Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Men in Black

The 1997 film Men in Black starred Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. It is based on a comic book series originally published by Aircel Comics (which was later purchased by Malibu Comics. Malibu produced its own MIB series. Then Malibu was purchased by Marvel Comics and Marvel put out its own MIB comics.)
 The unique thing about this film is the tone of it. On the surface, the concept seems very similar to other movies about aliens - E.T., Alien, or Independence Day. But the action in this film is very cartoony and light hearted. Two ordinary men, Agent K and Agent J, take on aliens that far outclass them in raw power without worry. This film is a sci-fi halfbreed of action and comedy.

Although Will Smith's loud mouthed swagger wears thin after awhile, this film has some truly memorable comedic moments. The best of which may be the Noisy Cricket. This teeny tiny gun is given to Agent J as his first weapon. Agent K doesn't tell him that it could level a skyscraper, though! Watching Agent J adjust to life in MIB has its comedic moments like his uncomfortableness with mind-wiping witnesses. The written test that Agent J has to do is also hilarious (he breaks his pencil, futilely tries to write on his seat, and then loudly drags over a huge coffee table). The film also strongly implies that Al Roker, Newt Gingrich, Sylvester Stallone, Dennis Rodman, and other celebrities are all aliens. The writers even worked in a Captain America reference! Score!

The film's major failing is the lack of an interesting villain. The "Bug" wearing a human's skin is more of a gross out than a real threat. The big bad guy ends up being a distraction from all of the other stuff that is going on that is actually cool.

1LR Review - 13 out of 20! It's a Glancing Hit!

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