click for new
|Festivale Spring 1997|
|Men in Black|
|I caught this flick in an audience of sci-fi fans (science fiction fans being those who read books that aren't novelisations of movies or graphic novels). Of course, half of them dressed as MIBs, so the whole joint looked like a Mormon convention or a Roy Orbison fanclub meeting. Sci-fi fans are a mob well known for laughing at the obvious gags and being bewildered by subtle stuff like wordplay, merry badinage and artful verbiage.|
|So I was delightfully surprised that Men In Black
contained a modicum (but not a sufficiency) of witty dialogue and a subtext
which makes merry mockery of conspiracy buffs, UFOfreeks and just about anyone
who ever had a funny dream about David Duchovny.
Most people already know the backstory. K (Jones) is one of the MIB, a mega-secret organisation who regulate the emigration of extraterrestrials to and from Earth. At any one time there are 1500 aliens roaming the Earth, some of them disguised as human beings with varying degrees of success and some disguised as other things. K and new recruit J (Smith) get on the trail of a Bug whose saucer crash landed in upstate New York. Bugs are bad.
This one's out to steal an entire galaxy. The Bug assumes the identity of an Earthling, Edgar who would not seem out of place in Green Acres (played by Vincent D'Onofrio who once had the good fortune to be married to Greta Scacchi). Edgar's skin has some trouble holding the Bug and D'Onofrio's physical acting is one of the best parts of the film. He walks like an alien wearing human skin.
The production values of the film are Port Out Starboard Home. Rick Baker did the alien effects, ILM did the CGI and other physical effects. Baker's aliens are fantastic. He might well have another Oscar heading his way for this one.
Ultimately, MIB is a comic book, so don't go into it expecting more. It's a multimedia amusement and as such, does its stuff very well.
See also: Ali's review and more pics
|Just the facts:
Title: Men in Black (PG)
|The Players: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Rip Torn|
No other uses are permitted without the prior written consent of owner.
Use of the material in violation of the foregoing may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
disclaimers | contact the editor | Festivale revision history
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia copyright © Festivale 2009 All rights reserved
Filed: Sep-1997 Last updated: 22-Dec-2008 Last tested: 3-Jul-2014
Last tested Mar-1998 Last Compiled: 3-Jul-2014
Entire site refreshed: Dec 2008-Feb 2009 | Site URL transferred: Jan 2005 (previously www.festivale.webcentral.com.au)