Freeview film of the day: Men in Black

This 1997 alien caper is the perfect balance of comedy and action, with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as the titular agents

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Men in Black ★★★★ 
9.00-10.50pm Film Four

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The Men In Black trilogy, produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and cherry-picked from the comics of the same name, scored its biggest box-office hit with a belated third episode in 2012. But it’s the 1997 original that counts, and it still zings with inventive FX work and smart-mouthed wit under Barry Sonnenfeld’s slick direction. Grizzled Tommy LeeJones and street-sharp Will Smith are perfect as the shades-wearing agents who police extraterrestrial life on earth. It’s really all about memories being wiped, but what we all remember is the talking pug, the pawn shop, the bug dressed in Vincent D’Onofrio’s increasingly saggy skin and all the crash-bang flying saucer action. Rip Torn, too, is enjoyably dry as the boss in black.

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