Somehow, it’s been 25 years since crusty Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) recruited wide-eyed Agent J (Will Smith) into a top-secret government agency dealing with Earth-alien relations. To celebrate, Barry Sonnenfeld’s original Men in Black is getting a brief theatrical return, in a slick new 4K version to boot.
You know what that means: Vincent D’Onofrio’s pleasingly disgusting performance as a buggy alien will be crisper and clearer to behold than ever before, as will all the wacky gadgets and other elements that helped kick off one of cinema’s most beloved sci-fi franchises. This limited theatrical release will also feature an interview with Sonnenfeld, who began his career lensing films for the Coen Brothers (including 1987's Raising Arizona) before he broke into directing with films like 1991's The Addams Family and 1995's Get Shorty. You can see how the Steven Spielberg-produced Men in Black—a blend of action, comedy, and altogether ooky creatures, with a script by Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) based on Lowell Cunningham’s comic—was a natural progression for the director. (He also directed the second and third Men in Black films, which probably won’t be getting their own special anniversary screenings when the time comes... though Men in Black II does have its moments.)
Despite the recent, highly public foibles of one of its marquee stars—and the fact that it relies so heavily on 1997-era special effects—Men in Black has a timeless quality that makes it a natural for this kind of celebration, giving us a fish-out-of-water tale that arrived at the height of The X-Files mania but before the most hateful pockets of the internet and politics ruined the fun of conspiracy theories for everyone else. It’s also consistently funny and boasts some excellent performances beyond its leads, with a supporting cast that includes Linda Fiorentino as a sultry coroner, Tony Shalhoub as a mostly helpful alien shopkeeper, Rip Torn as the head of MIB, and a pack of shockingly charismatic alien worms.
You can catch the new 4K version of Men in Black on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4 at 3 and 7 p.m. local time. The Fathom Events website has all the details on where it’ll be showing in your area.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.