Retro Movie Time: the series that grabs an illegal time travel device and jumps off the Chrysler building in order to revisit the filmography of the past. Sometimes it’s fun to take a look at what directors and actors of by-gone eras have given us – for better or worse. It’s also important to see how these movies stand against the test of time! The first installment of this series takes a look at life from outer space coming down to co-exist with an unknowing human-kind in Men in Black.
Wow, 1997! Has it really been 20 years already? Well, two sequels, an animated series, and aging stars are pretty much an indication of time passage, so it’s certainly been awhile since Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones first teamed up for this action/comedy/sci-fi flick.
The Men in Black are a specialized agency that handles all communication and business with alien life. The aliens, in turn, take refuge and live side-by-side with the unsuspecting earthlings. In order to be an MIB agent, however, one must completely erase his or her self from existence and cut all ties.
Our story begins with Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), who is on assignment one evening when his aging partner fails to take down a hostile. After a quick encounter with a memory-erasing neuralyzer, K finds himself in need of a new partner. Enter the nimble and hard-hitting James Darrel Edwards III(Will Smith) of the NYPD.
Unfortunately, as the future Agent J is recruited, danger is afoot. (There’s always danger afoot.) A malevolent life-form known only as a bug has made it’s way to Earth. This aggressive alien is hell-bent on stealing something from the Arquillian royal family in hopes of starting a war. Can Agent K and Agent J get it together long enough to stop warfare and keep the MIB a secret? You’ll have to watch to find out.
Don’t Turn Green…
Men in Black is basically a classic at this point. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a good blend of comedy and sci-fi. The movie moves quickly, but it’s writing is smart enough to keep you chuckling until the end credits. There is a bit of absurdity in the script, but the dead pan delivery by Tommy Lee Jones makes it so perfect, you’d think it could be real.
The film’s pacing is pretty good; there is rarely a dull moment. What’s great about the story is it’s ability to make extraordinary problems and moments seem like every day occurrences. Yes, there may be a battle fleet of aliens about to destroy Earth, but the important thing is we do not know about it. The audience is privy to the MIB lifestyle, and while we may worry about the impending doom of the planet, others are blissfully unaware.
It’s a fun, cheeky, and action-packed movie that has a great soundtrack. It’s one of those movies that’s easy to get drawn into if it’s playing on TV.