If you’ve never watched a Men in Black movie (gasp!), here’s the lowdown. The Men in Black are a secret organisation on Earth consisting of mostly gorgeous people dressed in spiffy black suits. Their mission: to keep the peace on Earth. What sort of peace, you may ask? Well, it turns out that Earth is actually a melting pot of cultures – for alien civilisations all over the universe. It turns out that aliens have been hiding amongst us all this while (taking on the guise of humans, of course), and sometimes they need some assistance maintaining their subterfuge.

But every now and then, an evil space alien threatens all of reality with their shenanigans – and that’s when the Men in Black do their most important work. In fact, Agents H (Chris Hemsworth) and M (Tessa Thompson) find themselves having to defend Earth against an intergalactic threat in Men in Black: International, just like how their predecessors Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) protected the planet against Orthopterous Exomorphs, Kylothians, and Boglodites.

After watching the films, we still have some burning questions about the Men in Black universe – questions that Steven Spielberg and the producers have never quite explained in the film series. (The comic series is a different matter altogether). Questions like:

 

1. Aren’t the Men in Black already “international” by default?

Agent M (Tessa Thompson) and Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) in Men in Black: International. Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Agent M (Tessa Thompson) and Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) in Men in Black: International. Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

If you think about the scope of duties for Men in Black – maintaining the peace amongst humans and aliens – doesn’t it already mean that they’re global, by default? All humans come from Earth, regardless of nationality. In fact, since they sort of have jurisdiction over aliens and humans on Earth, they’re effectively an interstellar organisation.

So the Men in Black are, thanks to the nature of their job, Men in Black: Interstellar. Men in Black: International is actually an existing subset of the scope they cover.

 

2. Why do alien Men in Black have to wear suits? They aren’t men (or even humans), so aren’t those suits really expensive?

Frank the Pug in Men in Black 2. Credit: Wikipedia

Frank the Pug in Men in Black 2. Credit: Wikipedia

Suits are expensive, especially if you tailor them. And that’s only considering suits made for humanoid proportions (because, you know, suits were designed with humans in mind).

Tailoring suits for aliens who have different body shapes or multiple limbs has got to be prohibitively expensive! We know that the Men in Black have alien members, because Frank the Pug (Tim Blaney) is clearly a high-ranking member of the Men in Black. But… Frank doesn’t wear pants. Aren’t pants part of a suit? How does Frank even put on his suit by himself?

Wouldn’t alien members of the Men in Black wear their species’ equivalent of a suit, instead of wearing a human suit that has to be heavily customised for them?

 

3. Why do the Men in Black make a distinction between human and aliens? Aren’t they all equal?

Pawny the incredibly irritating alien in Men in Black: International. Sony Pictures Releasing

Pawny the incredibly irritating alien in Men in Black: International. Sony Pictures Releasing

To truly understand this, we need to take a step back. The Men in Black clearly know that other alien species exist – with populations that could be as large as, or larger, than the human population. Given that knowledge, they would know that humans aren’t all that special as a species – we’re just one of the many species in the universe.

In that case, why make the distinction between humans and aliens? That’s effectively making a clear distinction between humans and non-humans – and that’s a form of racial (species?) discrimination. No, actually, that’s a form of discrimination against immigrants (which is what the aliens on Earth are). Given that the Men in Black espouse inter-species harmony… it sounds weird that they’d go out of the way to be so politically incorrect and call other species “aliens”, right?

 

4. How would the Men in Black know if a neuralyser went missing?

Agent J (Will Smith) uses a neuralyser in Men in Black. Credit: Stack Exchange

Agent J (Will Smith) uses a neuralyser in Men in Black. Credit: Stack Exchange

The most coveted piece of technology in the Men in Black universe is a neuralyser, because of its incredible power to erase memories from its victims (and to allow the user to implant new ones as well). Only a deneuralyser can undo the effects of a neuralyser, but a deneuralyser is a large room that requires at least five minutes to perform its function, whereas the neuralyser is a handheld device that can work its effects in seconds.

Clearly, a neuralyser is more powerful than any destructive weapon that may exist in the galaxy, but nobody seems to realise that.

So if a person (or alien, we’re not discriminating) realises the true potential of the neuralyser to reshape empires and achieve world dominance – wouldn’t it be an easy task to steal a neuralyser? All you’d need to do is to neuralyse the person you stole it from, and they’d never know that it went missing. You could make them think that they accidentally destroyed it by dropping it in a black hole or an incinerator, and they’d never know that it was stolen.

Which is a disturbing thought, really. How many neuralysers have been unknowingly stolen from Men in Black agents all these years?

 

5. If aliens on other planets know about humans and Earth… why don’t all humans know about aliens and other planets?

Chris Hemsworth (H) with M (Tessa Thompson) in Men in Black: International. Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Chris Hemsworth (H) with M (Tessa Thompson) in Men in Black: International. Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Men in Black: International reminds us that the reason so many aliens are on Earth is because our planet is sort of an asylum for aliens all over the galaxy. This means that aliens everywhere know about Earth, and know about Earth’s inhabitants (humans) – because they clearly go to great lengths to disguise themselves as natives on our planet.

So presumably, the existence of humans (and other alien species) must have become part of the compulsory education system of all other alien civilisations, since they know where to go (Earth) and what to disguise themselves as (humans) without much difficulty. In fact, they have a startling level of familiarity when it comes to integrating into human society. Think about it – if you were to hide yourself as a member of a different nationality, would you be as successful as the aliens on Earth? You’d probably give yourself away in ten seconds, unless you’ve received extensive training in it.

With that in mind – shouldn’t all humans know about aliens and other planets? I mean, they know about us. They live amongst us. It’s not only a safety issue, it’s one of social integration and harmony.

Also, they probably wouldn’t need those neuralysers so much if humans knew about aliens.

Men in Black: International. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Men in Black: International. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

 

Maybe the answers to all those burning questions lie in the latest Men in Black film – Men in Black: International! Featuring Thor and Valkyrie Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as Agents H and M, the film sees them investigating a strange assassination and uncovering a whole lot of strange conspiracies (strange even for the Men in Black). They’re joined by Agent O (Emma Thompson) and High T (Liam Neeson). It turns out that there’s a mole in the Men in Black – but who could it be?
We hope that it’s not Frank the Pug. We’d be heartbroken if it turns out that that cute puppy – er – Remoolian was the mole in Men in Black: International.
Credits: Sony Pictures Releasing, Wikipedia, Stack Exchange, Golden Village Cinemas

 

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