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Review Men in Black (1997): Will, are you out of your damn mind?

genre: comic book adaptation, science fiction, comedy, action

Just yesterday, I was watching Men in Black (4K UHD Blu-ray version) and thinking how accomplished Will Smith was, and then he punches Chris Rock in the face. I mean WTF? I like Will Smith, and I am even willing to give him getting upset at a stupid and perhaps insensitive joke. But to get so out of control to do what he did? Come on! That is unacceptable. Worse of all is how most people in the bizz are defending him and not once even showed empathy towards Chris Rock, the victim. Of course Tiffany Haddish is going to do so. Ever since Will Smith and Jada Pinkett have reached out to her, she considers them friends. But there were so many others. What if a random person had done this in the same situation? What would have happened then? I tell you. That person would have been removed and police would have been called. This incident, or should we say assault, is disgusting and preposterous. You know, I have blasted Rock for being a poor actor. But boy did he act his pants off now. He showed a restraint I certainly wouldn't have. Smith didn't even apologize to Chris Rock. All this time I respected the guy, but now? He was crying and telling in his speech how life is hard, bla bla bla. I mean, nobody is denying it. But Will Smith has reached a position and status in life that he doesn't have to suffer the same consequences as you and I do.  This whole incident just points out how screwed up the Oscars are. To be honest, I didn't even know it was on yesterday. Ever since I found out it's all about politics, I haven't been able to take that awards show serious. Now after all this and not even squaring it with Chris Rock, how will I ever take any of it seriously. Anyway, it wasn't my intention to go off-topic. But sometimes I can't help to call out these celebrities.*

Back to the review itself. For a long time, I considered Men in Black to be a comedy classic. While it certainly is still a good film, I no longer laugh at the same scenes. The camera work, the special effects still are of a decent quality. In fact, I think it enhances the comic book roots, so works in its favour. The one thing that really becomes painfully obvious, is the lack of compelling narrative, where almost everything is dependent on the surprise factor that will outstay its welcome after multiple viewings. The slapstick comedy is still entertaining, but nearly not as funny as the first couple of times I watched it. The one thing I always found annoying was the bug arch. The bug using a human's skin to disguise himself is brilliant. But it's one of those things that only works for so long. To me, that part is incredibly tedious. What does the bug want? World domination? All by himself? A little backstory would have been nice.

The dynamics between Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith is great. But the dynamics between Smith and Linda Fiorentino is exceptional, too. I personally would have liked it if Fiorentino had been given more to do. Also, a real shame she isn't acting any more because she is phenomenal. She should have at least been in the sequel. Unfortunately because of commitment towards another film she didn't return. And not that Tommy Lee Jones refused to work with her, since she apparently was difficult. After the whole Harvey Weinstein scandal, that has been given a whole other meaning and I wouldn't be surprised, she got blacklisted for refusing to take part into any kind of funny business. Is there any proof for this? No, but think about it. Her star was rising and suddenly she is gone. That is incredibly suspicious. 

If you have never watched Men in Black then it's a no-brainer. You should watch it. Do I think it's worth to own the film? Honestly, I don't think so. 

*By now, Will Smith has apologized to Chris Rock directly. Had he done this immediately, I think it would have come across as more sincere. At the moment, it feels like this is done for the public's benefit.

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