Men In Black

Rating:

Squishy Bugs and Aliens

Main Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Rip Torn

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Taking on the old 50’s Sci-Fi B movies that mix aliens, mysterious government agency, and the fate of the world, this energetic and surprisingly fresh outing moves along briskly and packs in any number of standard cliches that actually work. Agent Kay (Jones) is a grizzled veteran of the MIBs (Men in Black), a super-secret agency that deals with actual aliens. His old partner has retired, and his boss Zee (Torn) directs him to find a new partner. He ends up with Jay (Smith), a young NYPD officer who, at first, doesn’t believe in the outer-space nonsense. But a few encounters with real aliens, plus some neat ray guns and a memory-wiping ray, changes his mind.

Jones is terrific as the steely and jaded veteran of all things alien.  His exasperation with both his new partner and some of the peskier creatures with which he has to contend is both funny and allows him a little gravitas when things get serious.  Smith is delightful as the newbie – wide-eyed, disbelieving, grossed out.  The two have great onscreen chemistry to boot.

This is a funny and delightful film. It moves along briskly, the acting is top-notch, and there are plenty of explosions and huge guns to win over the action crowd. The movie also takes a few jabs at all hokey B movies, including itself. Anything with a “plot to destroy the world!” has jumped over the wall and is sprinting toward silliness.

This movie embraces that, and much more.

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