Men in Black (1997)


Men in Black (1997)

IMPORTANT: This is a very rough and general deconstruction that is meant to simply illustrate that this story follows the pattern described on the main page.

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FADE IN: Alien dragonfly arrives.

Meeting the Mentor in his Ordinary World: Agent Kay identifies the only alien from the line of illegals.

Magical Gift: Neuralizer.

Call to Adventure: Kay's partner retires.

Meeting the Hero and his capabilities: James Edwards/Agent J (Jay)/"Slick" is LA PD and chases down an alien.

Foreshadow of the Journey: you don't understand, your world is going to end.

Meeting the Antagonist: the alien arrives and takes over the farmer's body; needs sugar.

Meeting the Romantic Challenge: Dr. Laurel Weaver/Agent L (Elle) appears.

Pulled to the First Threshold by the Mentor: Kay talks to Jay; "..come on, lets take a ride…"

Developing the Mentor's Ordinary World: Jack Jeebs.

Magic Gift: the alien guns.

Resisting the First Threshold: K uses the Neuralizer on J

Foreshadow of the First Threshold: the MIB card.

Developing the Antagonist: the alien kills the bugernator.

Entering the First Threshold: J enters the MIB building; a New, Unfamiliar World.

Threshold Guardian: having to pass the paper test; the shooting test;

Backstory of the Adventure [provided by the Mentor]: K tells J the background of the agency.

Refusal: "…why don't you show me the door…."

Pushed Forward: to the Physical Separation: having a cup of coffee; meeting the aliens.

Pushing to the Physical Separation: why don't you join the MIB?

Resisting the Physical Separation: no one will ever know you exist; is it worth it? Yes, if you're strong enough.

Developing the Antagonist: the alien drives on in his truck.

Physical Separation: J agrees; in the lift.

World of the Transformation: Alien immigration.

Guided by the Mentor: K shows J around.

[Dramatic] the magic bouncing ball.

New Self: new clothes [the suit], removal of fingerprints etc.

Developing the Antagonist: the alien watches the old man.

Journey to Trial 1: Chief Zed sends them on a mission.

Developing Characters and Relationships: J impersonates Zed.

Magic Carpet: the car.

Symbol of Transformation; Interdiction: never touch the red button.

Developing the Antagonist: the alien watches the old man; kills the waiter and the two aliens sitting at the table.

Trial 1: the pregnant alien.

Pushed to Trial 2: Alien stole my husband's skin.

Journey to Trial 2: K and J visit the farmer's wife.

Trial 2:

Developing Characters and Relationships: you kicked him out; get a facial; hire a decorator to come in here quick…

K discovers that a bug has arrived.

Developing the Goddess: Weaver gives the dead aliens an autopsy.

Trial 3:

J helps with the Alien autopsy.

Developing the Romantic Challenge: you have sweet eyes; have we met before….

Meeting the Oracle and learning of the Sword: the alien in the face of the old man; Orion's belt.

Developing Characters and Relationships: make it a happy memory.

Developing the Antagonist: the bug can't find the Galaxy.

Developing Characters and Relationships: J with Zed.

Mentor's Inner Challenge: K looking at pictures of his wife.

Developing Characters and Relationships: J sees K looking at his wife.

Foreshadow of Time Pressure: they see the battle cruiser near the earth.

Pushed to the Sword:

Magic Gift: J gets a gun.

Antagonist learns of the Sword: the bug breaks into the shop and sees Orion's belt.

Threshold Guardian to the Sword: J attacks the bug in the van; everyone in the street has to be Neuralized.

Time Pressure: the aliens are holding Earth responsible.

Seizing the Sword: the dog tells of Orion's Belt; J realizes the Galaxy is on the cat's collar.

Romantic Challenge: Weaver finds the Galaxy on the cat's collar.

Developing the Antagonist: the bug spray sequence.

Near Death Experience: J and K confront the bug in the morgue; the alien threatens and kidnaps Weaver.

Resisting the Final Conflict: " way.."

Time Pressure: a standard galactic week; one hour.

Reward: J sees the old space ships; "…to those still work…"

Transformation Complete: push the little Red Button.

Magic Flight: in the batmobile in the tunnel.

Refusal: Weaver is "staying here!"

Magic Gifts: K gets a bigger gun.

Time Pressure: destruction of Earth imminent.

J and K shoot the alien in the space ship.

The space ship crashes.

Atonement with the Father: The bug reveals itself.

Apotheosis: Eat me.

J battles the bug.

The bug tries to escape.

Rescue from Without: J steps on the cockroaches.

Crossing the Return Threshold: the bug climbs down to attack J.

Master of the Two Worlds: Kay kills the bug from inside.

Challenges conquered: we have the galaxy.

Catharsis 2: Weaver shoots the bug again; interesting job you guys have.

Mentor's Inner Challenge: Kay wants to quit.

Freedom to live:

Kay awakens from 35 year coma.

J gets a new partner: Weaver.


by Kal Bashir