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Monday, December 08, 2014

Movie Review:Men In Black


Premise:A secret organization (primarily a veteran agent and his rookie partner) have to save the world from an alien cockroach.

Cast:Will Smith as Agent J, Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, Vincent D'Onofrio as Edgar/the Bug, Linda Fiorentino as Laurel Weaver, Rip Torn as Zed, Tony Shaloub as Jeebs, Siobhan Fallon as Beatrice

Director:Barry Sonnenfeld

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for language and sci-fi violence

Genres:Sci-fi, action, comedy

Notes:Based off a Marvel comic. Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:The leads. Funny dialogue. Good action.

Cons:Spots of bad acting. Excessive use of slime.


Are we alone in the universe? According to the Men in Black, we are. Or so they want the public to think. They know that we deal with aliens on a regular basis and don't even realize it. And considering that the planet might be blown to pieces, maybe it's better that way.

Undoubtedly one of the best things about this movie is its leads. They act well, their dialogue is funny, it just works. I heard that Tommy Lee Jones ad-libbed most of his lines, and the film is better for it. However, I don't particularly like Laurel, the coroner. She has little depth as a character and the acting on her isn't that great. Ditto for Beatrice, though she's in it for a shorter time.

The action is also a plus. It doesn't take a half-hour to get to the good part, it plunges right in. You got chase scenes, stuff going ka-boom, everything you'd want.

Overall, I liked it and would call it a great sci-fi comedy.


Sex:J uses a sexual metaphor for getting info from a suspect. When J and K come across pictures of a guy and his pet cat, J remarks the man had a huge crush on his cat. An alien is mentioned not to have a rectum. A woman wears a short skirt.
Laurel tries to warn J about someone threatening her, but he ends up interpreting her attempts as innuendo. She complains about how men act whenever a woman shows sexual independence. Earlier, he says to K she has a great body.
When erasing a woman's memory, K tells her that her husband (who was killed by an alien) ran off with an old girlfriend. Tabloid covers talk about failing marriages and sexual scandals. K uses a satellite to spy on his old girlfriend.

Violence:Aliens are often blasted, turning into slimy gore. There's some gun usage. Vehicles get holes blown through them. A flying saucer crashes. Aliens threaten to blow Earth off the galactic map, and apparently, this is not an uncommon event. A warning shot is fired on the earth.
War between aliens is something MiB is trying hard to avoid, and something the Bug tries hard to create. And he gets very angry with anyone who kills insects in front of him. His species thrives on carnage from what we're told. Over the course of the movie, the Bug tosses people around, trashes a store, manhandles a woman he plans to eat later, thrashes around in his truck, shoots a guy, kills several people, and twice stuffs their bodies where they won't be immediately found.
The bug crushes a truck when he lands, then grabs the owner and sucks him out of his own skin (the sucking process is offscreen, but the empty skin is briefly visible). An exterminator gets stabbed in the face and two other men in the neck. There's an indication pre-Bug Edgar beats his wife. Post-Bug Edgar grabs his scalp to stretch his skin in a grotesque manner. He also talks about destroying humanity.
Trainees practice shooting cut-outs of aliens. A target resembling a little girl is shot as well. There's discussion of body parts being removed. One alien gets his head blasted off, only to grow it back (though he complains that it stings). K threatens to shoot something that doesn't regrow. Another alien is shaken around, which he hates.
J chases a guy on foot, both of them almost getting hit by cars. Said chase ends when the guy decides to jump off a building. A glass door is shot out. A burning shrub is used as a weapon. J gets grabbed by tentacles and whacked against a car. A tiny bouncing ball shoots all over and causes damage. It's mentioned a body was broken in half. J twice neglects to buckle his seat belt, which gets him in trouble. Evidence of an alien presence is burned.

Drugs/Alcohol:Alien worms smoke cigarettes and pack them when they decide to take off. A guy makes a sarcastic remark about selling crack. K tries to light a cigarette at one point. At another, he convinces someone their memory loss is due to booze. There's a reference to drunken prom queens.

Language/Insults:Words like "a**", "pr**k", "sh*t", "crap", "d**k", "d**n", "h*ll", "p*ss", and "g*dd**n" are used. The middle finger is used once. "G*d", "Chr*st", "kiss my butt", and "bas**rd" are said at least once each. J insults a guy's weight while Edgar calls his wife fat and useless.

Gross stuff:As mentioned, there is a lot of slimy gore going on here. There are also cockroaches crawling around (which in my opinion are one of the most disgusting animals alive). Once, they crawl all over a table (and the food) at a restaurant. Insects get killed, with their guts squishing out. A baby alien spits up on a guy's face.


Spiritual:The most significant bit is a part that shows our universe as being one of several. A cab driver wears a turban. A couple of references are made to evolution (mainly about the fact that humans are considered unevolved). A tabloid claims the pope is a father (though from what we learn, these seemingly fake stories are pretty accurate). A church appears in the background for a few seconds.
J says that Laurel has a good Queen-of-the-undead thing going. The phrases "speak of the devil" and "the spirit is willing" are used. A captive tries to get an alien to release her by telling him she's a goddess with worshipers.


So what did you think? Did you like it? Or did you wish they'd flashy-thing you?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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