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Festivale Spring 1997

Men in Black

If you haven't heard of Men in Black or seen the advertising, you are either dead or very, very secluded indeed.

Men in Black is based on a comic book and played to the max by two men very capable of treating over-the-top behaviour as ordinary. This is the must-see, be-there-or-be-square film of the year.

Movie poster, Men in Black, Festivale film review

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The film opens 'raining black guys' as Will Smith in his brightly coloured clothes demonstrates his own version of New York's finest. But little does he know, beneath the layers of criminality that he polices lies another layer: the aliens. Agent K (Jones) is the one who ushers him into the shadowy world of the men in black. The Earth, he says, is just one big "Rick's Bar" in Casablanca, "Same thing, except no Nazis".

But don't breathe a sigh of relief yet, because you can't have heroes without struggle and conflict, so in Men in Black the bad guys are not Nazis, but bugs (technical term).

Mr and Ms Average don't know this, because "People", says Agent K, "are dumb, dangerous animals."

And so the men in black protect us (the people) from them (the bad aliens).

"We're them. We're they. We are the Men in Black."

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are soaked in slime of every colour except the traditional green, they face monsters and new-borns, they brave the nineties in sixties suits, and never travel without the do-hicky that makes the mundanes forget their alien encounters.

The world is not what is seems, and people are not what they seem. Watch carefully to see just who is presented as an alien being. Dennis Rodman -- well of course, but Elvis?

"Elvis is not dead. He just went home."

Well, if he did, he's missing one hell of a good time. Report to your local cinema immediately.

Ali Kayn
See also: Terry's review (and more pics)

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Just the facts:

Title: Men in Black (PG)
Written by: Screenplay by Ed Solomon based on the comic book by Lowell Cunningham.
Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld

The Players: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino
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