Barry Sonnenfield directs the quirky sci-fi comedy based on the Marvel comic series, Men In Black, about a streetwise New York cop who inadvertently uncovers and joins a top secret secret alien fighting organization, the film stars Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio.
Men In Black is a good sci-fi film and a great comedy film, one of the defining films of Will Smiths career and imo the film that established him as a comedic movie actor, he plays the wise cracking, out of his depth Jay who gets drawn into the world of the MIB and eventually gets paired with veteran agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) who plays the straight man to a hilarious tee with some deadpan delivery and a lack of emotion. The relationship between the two drives the comedy and underpins the story and is one of the best parts of the films, with some great banter and interactions, especially with Jays bewilderment to situations and alien creatures alongside Kays sheer indifference.
And the humour really lands well, jokes are often on the nose but also well done which is a credit to the writing, re-working aspects of history and explaining certain things with the existence of aliens was a particularly funny thing that the series does well, Dennis Rodman, alien, your weird teacher in high school, also an Alien. And the plot itself works as a fun story as you like Jay uncovers the agency and its history and like the character, react to the various creatures we see, things like an entire Alien migrant system and departures to and from the Earth in particular were a funny idea. Things take some predictable turns but the plot is still engaging and keeps you engaged throughout.
The effects are also decent, good for its time and the use of practical effects over CGI for the most part works and gives a more physical presence to the aliens in the film, who also feature as colourful benign characters themselves e.g. The Worms, while other aliens like the bug are menacing and up to no good and are also well designed, albeit a bit one note as a creature just out for its own intentions. Men In Black also has a brilliant and memorable soundtrack that perfectly fits the film and matches several scenes throughout the movie, making everything feel like a conspiracy thriller, matching up with the overall tone of the film. Tongue in cheek and humourous, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, while the manner in which the agency operates in is entirely serious, making for a funny contrast with the ridiculous looking aliens and situations the MIB can find itself in including threatening alein races every now and then.
Different elements from the film also transcend it and have become memorable in the scope of film as a whole, the alternative buddy cop film for example, Men In Black is an awesome and funny film without too much to criticize, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones strike a fun dynamic and the world of the secret agency is an interesting one with some interesting alien designs, technology and humorous re-working of history.
. Buddy cop element done differently and it works
. Humour lands especially with Will Smith on his own and paired with Tommy Lee Jones
. Interesting, creative creature design