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  • Revisiting the original Men in Black

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    Retro Movie Time: the series that grabs an illegal time travel device and jumps off the Chrysler building in order to revisit the filmography of the past. Sometimes it's fun to take a look at what directors and actors of by-gone eras have given us - for better or worse. It's also important to see how these movies stand against the test of time! The first installment of this series takes a look at life from outer space coming down to co-exist with an unknowing human-kind in Men in Black.


    Wow, 1997! Has it really been 20 years already? Well, two sequels, an animated series, and aging stars are pretty much an indication of time passage, so it's certainly been awhile since Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones first teamed up for this action/comedy/sci-fi flick.


    Men in Black

    Intergalactic Kegger

    The Men in Black are a specialized agency that handles all communication and business with alien life. The aliens, in turn, take refuge and live side-by-side with the unsuspecting earthlings. In order to be an MIB agent, however, one must completely erase his or her self from existence and cut all ties.


    Our story begins with Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), who is on assignment one evening when his aging partner fails to take down a hostile. After a quick encounter with a memory-erasing neuralyzer, K finds himself in need of a new partner.  Enter the nimble and hard-hitting James Darrel Edwards III(Will Smith) of the NYPD.


    Unfortunately, as the future Agent J is recruited, danger is afoot. (There's always danger afoot.) A malevolent life-form known only as a bug has made it's way to Earth. This aggressive alien is hell-bent on stealing something from the Arquillian royal family in hopes of starting a war.  Can Agent K and Agent J get it together long enough to stop warfare and keep the MIB a secret? You'll have to watch to find out.


    Alien Disguise

    Don't Turn Green...

    Men in Black is basically a classic at this point. If you haven't seen it, it's a good blend of comedy and sci-fi. The movie moves quickly, but it's writing is smart enough to keep you chuckling until the end credits. There is a bit of absurdity in the script, but the dead pan delivery by Tommy Lee Jones makes it so perfect, you'd think it could be real.


    The film's pacing is pretty good; there is rarely a dull moment. What's great about the story is it's ability to make extraordinary problems and moments seem like every day occurrences. Yes, there may be a battle fleet of aliens about to destroy Earth, but the important thing is we do not know about it. The audience is privy to the MIB lifestyle, and while we may worry about the impending doom of the planet, others are blissfully unaware.


    It's a fun, cheeky, and action-packed movie that has a

    . It's one of those movies that's easy to get drawn into if it's playing on TV.

    Bug in Edgar Suit



    James and Agent K

    The Men In Black

    Our main actors in this flick are very well cast. Our lead guys, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, make a wonderfully balanced pair. The old salt is teaching the newbie, and they have a wonderful dynamic.


    An additional cast member worthy of mention is the female lead, Linda Florentino as Laurel Weaver.  She takes up the mantle as the Deputy Medical Examiner, who's had a few run-ins with the MIB but can't quite recall thanks to the neuralyzer. She is also Agent J's love interest. While her part was pretty small, her character lacked real development. However, she does have a few zingers, and for what she was, the actress played her well.


    Another call out is the movie's villain, played by Vincent D'Onofrio. With a combo of special effects make-up and skill, the decaying Edgar skin-wearing bug was equal parts gruesome and hilarious. He struck a balance between creepy and humor that worked well for the film.


    Collectively, while none of the characters had deep backgrounds, it's not that kind of movie, so they worked well. The film was cast very perfectly and each player pulled off an excellent portrayal.


    Laurel Weaver

    Now...For an Eye Exam

    After 20 years, Men in Black is still a fun film to watch. It was different, charming, and though the fashion may be a bit dated, it's always great to watch. With a perfect soundtrack, and Will Smith fresh out of Bel-Air, this is a must for any movie buff's collection. While it may not be a deep film, it is a funny and unique take on the sci-fi genre without getting trapped in the technicalities of it. Men in Black is simply a great popcorn flick, with smart comedic writing that can last the test of time.


    Let's just forget that Men in Black 2 ever happened.


    So what do you think of Men in Black? Did you love it? Hate it? Remember it fondly? Let us know in the comments below.


    Men in Black

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