The original Men in Black had a sense of discovery about it. Tommy Lee Jones had not been known for his comic ability, and Will Smith was not yet the superstar that he would become. They and director Barry Sonnenfeld went all-out to create an audience pleasing eye-popping fast-paced comedy. Five years later, the sequel fails to capture the giddy fun of the original, but it is a competent and enjoyable piece of summer product. Where Men in Black was Tommy Lee Jones' film, the sequel relies more heavily on the ease and charm of Will Smith. His comfort in front of a camera helps make the implausible events and characters he is surrounded by all the more believable. It is easy to laugh when his canine partner starts singing disco standards, but mostly because Smith never winks at the audience. Except for the hilarious turns from Patrick Warburton and David Cross there is nothing here that seems anything other than familiar. Everyone involved seems to care enough that the film plays less like a cynical cashing in than like the work of smart salesmen who know that if customers like them, customers will come back again.
by Perry Seibert review