Top 10 Aliens in the Men in Black Movies
With the recent home video release of Men in Black International, I thought it was a perfect time for me to revisit the original trilogy as well as the rebootquel and come up with a list of my 10 favorite aliens in the series. Plus, aside from the second one, I do enjoy watching all of these movies and the first and third are some of my favorite movies. I liked the rebootquel more than most, but I’m not too broken up that it doesn’t seem like it will continue into its own franchise. Also, this is part of my Patreon rewards program, for just $1 a month, you could get early access to articles like these and help decide on a movie that I review each month. So click right here and help support this site and help it continue to grow.
10: Frank the Pug
Movies: MIB, MIIB, MIB3(kinda), MIBI|
Honestly, one of the best things about Frank the Pug’s whole concept was over and done with in his introduction in the first Men in Black. J and K walk up to a newsstand with a guy that obviously looks like he would be an alien, and then the pug starts talking. He was also used well in Men in Black 3 after the original pug that they used in both the previous movies passed away homaged in a portrait in J’s apartment and in the past on a carnival sign. He had a bigger role in the second movie and just one line in the reboot though he was also overly used in the promotional material. He’s popular with a lot of people and basically appeared in all four movies so he deserves a spot on this list, but I just never really grew to like him.
9: The Hive Twins
While the new movie didn’t get a lot of love from really anyone, there were a few good things about it here and there. And while I’m not talking about the twins Idikiukup and Bob, I’m talking about the supposedly villainous twins in Men in Black International. They don’t get points for their personality as they only get three or four lines, and because of the actors who play them, they’re given a moment to dance at a dance club because the actors can dance rather than any other logical reason for them to be dancing at that moment rather than carrying out their mission. But what they do get major points for are their powers and their look. They’re able to shape objects around them at a molecular level and basically T2 their environment. Plus, their own forms when not in their hip hop twin personas are this gorgeous galaxy effect. That’s worth a few points in my book.
Movies: MIB, MIIB, MIB3, MIBI
To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sold on the Worms during the first movie. I felt like they were a one note joke. And in a way, they still are a one note joke. But going through the trilogy this last time, I had more of an appreciation for them. Especially as they aren’t fully CGI creatures. Much of the time, at least from what I can tell, they are actually practical effects. Yes, they are a bit stiff because of that, but they feel more real that way. And in one of the few good moments in the second movie, they actually have some agency and get to try and show off while still being the cowardly worms that they are. But the real high point going for them is that they are the only alien (to my knowledge) to be featured in all four MIB movies.
7: The Weasel
While Jermaine Clement’s Boris the Animal is a great character, he would be nothing without his trusty little nameless sidekick. Pretty much all of Boris’s deadly menace comes from this spine shooting little creature that resides inside the palm of his hand. We don’t get that clear a look at this creature once it pops out from the smuggled in cake to help him bust out of prison, but he’s just as adept at picking locks as he is with flinging his spines with deadly accuracy.
There wasn’t a whole lot of good to come out of the second Men In Black, especially when it comes to the aliens. From the giant subway worm to a two-headed Johnny Knoxville and an underwear model made out of tentacles. The one alien that was kind of cool besides Biz Markie’s alien who spoke in beatbox was one of Serleena’s henchmen that she broke out of prison. He looks like a typical weird mastermind villain in a giant trenchcoat until the reveal that he’s actually a bunch of tiny bodied aliens in flying hover discs with mechanical tentacles. He doesn’t have a whole lot of personality and J ends up beating him pretty easily, but the reveal is worth a spot on this list at least.
Movies: MIB, MIIB
Even though Tony Shaloub has somewhat faded from the public eye after his popular turn on the show Monk, he’s always had a knack for choosing interesting but weird looking characters. And Jeebs is one of the first ones as he plays an alien who runs a pawn shop specializing in illegal goods and a head that grows back. One of the best moments is actually in the second movie after he deneuralizes K and we get the callback where K shoots Jeebs’s head off complete with a punchline moments later revealing that K didn’t yet remember that Jeebs’s head actually grew back.
On first viewing, I didn’t completely fall for Pawny. Every movie seems to have a miniature alien. The first movie had the Emperor protecting the galaxy while he piloted a person suit from inside the head. The second had Jarra from earlier in this list. The third had a random thug in a bowling alley where they used him like a bowling ball. And this has an alien culture that just hangs around on a chessboard playing the roles of chess pieces and we’re introduced to the nameless pawn who has lost his queen. His personality is a mix of boundless enthusiasm with some realism under the surface, his attitude turns on a dime but he’s generally positive even when he’s saying something negative. Not only that, but despite being the comic relief, he’s actually not treated as a useless character. He actually succeeds in the tasks that he’s given and saves the day without it just being dumb luck. So I guess he has grown on me a bit since the first viewing.
3: Just Boris
Even though I gave Boris’s hand alien quite a bit of credit, Boris himself as a character is still impressive and one of the best villains in the entire movie series. Jermaine Clement reminds me quite a bit of Tim Curry and that’s a good thing. There’s this sense of other-ness that he imbues with Boris where everything is just not quite right. On top of that, you have his complete lack of humanity or empathy and a single minded focus on revenge. His ultimate goal might be to allow a Boglodite invasion of Earth but it mostly feels like it’s a simple revenge towards K who shot off his arm. And while he generally just has a creepy look, when the claws quite literally come out, from every part of his body, it’s even creepier.
Griffin is an Arcanian who has the ability to see infinite possible futures at once. He’s one of the best parts of Men in Black 3 as he assists J and K in their time travel escapades. He’s constantly wearing a knit cap to cover his open air skull where he was hiding the Arc net from Boris the Animal. He has a very quick way of speaking as he references multiple potential futures in quick succession while being a vital plot device and comic relief at the same time. Plus, Michael Stuhlbarg has some amazingly subtle and effective facial expressions combined with the unnaturally pale blue eyes that just immediately create this endearing character.
This is really the benchmark for all the aliens in the Men in Black universe and it kicked things off with a bang. Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of a giant bug in the decaying skin of a random abusive farmer named Edgar is a high point in physical and vocal acting. Everything about his performance screams that something isn’t right. His movements are jerky, his voice is strained and oddly patterned and the makeup effects to make his skin look stretched out and slowly decaying over the course of the movie is so perfect. The only downside is that he completely loses all personality as soon as he rips his skin off in the climax and becomes a voiceless giant CGI cockroach.
And there you have it folks, is there any that you think I missed? Are you a fan of Johnny Knoxville’s two headed idiot or Mikey from the first movie? Be sure to let me know in the comments. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.