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Re-Watch: Men in Black (1997)

Sunday, 3. June 2012

Men in Black
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Ed Solomon
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub

Plot:
James (Will Smith) is a young and very talented police officer who catches the eye of the Men in Black – a secret government organization charged with dealing with alien life on earth – when he almost arrests an alien. One of the Men in Black, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) recruits James, now Agent J. And in just in time, too, so that the two of them can prevent the end of the world.

I don’t even know how many times I have seen this film. I watched it pretty regularly as a kid and then a little more irregularly as an adult. So of course there’s a whole lot of nostalgia and fond memories that I connect with this film. But even without that, it’s just an entertaining, creative and above all fun movie.

What Men in Black exudes most is this utter sense of play. It feels like everybody involved in this film just had fun – from the script writer to the people who designed the aliens to the actors. And this gets transferred to the audience.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have good chemistry together and the way J’s incessant talking just bounces of K keeps both of them from getting annoying. Plus, there’s just some really funny dialogue.

It’s been a while since I last saw the film. And I was actually quite surprised by Laurel (Linda Fiorentino). I didn’t remember her being so feminist. I enjoyed that a whole lot. I mean, the film is not an amazing feminist manifesto, but at least it tries.

The plot is predictable, but you’re carried along from moment to moment and you enjoy yourself all the time.

Summarising: Honest to goodness fun.

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9 comments

  1. Several things about this film are worth watching: (1) it’s fucking fun; (2) Jones’ deadpan performance; (3) its inventiveness and clever references. Thing I liked a lot about this film were the references to actual science and in-jokes referencing conspiracy theories. You’ve got the Men in Black, obviously, but also: the joke about the Great Attractor being a sentient being responsible for the 1977 blackout; or the fact that tabloid papers are the source for real news. Good stuff. More blockbusters should be like the first MIB.


    • I couldn’t agree more.


  2. [...] Just as my life, this blog is mostly popculture with some feminist rants « Re-Watch: Men in Black (1997) Re-Watch: Men in Black II (2002) Monday, 4. June [...]


  3. Great post! It’s been too long since I’ve seen this – your comment on the movie’s fun really sums up my memories of the movie!


    • Thanks! And rewatching it really does pay off. Though you should skip MiB II. ;)


      • :-) I agree – MiB II had nothing on the original (as you say in your MiB II review!)


        • Surprisingly, MiB III is actually quite nice, too (my review for that one will be posted in a week or so)! I did not expect that.


          • Great! I’ve read a few comments along those lines too and the trailer looked good too so I’m planning on seeing it soon.


  4. [...] Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Writer: Etan Cohen Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic Sequel to: Men in Black, Men in Black II Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael [...]



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