MEN IN BLACK (aka MIB)


1997

DIRECTOR: Barry Sonnenfeld

May Contain Spoilers!

As The X Files was taking our TV sets by storm in the 90’s, Men In Black couldn’t have shown up at a better time. Playing into the paranoid feel of the Sci-Fi conspiracies and Roswell Alien Autopsy Tapes, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones took this very dour genre into a new and lighter direction, as the comically mismatched Men In Black.

This is light, with Smith playing up to his new-found fame as a superstar, and Jones keeping him grounded with his acting calibre. That’s not to say that Will Smith wouldn’t become a great actor, but this wasn’t the film that would make him. The comedy was decent, the effects were plentiful and there to be as gross as possible, whilst maintaining the comedy value.

I didn’t find this to be as funny as a lot of people did and I feel that it’s more of  a vehicle for Smith than anything else, but it does its job and reminds me of that golden era of 90’s sci-fi. More style over substance here though, and considering that it came out the same year as lesser known sci-fi films such as Contact, you’ve got to wonder what the long-term impact if this film should have been?

To me, this was Sci-fi for sci-fi’s sake and with Smith proving himself with Independence Day the previous year, this film was a forgone conclusion. Primarily a comedy masquerading as sci-fi, lacking any real integrity. I remember the Will Smith music video more than most of the gags. That should tell you something…

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