Thursday, May 24, 2012

Men In Black (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1997) Review

With Men In Black III being released tomorrow, I think it was only appropriate to review the first two films of the franchise (Men In Black II will be reviewed tomorrow). For those not familiar with MIB, it is based on a Marvel Comics series and the films focus on two agents, Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) who work for the Men In Black, an organisation with their mind set on extraterrestrial activity on Planet Earth.

This particular film begins with the introduction of Agent K and his MIB partner Agent D. After a run in with an illegal alien (the extraterrestrial kind, know what, forget it.), D decides to retire, leaving K without a partner. Enter James Edwards, an NYPD cop who, while trying to chase down a criminal, discovers an alien and delivers a warning to him about the end of the world. After his run in with the alien, he is contacted by the MIB and is hired by them to become Agent J, K's new partner. Meanwhile, an unnamed alien crash lands on Earth and, after taking over a human body (Vincent D'Onofrio), plots to take back "the galaxy on Orion's Belt" and leave Earth to be destroyed.

The high point for Men In Black is definitely the relationship between Agent J and Agent K. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith bounce off each other surprisingly well and there is clearly excellent chemistry between them and their characters. Heck, even the other characters are great fun to watch such as the head of the MIB, Agent Zed (Rip Torn and yes it is pronounced Zed, not Zee. I have no idea why. DON'T ASK QUESTIONS) and also J's love interest Laurel (Linda Fiorentino). In fact even the antagonist Edger (y'know, that alien I mentioned earlier) is pretty entertaining.

One of the more interesting aspects of Men In Black is the design of most of the aliens and props. The different style of aliens and all the equipment and weapons that are available to the MIB all are inventive and look great. Of course, everyone remembers the mind eraser and everyone wants one but there is other equipment at the MIB's disposal including all the guns that they use, such as J's tiny yet powerful gun or even the huge bazooka's used in the climax (look up slightly, the picture tells all).

All in all, The first Men In Black film is a very entertaining film that suffers some bad points as some parts haven't completely aged well but despite it's downfalls (which are minimal anyway), it's still a great film that is a must see for any sci-fi fans.

A true classic that is still inventive with it's memorable characters and gadgets.

Wait a second. A must see for sci-fi fans? Why haven't all sci-fi fans seen this already. Err err *puts on sunglasses* just look into here...this review was just a figment of your imagination *FLASH*

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