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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sequel to Men in Black is filled with imaginative creatures and weird life forms, the more outrageous and humorously creepy the better. Giant worms, multi-headed beings, slithering serpents, as well as humans morphing into all manner of the grotesque, battle or aid the heroes. Cartoon action is nonstop; weapons range from giant ray guns, vaporizing explosions, crashes, martial arts, even a near drowning in a toilet bowl. Other than the very young who are not yet able to distinguish reality from fantasy, or especially sensitive kids, most will experience the movie as a hilarious thrill ride. Some mild off-color dialogue and insults ("putz," "kiss my ass," "crap," "hell"), some flirting, a kiss (which turns into an attack by snake tongue), as well as females who wear provocative bikini underwear in numerous scenes. Lots of commercial products are seen or mentioned.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
At the end of Men in Black, agent J (Will Smith) erased the memories of his partner, K (Tommy Lee Jones), so that he could return to a normal life. As MEN IN BLACK II begins, a scary-looking alien (disguised as a Victoria's Secret model and played by Lara Flynn Boyle) returns to Earth and only K knows how to deal with her. J has to track K down, restore his memory, and work with him to save the planet from the scum of the universe.
Is it any good?
This sequel may not be quite as good, but it's still loads of fun and pretty funny, with many imaginative creatures. Men in Black was wonderfully original and achieved near perfection with a tone that was just off-center and the essence of cool, a satisfying story and spectacular special effects; it's hard to live up to that.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Men in Black: II's violence. How did it make you feel? How much of it consists of special effects? Does the impact of movie violence change based on how realistic it is?
Why doesn't J want to erase Rita's memory in Men in Black II? Why is it important to find someone you can tell your real feelings to?
What do you think creatures from other planets might be like? Why does the way we think about them tell us more about us than it does about them?
- In theaters: July 3, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: May 13, 2003
- Cast: Lara Flynn Boyle, Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith
- Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sci-fi action violence and some provocative humor
- Last updated: September 3, 2020
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