Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Men In Black

directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Men In Black poster  
Adapted from Lowell Cunningham's comic, Men In Black doesn't stray far from its origins. It features the adventures of a pair of alien investigators. K (Tommy Lee Jones) is looking for a new partner after his old one went into retirement. Former NYPD officer James Edwards (Will Smith), later known as just J, is his replacement. It's a world where aliens live amongst us in disguise, and only a shadowy agency knows about their existence. It's down to the Men In Black to oversee them and counter any threats they pose to life on this planet.

When one of these aliens arrives on Earth, it's the job of the Men In Black to prevent his actions from wiping out the human race. He's a bug, and he's looking for a miniature galaxy that will give his race unimaginable power. In the ill-fitting skin of a dead man the alien bug goes on the loose in New York, leaving a trail of destruction in his path.

Laurel (Linda Fiorentino) is an astute morgue worker who stumbles into the world of extraterrestrials by accident. She's one of the few people who seems capable of taking it in her stride. But K and J cover up all of the chaotic alien activities with the liberal use of a small device that erases people's memories.

Will Smith does seem to be acting mainly as himself in this movie, or at least as the fast-talking persona he often adopts. But paired with Tommy Lee Jones' dry and laconic agent K, the two of them make a great double act.

The effects are both disgusting and impressive, as tentacled and bug-eyed aliens of all descriptions slime their way through the story. The variety and comic inventiveness of the many different alien species is one of the things that makes this movie a lot of fun. There are also plenty of shiny gadgets, fancy cars, spaceships and oversized guns. The dialogue is as slick and fast as the action. Men In Black is a cheerful piece of popcorn science fiction. It's got no depth at all, but all of the hilarious lines and freaky, sassy aliens more than make up for this.

Film Details

Decade: 1990s

Categories: Films

  Kids     Science fiction

Classification: PG

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson