Review of 'Men in Black'

1st film in the 'Men in Black' series

men_in_black.jpg During a chase James Edwards (Will Smith), an undercover NYPD officer, sees a suspect escape in a very un-human way. When he is debriefed he is visited by a mysterious figure dressed in a black suit calling himself agent “K” (Tommy Lee Jones). James finds himself recruited by the mysterious “Men in Black” organisation who protect the planet from alien threats. The immediate threat manifests itself as an alien (walking around disguised in a human skin) seeking a “galaxy” that is here on Earth that can prevent a galactic war. It is up to “K” and the new agent “J” to figure out what is going on and save us all…

A fun movie with lots of good lines. Very tongue-in-cheek and not afraid to make fun of anyone (including themselves). The writing is smart and the effects are quite good though here the emphasis is on fun rather than any huge degree of realism (for example, a talking pug, a giant cockroach, etc). Being a secret policing organisation there are the requisite bizarre gadgets and weapons that just add to the fun (the “cricket”, for example, being a gun smaller than a hand that packs such a punch it sends J flying each time it is fired).

Jones and Smith make a great duo as K and J. K, the old hand at Men in Black and dealing with aliens, is a straight-laced company many yet extraordinarily funny while Smith does what Smith has always done with his smart-alec and, in this case, “fish out of water” act. The audience is exposed to this bizarre, secret, world through J naive, unbelieving, eyes.

“Men in Black” is quite a short film but it manages to pack a lot into it's hour and a half running time including a rather poignant ending. The action is slick, and fast, the humour sharp and witty. Something to watch with a big bowl of popcorn and something cold and fizzy.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2019-12-01

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Year: 1997

Length: 98 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films in the 'Men in Black' series:

Other reviewed films by Barry Sonnenfeld: