Men In Black (1997) -

The Conspirators

J: Will Smith
K: Tommy Lee Jones
Laurel: Linda Fiorentino
Edgar: Vincent D'Onofrio
Zed: Rip Torn
Jack Jeebs: Tony Shalhoub

The Mastermind

Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld.
Written By: Ed Solomon.

Running Time: 98 Minutes.
Rated PG-13 (for language and sci-fi violence).

See the movie trailer


It is just raining black people in New York…”

- Agent J (Will Smith), after falling onto a bus from a bridge while chasing down a shape-shifting alien known as a cephalopoid. Rating: 4 UFOs

Matt DeReno Staff Writer

(March 25, 2007) - Men in Black stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as MIB agents “J” and “K” respectively. In this science-fiction comedy, MIBs are part of a secret government organization called “Division 6.” It is their task to keep tabs on all the extraterrestrial aliens gallivanting about Earth.

Earth is designated a sort of neutral galactic planet and haven for all sorts of beings from squid-like creatures to little talking dogs that intermingle with humans incognito. Even celebrities are shown to be aliens such as Sylvester Stallone and Al Rooker among others. But you knew that or suspected it all along!

The main job of MIBs is to prevent the public from learning that aliens are living amongst us. Using a pen-like device called a “nerualizer,” MIB agents can erase the memories of anyone that is believed to have seen a UFO or have met an alien in person. They even use it on other agents who leave the secret agency.

Men in Black, superbly well cast with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, is a wonderfully fun spirited take on pop culture UFO mythology. It tackles with smooth comedic skill the highly secretive and mysterious myths of the “Men in Black,” agents who always seem to arrive at a UFO sighting shortly after the fact presumably to alter the fact.

MIB also has a lot of fun as it portrays an Earth literally packed with a cornucopia of diverse aliens. We are not talking about aliens from south of the border rather green, slimy, ectoplasmic sorts that come in all shapes and sizes from outer space. It is the job of the MIBs to keep all the aliens licensed and track their whereabouts here on Earth.

At the outset of MIB, we learn that Agent K’s aging partner is unable to fire his ray gun at an alien imposter moments before it was about to turn a cop into a blob of slime. Luckily, Agent K was able to compensate for his partners slow draw and blast the alien. As a result, they come to realize it is time to infuse Division 6 with some fresh and young blood.

Cut to Will Smith running down a criminal in New York City that is really a fleet-footed alien. Will Smith adds an upbeat energy and vigor, even athleticism, to his role as Agent J, who is as a consequence recruited by the stern and staid Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) as a suitable replacement for his aging partner.

Amidst a battery of “Division 6” tests, Will Smith emerges to be the leading candidate for the next addition to the Men in Black – and perhaps the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team based on his dexterity.

Together K and J visit aliens dealing some far out arms in the middle of New York City. Other aliens they find by combing the tabloids, which amazingly, provide real leads about alien involvement in Earthly affairs.

The main plot of MIB puts both agents in hot pursuit of a “Bug” alien that has crash landed near a farm house somewhere in the countryside and since assumed the body of a redneck (Vincent D’Onofrio). The alien wearing the “Edgar Suit” is looking for a cat, Orion. Around Orion’s neck is a real “galaxy” in a crystal ball suspended on a pendant necklace. It is “Bugs” objective to destroy the galaxy.

Before the alien can, other aliens, notably the ones that live in the cat’s necklace, are threatening to destroy the Earth to thwart the plot – at least that is how I understood it. The plot doesn’t really matter anyway. It’s all about having fun and MIB knows it!

As the alien Bug begins racking up a body count, both Agent K and J visit the morgue and enlist the help of a sexy mortician Laurel (Linda Fiorentino), who provides at least a female body to look out amidst the dark-suited male leads and the myriad of slimy alien pods and tentacles.

Men in Black is simply great entertaining and a wonderful take on the conspiracy theories centered on the subject of secret government agents and cover-ups of alien encounters. After all, our own galaxy turns out to be nothing more than a marble in the hands (or pods) of some aliens somewhere else playing a game.

MIB is exceptionally well cast and boasts fine special effects. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and was nominated for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score and Best Art Direction. It also took top honors at the Satellite Awards of Best Animated or Mixed Media Film, and was nominated for the Golden Globe of Best Motion Picture in the Musical or Comedy category.

For any UFO buff, it is a light-hearted must see and deserving of a commendable place in your CoverUps video collection. It is otherworldly fun because it has fun with other worlds, perhaps the strangest one of all being New York City.
















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