We all love Will Smith, and his films. Every one of them seems to be a hit because of his talent, his drive, and definitely his charisma. It’s hard to choose which films are his best work, however, you can’t talk about Will Smith movies without talking about Men in Black.
There are so many films within the “alien horror” genre, but there aren’t too many of them out there that you can enjoy with jokes and laughs. Leave it to Will Smith to give you that different take on alien films. Despite his success with his other alien film, “Independence Day”, I would say Men in Black can go neck an neck in being some of his best films of all time. They simply stand out from all the other alien films because they have a perfect blend of everything you would want to see when it comes to aliens.
This is perhaps the main thing that makes all the Men in Black movies stand out, its comedy. It’s not often that you see a movie dealing with aliens that will give you a laugh at the same time. Most alien films center around a creepy, scary, and slimy looking creature that has somehow infiltrated a space ship, a city, or the entire Earth. Independence Day, the Predator Franchise, and the Alien Franchise with Sigourney Weaver are perfect examples of this. From minute one the entire situation is scary, dangerous, and more than enough people end up being killed by this creature until a sole survivor manages to take down the alien creature. With Men in Black, it’s different.
With models in the Men in Black films, particularly Men in Black 3, it was mentioned how all models are aliens. This contributed to the comedy greatly because you hear in reality all the time what people think about models. “No real woman looks that way.” See where that goes? I thought it was a great comedy addition, even if it was mentioned briefly.
Many of the aliens in the Men in Black films are from different planets, with different appearances. Some of them even look human, with “special features.” Most of them have humor, and can make jokes with each other just like humans do. Most of all, you’re not scared of them. As Tommy Lee Jones’ character “K” mentioned, most of the humans were completely unaware of their existence, which made it perfect for any alien traveling the galaxy, to make pit stops and permanent homes here on Earth.
Another thing that made the Men in Black franchise come together with its comedy is the perfect chemistry with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Those two worked well together, bringing their own charisma to incorporate in how the comedy was executed. The filmmakers couldn’t have found better chemistry with anyone else.
Living in Harmony:
In the Men in Black franchise, while there were plenty of aliens that loved to cause trouble, most of them lived in great harmony with the humans. All of the aliens were always policed and monitored, hence MIB headquarters, and this was done for the sole purpose of making sure there wasn’t any wrongdoing on the aliens’ part. Despite the rogues, these aliens didn’t try to kill anyone or take over Earth. The ones who did, were handled well by MIB, with the added assistance of some of the aliens that lived there. (in these cases, most of the aliens were residents of New York.)
Other aliens in horror, were all about killing their enemy, and dominating Earth, especially the ones who were self aware. In the Alien film franchise, it was mostly about survival in space after dealing with a stray alien because of a mistake made by one the humans, whether intentional or unintentional. There are also alien films that didn’t deal with your typical alien, meaning, they came in the form of spores, that still had the purpose of taking over humans and Earth, such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers. So you can clearly see the difference in each alien film franchise and how Men in Black stands out completely. Men in Black has a great way of incorporating real life situations and people such the Moon Launch 1969 (see here also for information on the actual event, Moon Launch 1969), Mick Jagger, and Andy Warhol.
Weapons and Time:
Men in Black, although not set in the future, had great space guns that would have been a perfect fit if the storyline had been in the future. Many alien films are set in a futuristic tone, though not all. With Men in Black, I loved how the story kept to the present date. The creators also made this unique in the third film when “Agent J” had to travel back to 1969 to rescue “Agent K” before going back to the future. This made the third film the most unique.
The entire Men in Black franchise took a lot of things from reality and made it unique and that’s what I love about it. All of these factors that has made MIB successful differs greatly from all the other alien films and you can still enjoy it. If you have kids and they are too young to see an alien film in the horror genre, show them MIB instead. That’s another added bonus with this franchise that sets itself apart from any other.