Films featuring
Will Smith

Men in Black 3

You know, we been doing some pretty smart stuff over the past day or so. How about we do something stupid?

After ten years, the only real impression left behind by Men in Black 2 was a vague sense of dread at the announcement of Men in Black 3. After such a badly misfired sequel, the third film in a franchise can do one of two things: either drag the series further down the rat hole, or like Die Hard: With a Vengeance, actually redeem the series. Chalk this one down for option B.

The original film prospered on the casting of Tommy Lee Jones as an anchor for Will Smith. Wouldn’t you know that the third film’s success is the result of an equally inspired bit of casting. More about this later.

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Men in Black

Did anything about that seem odd to you?

The success of this movie, creatively as much as commercially, is down to a triumph of casting. Of course, they had Will Smith, fresh off his breakthrough role in Independence Day, but that coup carries some hazards. Smith’s high-energy presence can dominate and unbalance a movie if allowed, requiring an actor of equal weight and with a complementary presence to even the scales. Thus, pairing Smith with the deadpan Tommy Lee Jones is half the key to the success of Men in Black.

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I, Robot was a series of stories by the late Isaac Asimov about a future society where robots serve humans and are governed by the now immortal Three Laws of Robotics.

  1. A robot will never harm a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot will always obey the commands of a human, except where those orders conflict with the first law.
  3. A robot will preserve it’s own existence, except when doing so would conflict with the first or second law.

These laws became so famous within the science fiction community that if you wrote a story with robots, you were in danger of being bombarded by letters from outraged 13-year-olds if your robots didn’t obey Asimov’s Three Laws.

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