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Men In Black (1997)
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Review Date: August 15, 1998
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Ed Solomon based on comic book by Lowell Cunningham
Producers: Laurie McDonald and Walter F. Parkes
Actors:
Will Smith as J (Jay)
Tommy Lee Jones as K (Kay)
Rip Torn as Z (Zed)
Plot:
About 1500 aliens looking like humans, live amongst us on Earth (Most of them in New York. Who knew?) A top-secret agency called the Men In Black (MIB) monitor and police these creatures' every movement to ensure that the public never finds out about them. One day, a "bug" alien lands on Earth, and suddenly, the destruction of our planet may be near.
Critique:
Light, plotless, easy-to-digest science-fiction comedy that continues to show off the comedic talents of Will Smith, some great straight man sense by Tommy Lee Jones, and the hip special effects of the group at Industrial, Light and Magic. Steven Spielberg executive produced this brain-munch, while the man behind GET SHORTY (8/10) and the ADDAMS FAMILY films, Barry Sonnenfeld, directed this venture. This movie left no definable marks on my intellect, but did manage to blow by me real quick (90 minutes to be exact), keep me awake, mostly interested, and generally amused throughout its entire runtime.

I was somewhat disappointed in the fact that I had already seen most of the cool special effect shots in the film's trailer, but I guess the one-liners from Will Smith still managed to keep me in the game. I also liked the "feel" of the movie, which was never more serious than it needed to be. Just fluffy enough not to take seriously, and never real enough for anyone to complain about the lame plot. One thing that I did find extremely irritating and overdone, was Vincent D'Onofrio's exaggerated cramps, cricks and overall disgustingness. If this was supposed to be funny, it sure didn't work on me. All it did was make me nervous and feel like itching. Admirable in regards to the actor's physical capabilities, but unfunny in regards to its cinematic outcome.

The cutest things in this picture were the little "worm" aliens that spoke in Mexican accents and were last seen carrying cartons of Marlboro cigarettes through the alien airport on their way back home. They should have expanded their roles in the film. On a sad note, a virtual tear was brought to my eye when I saw, the one time decent respected actress, Linda Fiorentino, degrade herself in a throwaway role that makes any other throwaway roles look respectable (see Little Known Facts below to discover her "clever" way of being cast in this movie.) She delivered her useless lines in a dry "only here for the paycheck" kind of way, and had no problem showing off her gams for the duration of the entire picture (Why Sonnenfeld felt the need to keep showing her hanging from a tree in a short skirt over and over, during the denouement of this kid's film, I'll never know....well, actually I do know, but I digress.) Overall, the film is easy enough to watch, short enough not to have you care about the lame 1-2-3 plot, and funny enough to make you smile if you're feeling blue.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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