Urban Cinefile
"I've shocked myself, I didn't think I had it in me "  -Michael Clarke Duncan on his role in The Green Mile
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

MEN IN BLACK

SYNOPSIS:
Working for a highly-funded but low-profile government agency, K (Tommy Lee Jones) and J (Will Smith) are two of the Men in Black, who work amongst the many secret aliens in Earth, mostly in Manhattan, protecting us from the scum of the universe. They work in secret and they dress in black. When Kís older partner retires, K must find a new partner. The most likely candidate is NYPD cop James Edwards (Will Smith) who recently had a close encounter with an alien with some valuable information. After K and the head of the "Men in Black" operation, Zed (Rip Torn), recruit James, his identity is erased. The MiB operation soon becomes concerned when the city's resident aliens begin to flee - triggered by the presence of a "bug," or alien assassin. This alien terrorist takes over the body of Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio), a gruff country bumpkin, and sets out on a mission that might cause an intergalactic war. Dr. Laurel Weaver (Linda Fiorentino) gets involved after an unusual autopsy and more or less assists K and J to find the bug and prevent the Earth from being destroyed.

"Oh itís cool alright, the black gear, the plain black sunnies, the hip talk, the deadpan attitude with dry throwaway lines, and the genuinely inventive design of the armoury and other gizmos. Not to mention the premise: exotically diverse aliens in our midst . . . most of them endowed with recognisable human attributes, albeit hidden inside bodies dreamt up on a noxious trip. Itís full throttle comic book entertainment that never takes itself seriously, with top performances from actors who infuse the script with the tang of truth: they play it serious. But a fun time is the ultimate objective here, no moralsising, no messages, no meaning. Other than the weakness identified by Paul (below) in the baddie as played by a human invaded by an alien, the film delivers on its premise and its promise, and does it in a sharp 98 minutes. Some of the lines are even memorable, especially within their context: like the medical examinerís aside in the morgue, aimed at pesky live people. Or like the very New York jargon used by what appears to be a pug but is in fact an alien (with "a furry little butt"). But most of the humour is a clever and sometimes neo-black blend of situation, character and fantasy."
Andrew L. Urban

"It is easy to be captivated by MIB. Here is a film that gleefully captures our imagination and takes us on a gigantic joy ride. Delightfully inventive with a hip, witty script and engaging performances from the two leads, the humour is fast and furious, the delivery soberly straight. There is a lot to enjoy starting with an intriguing premise. The idea that there are aliens among us is beguiling and compelling: the execution, where the aliens are humanised to recognisable proportions, is magnetically effective. MIB does not rely totally on its novelty, but weaves human values into the plot. It is a quality film that lives up to its hype. Well paced with twists and turns and lots of surprises, MIB is fresh throughout. The relationship between Tommy Lee Jones (always a joy to watch) and Will Smith (hypnotic as J) is beautifully developed, and if thereís a weakness, itís the villain of the piece, with DíOnofrio perhaps mis-directed or the character not well conceived. Watch out for a wonderful scene where Smith is called upon to assist at a birth: the result is pure slapstick, while Jones casually acknowledges the proceedings. The scene with the baby bulldog is irresistible. The effects are terrific, and it is refreshing to be reminded what scope comic book heroes can achieve on the screen. Discovering the ins and outs through Will Smithís character is a sure fire way to engage us. MIB takes us into a land of fantasies where our imagination is allowed to tango. Get your ticket for the fantasy ride of 97: MIB is here!"
Louise Keller

Email this article

See our DVD REVIEW

MEN IN BLACK (PG)
(US)

CAST: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent DíOnofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub

DIRECTOR: Barry Sonnenfeld

PRODUCER: Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald

SCRIPT: Ed Solomon (based on the Malibu Comic by Lowell Cunningham)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Don Peterman

EDITOR: Jim Miller

MUSIC: Danny Elfman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bo Welch

VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR: Eric Brevig

ALIEN MAKE UP EFFECTS: Rick Baker

COSTUMES: Mary E. Vogt

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: ColTriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 11, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: ColTriStar

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: March 26, 1998







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017