Book Report: Men in Black II by Michael Teitlebaum (2002)

Book coverI continued with my movie and television tie-in books with this volume which is apparently the children’s / young adult version of the movie. It’s very short (143 pages, possibly shorter than the actual screenplay) and uses simple language. It deals with the sequel to the first film, where Jay has to find Kay because he had a previous mission hiding a powerful energy source that a new alien threat who looks like Lara Flynn Boyle wants it to conquer some other aliens–and Earth isn’t important, but she’s willing to take on the Men in Black and capture their headquarters to find it.

I just watched the first film in the series last year when my quaranteens were watching it during their work-from-home phase, and I plopped down to watch it again. So I have seen the first film maybe three or four times. This one, I probably watched once soon after it came out, so I did not remember the plot of it, but some of the scenes came back as I was reading them.

I was just pleased that I could remember the name of the woman playing the Alien Big Boss: Lara Flynn Boyle. She was featured in a Maxim or FHM magazine around this time, when I was young enough to subscribe to them and convince myself it was to keep hip on the things the kids were into whilst I was getting toward middle age (in my defense, I also subscribed to GQ and Spin around the same time, so the impulse was real). I remembered she was in that lawyer show that I never watched. Ally McBeal? Nah, I thought, but yes. Also, The Practice.

So not as much fun as True Lies, but not as long to read, either, I guess.

That said, I will probably not rush out and get the six (!) other movie tie-in paperbacks they released in support of the movie.

Eesh, I can’t imagine kids being that excited about this particular movie.

Oh, and I did flag some quibbles. With a children’s book. BECAUSE I HAVE NO LIFE.

Mostly, I flagged anachronisms. Kids at the turn of the century might have known what these things met, but kids these days would be clueless.

A Wut?

“I sent you an interstellar fax,” Serleena said. “Didn’t you get it?”

I think all but the most recalcitrant of official documents go through the Internet now.

At Where?

“Sephalopods have been making counterfeits at the Kinko’s on Canal Street.”

After almost forty years of being Kinko’s, Kinko’s became Kinko’s FedEx Office in 2004, just after this film, and then just FedEx Office in 2008 (according to Wikipedia). So Kinko’s has not existed in any name for almost thirteen years.

The When?

Kay reached into the locker and took an old digital watch–circa 1970–from a tall clock tower.

Hmmm, that seems a little out-of-time. PC Mag says the first commercial digital watches arrived arrived in 1972 and cost as much as a car–although in a decade, they would become less expensive and get into wider circulation. Probably the authors were too young to know.


At any rate, an amusing and quick read even though it lacks any real depth. On the plus side, I can’t call it depraved unlike some things I’ve read recently. But I am just the kind of prude who yesterday turned down a job interview with a company that did not mention in its job listing that it is in the adult entertainment industry. PRUDE, I TELL YOU!

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