Men in Black
satisfies Woody Allenís dictum that no movie should last longer than 90
minutes, coming in with two minutes to spare at 88 minutes running time.
It only seems like five hours.
Tommy Lee Jones
is one of the better actors of this generation.
He was terrific in Under Siege and in the Javert-type role in The
Fugitive. The man can act. Here
heís taking a vacation. Comedy
is an actorís most difficult task.
When I think of wonderful comedic parts, I think of George Segal in
Touch of Class, Cary Grant in His Girl Friday, Bringing up Baby, and the
other screwball comedies, Laurence Olivier in The Prince and the Showgirl.
These were great actors at the top of their craft.
Alas, in Men in
Black Jones is asked to, in the words of Spencer Tracy, remember his lines
and know his marks. And thatís all he does.
He keeps a straight face and speaks his lines in a monotone.
Oh, once tears come from his eyes, but maybe itís because heís
thinking of how heís being upstaged by a bunch of worms and how heís
abandoned his integrity to participate in this tedious piece of fluff for
This film is so
full of special effects that it seems as if there are only about seven
minutes of actual story-telling from which to decipher a plot.
I walked out hoping never to see a special effect again.
Speaking of special effects, couldnít Director Barry Sonnenfeld
have found some way to hide all the lines in Jonesí face? What happened to the Robert Redford Filter?
Even though this
movie thinks itís sooo clever, there are no smart lines in a script by
Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro that, giving it its best face, is moronic.
The music is actually pretty good.
It sounds like thereís a plot.
But all youíre watching is 88 minutes of special effects.
Better to watch a documentary on the Discovery Channel.
Rip Torn is
another favorite actor of mine. I
wonder what Larry Sanders would think of Artie prostituting himself like
this. Poor Will Smith is the
person who acts in this movie. He
just doesnít have any material with which to work.
There are a couple of surprising cameos, but there is also nepotism
as Director Sonnenfeld scattered Sonnenfelds throughout the cast.
When I first
heard they were going to make a sequel to Men in Black, I thought that it
epitomized how low Hollywood had sunk, that such a trivial film could be
so deserving. Can you imagine
Irving Thalberg coming out of a screening of Men in Black and someone
suggesting a sequel? The
thought makes me shudder.
Worse news is
that Jones is already talking about making a third Men in Black.
Has the man no shame? Tommy,
think for a minute. Would
Paul Newman act in something like this?
Surely youíre beyond acting just for the money.