With Men In Black: International upon us, we’ve been taking some time to reflect on the first three Men In Black films. While the second one isn’t a masterpiece, each of the three contains moments that will always make me smile. It’s going to be strange watching a MIB movie without Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones but I’m also really excited to see the universe expand with new stories.
The idea of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson teaming up again after their crazy chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok is just too good to pass up. Before we start raving about the newest film in the MIB universe, let’s reflect on some of the excellence we’ve already been gifted in Men In Black, Men In Black II, and Men In Black 3. Some of these moments are hilarious but others might tug at your heartstrings a bit and most come from the first movie (we all know it’s the best film). It was a challenge to narrow three movies down to just seven moments but I did it.
1. “Elvis is not dead. He just went home.”
I think this scene is my favorite from all the movies and probably always will be. We get to know J and K before the car ride and their roles completely switch. I absolutely adore watching K dance and sing along to Elvis’ ‘Promised Land’ (can you tell I’m a pretty big Tommy Lee Jones fan?) J tries to get in a quick quip near the end by pointing out Elvis is dead but K snaps right back. Elvis didn’t die. He’s just an alien that went back to his planet. The Elvis moment sparked a fun banter through the rest of the films where characters speculated about different celebrities.
2. “Your Daddy is a Hero.”
I warned you guys that not all of these moments would make you laugh and this one from MIB 3 is definitely one of those. I truly enjoyed the third installment, though I could have used more Tommy Lee Jones, it ventured into some truly emotional territory that I really didn’t expect. Learning why J’s Dad was never around when he was a kid still makes me tear up to this day. This scene also delivered an amazing tie in among the three films giving us the reason K was watching and preparing to recruit J from the very beginning making it the whole thing even more emotional. J’s Dad saved K’s life and I’m all feels after watching this clip.
3. “Then I saw this snarling beast guy.”
The quote I chose zeroed in on the firearm test but my intention was to highlight the entire testing sequence. Agent J moving that table and trying to take the paper (when he broke the pencil) test has me in stitches every time I watch as if it’s the first time all over again. I’ll never get over J explaining why he killed the little girl instead of all the aliens and how confident he was in his theories. It’s just an excellent Will Smith moment! J looks so out of place among these soldiers that it seems impossible he’d be recruited, but K handpicked him so it was fate. And that Captain America reference was so ahead of its time that I just realized he said it!
4. “Flush me, J,”
This clip is so short but it also packs so many things within. Before I break down the depth a bit, can we just take a minute to appreciate K’s reaction to J asking if he’s ever been to a water park? And then, the two of them holding their breath while the water fills the room! Sometimes the little things just give the best moments.
Anyway, back to the deeper side of this silly scene. Its hilarious watching J try to convince K that the chaos they experience is just everyday fun for them. However, we also get to see J become really vulnerable when K sees (easily) through his charade and just asks K not to quit on him yet. As quick as this moment goes by, it does a really good job of fully displaying J and K’s relationship. Scenes like this are the reason I worry about a new MIB film without these two because they just clicked.
5. “It’s a squid.”
The alien birth scene is one of J’s first big moments after joining the Men In Black and it’s a pure thrill. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones play off of each other brilliantly by playing on their individual strengths. Jones gives us that deadpan we’ve come to know and love while Smith is dramatic and over-the-top (like any of us would be in this situation) working together to deliver one of the most memorable scenes from the MIB series, along with some huge laughs. You really just have to watch this one because there’s nothing I can say that will add to its perfection.
6. “Extraterrestrial foodstuffs.”
As I mentioned above, I loved the third movie, and Josh Brolin did an exceptional job as a young K, but I needed more Tommy Lee Jones. What I love about this sequence is the callback to the first two movies especially when K uses the food as a weapon much like his interrogation of Frank the pug. K and J fighting the good fight while getting in a few great one-liners is essential MIB and still having that in round three is pretty special. Watching Tommy Lee Jones in action will always get my vote. No one ever tried to change what these movies were about and that is why they are so good and will stand the test of time. Plus, the giant alien fish creature is just too hilarious on its own not to include (its name is Bob).
7. “I’m sorry. Was that your auntie?”
Cockroaches are my kryptonite so you’d think the final sequence from the first movie would make me recoil in fear but somehow it doesn’t. Vincent D’Onofrio absolutely slays as a giant roach rocking an ‘Edgar suit’ and he really brings it home during the finale. Agent J antagonizing a giant bug, who literally just ate Agent K, by stomping on the cockroach family is everything.
Men In Black could have been considered ridiculous if any one part of it was not done perfectly but it was so we have one amazing movie. Hemsworth and Thompson have big shoes to fill but I have a feeling they will do just fine.
Check out the trailer for Men in Black: International and make sure to share your favorite moments with us!
Men in Black: International is now in theaters.