The fall from grace Will Smith after his resounding slap, he has cast an unpleasant shadow or bitter note on his previous works. For example, it’s hard not to see ‘Two rebel policemen II‘ and not think of it a bit like a documentary. but there are still some jobs of theirs that can get over it and win for fun.
It is the case of ‘Men in Black‘, one of those model blockbusters of the nineties, which also helped to reaffirm him as a movie star after there were still doubts with him in projects like ‘Independence Day’. A good mix of science fiction and comedy which can still be seen on Netflix for a few days, since next May 31 leave the platform.
Taking a loose inspiration from the comic series of Lowell Cunningham Y Sandy Carrutherspublished by Aircel Comics before being acquired by Marvel, was commissioned to Ed Solomon write a script that had the main elements: action, comedy and science fiction. To balance everything, the director was Barry Sonnenfeldwho had had a notable success in the field of genre comedy with his two films of ‘the addams family‘.
Successful movements, although to finish taking them to the next level, the combo of stars was needed to sell the mix to the general public. With Will Smith playing the ambitious rookie and with Tommy Lee Jones of burned veteran, was forged a perfect and balanced chemistry to introduce us to this bizarre world full of secret government agencies and aliens.
It is even surprising that a film as given to grotesque humor as ‘Men in Black’ was received so warmly, not only by the public but also by critics who considered it above average goofy blockbusters -perhaps, possibly, because he fully embraces the silliness of his proposal-. Things as they are, Sonnenfeld together with Smith and Jones bring this peculiar humor down to earth by accompanying it with good dose of sense of wonder and some violent actionbut that can sneak when performing it against alien creatures.
‘Men In Black’: charisma and fun
A good example of how well thought out the film is from the beginning is the decision to move the action to New York, which Sonnenfeld justified by saying that in that city it would not be as shocking to run into strange creatures as those in the film. Your tone more or less works for you, there is no denying that it is a film that is very aware of what it is doing, and is very effective at doing it.
I mentioned before how ‘Men in Black’ represents the model of the 90s blockbuster, and it is precisely because of knowing how to balance different tones in a solid show that goes beyond the functional thanks to charisma and fun. Those values of charisma and fun also apply to Smith, who at his best was able to deliver these things without seeming like he’s trying too hard. That makes the movie a bit of a relic of the past, but it’s still infallible entertainment.