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Tracking the spacey trip of ''Men in Black II''

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Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith Photographs by Platon

It has eye-popping aliens played by ”The Practice”’s Lara Flynn Boyle and ”Jackass”’ Johnny Knoxville, hundreds of special effects, and even a cameo by the King of Pop. But ”Men in Black II” rides almost completely on the dynamic between its two identically garbed but otherwise mismatched ET-busters. One is a 55-year-old West Texas rancher whose former college roommate became Vice President Al Gore. The other is a 33-year-old West Philly rapper whose former partner…well, still is DJ Jazzy Jeff. But Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith have a chemistry that works. ”To me, they’re not only a comedy couple,” says director Barry Sonnenfeld (also returning from the original), ”they’re strangely a romantic couple, too.”

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