Men in Black 3 (2012)

The key to this film’s success is that Brolin as a young Agent K is marvelous and has the same entertaining chemistry with Smith’s J as TLJ did. The future-past mash-up, meanwhile, adds both extra fun to the dynamic as well as hints of intriguing character work (“What happened to you man?”; see also the final reveal). Stuhlbarg’s manic Griffin and Clement’s delightfully over-the-top villain (see his hilarious interaction with his past self) are great secondary characters that fill things out.

Men in Black II (2002)

Just didn’t click this time around. The combination of Jay’s naivety and bravado in the first made for lots of laughs; here, the former is gone and a cocky vet just isn’t as funny as a brash rookie. Kay’s also gone for half the flick, so that doesn’t help. It’s not bad, per se, and there are some good moments (see the locker colony, and the cheeky reveal at the end) but annoying villains, an empty “romance” (I can’t even call it that seriously) and a lame plot linger more than anything else.

Men in Black (1997)

The sci-fi concept is uniquely nuanced (aliens aren’t all good or all bad) and well established (“Why the big secret? People are smart.” “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals”) but as a whole, smartly stays just goofy, gross fun throughout, complimented by the classic central odd-couple and comedy that goes beyond one-liners (see Jay and fellow testers trying to make themselves comfortable), though it has plenty of those too: “No, Elvis is not dead. He just went home.”

Hancock (2008)


Hancock is a superhero whose ill considered behavior regularly causes damage in the millions. He changes when the person he saves helps him improve his public image. (IMDb)
Starts off as a strong character drama, with Smith’s asshole Hancock playing well off Bateman’s earnest straight man for some laughs early on before some well-executed scenes bring out further depth (see his vulnerable press conference; small group sharing) and his mysterious superpowers add tasteful intrigue. If only it ended after the bank rescue, for from there an unwanted twist takes it down a mess of a new path populated by some laughable sci-fi, a barely-there villain, and a lame ending.
6.5/10 (Alright)


Independence Day (1996)


The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind’s best weapon is the will to survive.  (IMDb)
All of the ingredients are here for a classic blockbuster sci-fi: The U.S. president, the army (Smith brings the swagger), and the science-y guy (Goldblum is hilarious), with dashes of personal side-plots; aliens, missiles, and explosions; a back-and-forth first act introducing the different players and places and a big triumphant climax. It’s cliche, has some questionable SFX, and lacks action, but with a good helping of memorable characters and humourous dialogue, it remains entertaining.
6.5/10 (Alright)