormous alien version of Grand Central Terminal contains the human world.

Cast

Production

Video Game

Before the summer blockbuster was released Infogrames and Melbourne House released a movie tie in game called Men in Black II: Alien Escape

Reception

Unlike the last film, MIB II received mixed reviews, only getting a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the original's 91%. It also received a Metacritic score of 50. A. O. Scott of The New York Times said that, "Within the trivial, ingratiating scope of its ambition, though, the sequel is pleasant enough," and, noting the huge array of aliens designed by Rick Baker, said that the film "really belongs to Mr. Baker." A review in The Hindu called the film "worth viewing once." Another review from Digital Media FX magazine praised the spaceships as looking very realistic, but criticized many of the simpler visual effects such as the moving backgrounds composited behind the car windows using blue-screen (which it called a throwback to the special effects of earlier decades). In August 2002, Entertainment Weekly placed the Worm Guys among their list of the best CG characters, and said that the enlarged roles of both Frank the Pug and the Worm Guys in Men in Black II was beneficial for the "tiring franchise".

Box Office

Men In Black II was a commercial success, although not to the extent of the original. Released theatrically on July 3, 2002, Men In Black II charted at number one in its opening weekend at the box office with the revenue of $52,148,751. The film held onto the number one two the following week the revenue of $24,410,311, a 53.2% decrease from its opening weekend. In the film's third week of release, it saw a 40.4% decrease with the revenue of $14,552,335, charting at number three. After one month the film remained in the box office chart, at fourth place, with the revenue of $8,477,202. Men In Black II fell out of the top-ten at the box office chart in its sixth week of release. After sixty two days of release in North America, Men In Black II grossed $190,418,803. 43.1% of the film's worldwide revenue of $441,818,803 came from North America. Internationally, Men in Black II was commercially successful; the film to date has grossed an estimated $251,400,000, with 56.9% of the films overall revenue coming from foreign territories.

Novelization

Before the release of the film, a novel was released. The book was aimed for young children, and was called Men in Black II: The Return of Jay and Kay.

Men in Black Series
The Men in Black (Issues) | Men in Black: The Series (Episodes) | Men in Black | Men in Black II | Men in Black III

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