Men in Black (1997)
Reviewed on 2011 July 18
Very funny interpretation of the comic about aliens hidden amongst us, and the select crew of top-secret agents sworn to keep the good ones comfortably blending and the bad ones from taking over.
After an opening that introduces us to the laconic agent known only to us little people as K (Tommy Lee Jones) and the idea that we are indeed not alone in the universe, K realizes he needs to train a new recruit. One night he spots a tough, determined young cop, James Edwards (Will Smith), and decides he’s got the perfect chops for this line of work. James — or J as he’ll be called if he accepts — will be baptized by fire. Two alien races are coming to blows, and if Earth doesn’t help, her people will be held responsible.
Here’s another movie that holds up to repeated viewings, and where the fact that some of the good stuff is shown as bait in the trailer doesn’t matter, because it’s so well done. I think the sequence where J is being tested is one of my favorites, and anyone who didn’t laugh at Tommy Lee Jones singing along with Elvis is just beyond help. The humor is a winning mix of ridiculous and dry, with Vincent D’Onofrio having a field day as Edgar. Besides just being a lot of fun, it makes some observations about human nature. After reading about how some celebrities live and hearing the things they say, MIB is as good an explanation for how they live as any.
Three chocolate morsels and some pierogi.