Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 37
  2. Negative: 5 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    60
    Hey, I'm not saying it's bad. It's kind of entertaining, what I can recall of it after two days. It's, uh, okay. Just okay, though.
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    30
    Smith and Jones seem like superannuated company men: They're going through the motions, but the zip is gone.
  3. Retains the earlier film's ability to delight the viewer with surprise effects and flights of fancy, only now the effects are better.
  4. 63
    So eager to please, it practically licks you in the face.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    Large budget notwithstanding, the movie is such a blip on the year's radar screen that it's tempting just to go with it for the ride. But this time, the old MIB label stands for Milder Isn't Better.
  6. 63
    Would be a thoroughly entertaining affair if it wasn't for one thing: the plot. The annoying and pointless storyline is a constant irritant because it diverts our attention from the real reason to see this movie - the easygoing chemistry between actors Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.
  7. 63
    The most refreshing thing about the original Men in Black was that it was relatively small - a modest, slapdash, 98-minute special-effects farce. The most refreshing thing about Men in Black II is that it is 10 minutes shorter.
  8. A business-as-usual blockbuster blueprint that rarely surprises you.
  9. Moderately amusing sequel, which is best when it relies on dead-pan acting by the stars, worst when it drags in summer-movie stupidities like an incessantly talking dog.
  10. 50
    Suffers from a fatal lack of purpose. This sleek, visually inventive but frustratingly flat movie is made up entirely of throwaway bits -- occasionally amusing, even ingenious bits. But still, they're just bits.
  11. It's a stylish package with not much inside.
  12. 50
    There's something wrong with this picture, and the problem is there on Smith's face -- Smith looks distressingly I-was-an-Oscar-nominee bored. That goes double for Jones.
  13. 38
    The astonishing success of the original "MiB" was partly because it was fun, partly because it was unexpected. We'd never seen anything like it, while with MiBII, we've seen something exactly like it.
  14. 50
    To his eternal credit, Jones gives his considerable all and even coaxes a startling note of poignancy from one scene, while Smith just bops along, lobbing gags and grinning at the special effects.
  15. 67
    It's a welcome and nicely goofy bit of sci-fi froth with the occasional hint of genuine comic smarts.
  16. Some motion pictures portray ultimate passion; others create ultimate thrills. Men in Black II achieves ultimate insignificance -- it's the sci-fi comedy spectacle as Whiffle-Ball epic.
  17. 42
    For all its bells and whistles, only when it lingers on Jones' dry wit and pained, rheumy eyes does this film about aliens ever seem alive, let alone human.
  18. Mercifully short -- a mere 80 minutes, plus the end-titles. That means I had to slap myself in the face fewer times than usual to stay awake in a movie this grindingly mediocre.
  19. The hang-loose grodiness of these films has its charms, and the Ray-Banned team of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, at its best, is good vaudeville.
  20. 70
    It's visual magic, and director Barry Sonnenfeld, who followed his MIB high with the lows of "Wild Wild West" and "Big Trouble," revels in it. He doesn't so much direct MIBII as load it with cool stuff and flit around to whatever takes his fancy. As summer escapism goes, you could do worse.
  21. As fizzy as the first, but not quite as refreshing. The pleasurable, eye-popping sense of surprise has diminished, and the teasingly referential attitude shows signs of fatigue.
  22. The only active ingredient is the dynamic between Smith and Jones. There's just enough of that to get us through.
  23. 50
    None of it sticks, but with the door left open for a third Men In Black movie, the one advantage of forgetting everything is not knowing exactly what's coming two summers from now.
  24. 50
    However cool, Smith's lovable braggadocio and Lee's practiced deadpan don't exactly make them Laurel and Hardy.
  25. Reviewed by: Jeff Stark
    40
    Here's an idea: Let's just take that same gizmo-packed alien-attack buddy-flick blockbuster from the summer of '97 ... and make it dumber!
  26. Reviewed by: Chuck Stephens
    40
    Smith and Jones sometimes have to paddle hard to keep their heads above the toilet water in which screenwriters Robert Gordon (Galaxy Quest) and Barry Fanaro (Kingpin) occasionally dunk them. But if the presence of Smith and Jones is indeed the tinker-proof ingredient of the Men in Black formula, little else seems to have survived the production unaltered.
  27. A disappointment. A good-faith attempt has been made to duplicate the original elements, but the mix is wrong, bearings have been lost, the balance is off. It was attitude that made "Men in Black" special, a particular kind of cool insouciance that has proved as impossible to duplicate as it was irresistible to experience.
  28. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    0
    If it isn't the worst sequel ever made, it's only because it has too much competition: Impersonal and frenetic, it's a landmark Hollywood disgrace.
  29. Michael Jackson is an alien? Tell me something I don't know.
  30. Short, flashy and about as complex as a beer belch, Men in Black II is also brisk. The film clocks in at 88 minutes total running time, and it's loaded with new special effects and monsters.
  31. On the positive side, the four Worm Guys haven't lost their squiggly charm, and Rip Torn is always welcome as MIB mastermind Zed. On the minus side, you get two Johnny Knoxvilles, one of them a tiny head that protrudes from the big one's shoulder.
  32. Delivers a quick buzz, lots of stuff to look at, and a totally nonnutritious joy that can only be attained with the aid of artificial flavorings and Yellow #5. In a nutshell, it's the perfect summer movie.
  33. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    There are just enough fresh, funny gags and witty throwaways to keep the 88-minute MIB2 percolating -- it fulfills its end of the bargain: a good time will be had by almost all.
  34. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Elaborate, sporadically amusing but awfully lightweight followup, which has close to the same tone as its predecessor but makes one realize that freshness had a lot to do with its impact.
  35. It's interesting to see how a potent premise -- those among us who behave like aliens probably are -- can sustain, more or less, an erratic, disjointed sequel.
  36. A talking bulldog named Frank steals the show.
  37. 30
    Apart from this going-postal moment, and a nice song from Frank the Pug (a resident alien from the original, played by the same dog), MIIB is pretty much a disaster -- repetitive beyond belief, and so busily inconsequential that it neuralizes your brain and leaves you with nothing to respond to. [8 July 2002, p.84]
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 155 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 44
  2. Negative: 11 out of 44
  1. Oct 2, 2011
    5
    "Men in Black 2" entertains the audience with joy, but it's not worth it compared to its prequel.
  2. May 16, 2012
    10
    man, you can make James bond, mission impossible and tons of secret agents films but this is the most original thing I've ever seen, maybe notman, you can make James bond, mission impossible and tons of secret agents films but this is the most original thing I've ever seen, maybe not as good as the original but still pretty good film for me Full Review »
  3. Oct 27, 2010
    4
    a poor excuse for a sequel felt like the same plot almost from the first with jones and smith reversing there roles abit. the jokes wernt asa poor excuse for a sequel felt like the same plot almost from the first with jones and smith reversing there roles abit. the jokes wernt as good and after seeing it i could care less to ever see it again . a very forgettable film. Full Review »