Anthony's Film Review
Men in Black (1997)
Men in Black is standard cinematic science-fiction, but the two stars still make it fun...
Of the two stars of Men in Black (MiB), let me first start with Will Smith. By this time, he successfully transitioned from television to movies. His first big hit was Independence Day in 1996. Somehow, that movie drew an association between Will Smith and science-fiction. Hence, he appeared a year later in MiB, which, by the way, is based on a comic. I did enjoy Smith's role in this movie and felt the same for Tommy Lee Jones, the other star of the movie. That's important, because buddy movies must have chemistry.
So Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones respectively play Agents J and K, who are secret operatives protecting the Earth against alien threats. One night, an alien arrives on Earth and takes possession of a farmer's body, who was alive as his normal self before the alien snatches him. So these are the two sides to the battle. I won't really go into detail anymore and will instead just let you discover the fun yourself.
As you might expect, there are special effects in MiB with alien creatures, the headquarters of the Men in Black, and the enormous guns that J and K have to wield. Humor is also present. There is one funny scene were J is held by the tentacle of an alien creature in a car and being slammed repeatedly onto it while calling K for help. Even the soundtrack is nice. Though not a big part in the movie, Will Smith did do a nice song related to the MiB. I thought it was rather catchy hearing it the first time.
Since I don't want to be unfair, let me talk about Tommy Lee Jones. Between him and Will Smith, Jones plays the straight man. The only time you will see him break away from this personality is during a scene where he is drinking and laughing hysterically. The funny part isn't so much that as much as how he instantly goes back to his serious persona just as they're leaving. That's fine with me, because the opposing half of a buddy team is always necessary. Overall, I thought Tommy Lee Jones was fine in this movie.
Like Independence Day (ID4), MiB was a science-fiction movie released during the Fourth of July weekend. Both are good films, but I thought ID4 was far more stellar compared to MiB, which was simply enjoyable enough. It's basically a sci-fi movie with lighthearted fun, kind of like Ghostbusters. At one point, Will Smith says, "I make this look good." In reality, so does Tommy Lee Jones, the writer, and everyone else involved in bringing the Men in Black to life.
For more information about Men in Black, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my review of Men in Black II and Men in Black 3.