Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #5 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I’m going to be talking about another great film from the 90’s, Men In Black.
So now we come to another one of my all-time favourite nostalgic films from my childhood. Men In Black, when that film came out it was a really popular and well-received film. And after the two sequels this one remains the best because of its originality, humour and great cast. I’ve always wanted to review this film since 2012 and thanks to this current blog series I have a reason to do it. 🙂
The story can be summed up as the following:
“Unbeknownst to the public, there is a secret organization known as the Men In Black and they are tasked with the surveillance of extra terrestrial activity. When a “Bug” alien crash lands on earth and is on the hunt for the power source called “The Galaxy”, Agents J and K must stop the bug before it can escape with the galaxy.”
The story is very good full of humour, good sci-fi action and some great character moments too. This film mainly works because it knows how strange it is, but gives reasoning for the setting, story and characters, and besides some serious moments, this film is primarily a comedy and luckily it is hilarious. What I really love about this film is the whole concept of the M.I.B., how they are like this film’s equivalent of Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., except these guys are super secretive, have memory erasers, procedures for the aftermath of an alien-related incidents and the list goes on. It is such an interesting and bizarre world that these people operate in and its made even cooler/stranger that it is in plain sight, but the general public would never know. What’s also great is that now that I’m older I’m able to appreciate some of the more adult references, but also the severity of Agent K and J’s mission once the chase for the Galaxy begins, even though this tale feels grounded to New York, there are some huge stakes from space that actually threaten the safety of the world which was awesome.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly there’s Will Smith as Agent J, originally he’s a police detective, but gets recruited into the M.I.B. by Agent K. Agent J is a little cocky, ambitious and doesn’t listen to authority, however he is strong-willed, quick on his feet, funny and tenacious. Smith just kills it in this role as it allows him to be his regular humourous self, but also shows off his charm, charisma and serious side when it comes to the action. Tommy Lee Jones is no slouch and does a great job as Agent K. This guy is very much in the vain of most of Clint Eastwood’s various roles in cinema, he’s gruff, doesn’t smile much, sticks to the rules and is a mentor to J. Jones’ performance is nothing short of brilliance, he has that great screen presence and dry wit, and together with Smith they both have some of the best on-screen chemistry of any pair I’ve seen in a film ever. They’re just a great pairing.
Linda Fiorentino as Laurel Weaver is lovely, she’s a smart and confident Medical Examiner who runs into the M.I.B. on a few occasions. Weaver is beautiful lady and has some really great screen time especially with Smith. Oh but the guy that almost steals the show is Vincent D’Onofrio as Edgar the Bug. D’Onofrio has always been known for his memorable cinematic performances and this is definitely one of them, this character is so strange, disturbing and unsettling, and it must have been bloody hard to move around and talk in the manner that he did, but D’Onofrio made this character super funny and creepy at the same time and that’s no easy feat. Also Rip Torn as Agent Zed is pretty good too, he was a lot of good dialogue and his delivery of some his lines is nothing short of awesome.Tony Shalhoub is pretty funny as Jack Jeebs, I also liked Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Beatrice and finally David Cross was jokes as Newton the Morgue Attendant.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is really great. When it comes to the special effects I loved the use of both practical and digital effects. For the aliens I liked the various designs, colours and character traits and I have to give a big shout out to Rick Baker and Industrial Light & Magic for their great work. Oh and the soundtrack, man, I really love it. Danny Elfman crafts varied score for this film as it is cool and mysterious, then aggressive and sinister or quiet and emotional, Elfman is able to great music that is right for each scene its required for and if you listen to it carefully, the MIB score sounds very similar to the first two Spider-Man films.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well unfortunately I’ve never the comics this film was based on, much like The Mask I never knew this was an adaptation of comic book property until I looked it up online a good few years ago That being said I’ve always wanted read the comics at some point.
So to conclude Men In Black is a really entertaining and interesting sci-fi comedy with some brilliant performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, great special effects and a wonderful soundtrack. If you haven’t seen this film in a while or haven’t seen it ever, I would implore you to do so, it’s a lot of fun and still holds up well.
That’s 5 reviews done, only 25 more to go. So have you seen Men In Black and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!