Men Suddenly in Black 2 (2006)

Directed by
A solid counterpart to the original
Reviewed by Simon on 2024-05-19

Men Suddenly In Black 2 follows on directly from Pang Ho-Cheung's original satirical sex comedy, though he doesn't appear to have been involved directly with this one. Most of the original cast return, though the random guy from Beijing has been swapped for Wong Yau-Nam, who has a random girlfriend from the mainland instead.

This time, however, the focus shifts more to the wives and girlfriends of the titular MSiB. Having realised that their men are fooling around they decide "What's good for the goose is good for the gander", so it's their turn to go out and have some extra-marital fun.

What follows is largely a mirror-reflection of the first film, though there is definitely a sense that it means something different for the women than it did for the men. Although the film takes a fairly progressive stance on female sexuality, the fact that events hit differently when the genders are reversed is one of the things the film wants to show.

This time the genre framework for the satire is Johnnie To's Election, though it's less committed to it than the original was - in fact, there aren't that many opportunities to bring it into play outside the bookend scenes that explicitly refer to it.

Taken on its own this would probably be a decent comedy with some mildly outrageous hijinks, but it gains a bit of heft from its companionship with the original Men Suddenly in Black... hmm, I wonder if I can eke a pertinent metaphor out of that?

The film is even harder to track down than Pang's original. I had to make do with a TV rip hardsubbed in Chinese, cooking up rough English subtitles with Whisper and GPT-Subtrans to be able to watch it, which doubtless took away from the experience. I got the general idea though... sometimes only on a second pass, and most of the comedy came through.