Murray Ross’s review published on Letterboxd:
I remember enjoying this movie when I first saw it in 1997 upon it's initial release and I also remember seeing and detesting the sequels. I try not to be negative or hateful in my life. The world is a big place and there is choice and space enough for all. I like what I like and try not worry too much about the other fellow. In the many years since I first watched MIB, I have grown to loathe Will Smith.
I used to watch a lot of TV, but these days it's mostly just older movies that I watch. That is what I know, movies, and that is all I try to judge people in movies upon. I'm sure that I sound like a pompous ass, but why the average person cares about and idolizes celebrity(ies) is beyond my comprehension. If they fired everyone in "HOLLYWOOD" tomorrow and replaced them with absolute nobodies, I honestly would not care, except for Pam Grier. Pam Grier is a goddess. I do not care who is sleeping with who, who they are married to or who they divorced. I don't want to read your insipid self serving biographies or take your advice on dieting, relationships or the environment. Don't care about your politics, religion or drug habit. If you make "good" movies then I will "like" your work, but if you turn out a "bad" movie then I am forced to be honest and say so. I love movies unabashedly, but people in movies are just people in movies.
When I say that I "loathe" Will Smith, I mean "Will Smith" the arrogant actor. I care nothing of his kids, his wife, whatever. I am sure he is kind to animals and the elderly. It's not personal. Will and I are the same age, 48. I remember when the Fresh Prince first showed up in the media world. I liked him, everyone liked him. He was a skinny, funny, charismatic, cool guy. He made safe rap music that even square white guys could like and understand. I watched countless hours of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air tv show and I'm pretty sure that I liked it too. I remember when the Fresh Prince became "Will Smith" the serious movie actor in SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION , and I still liked him. Looking at his filmography, I can see that I still enjoyed his work up to and including ALI in 2001. He bulked up to play the famous heavyweight boxer, got nominated for an Oscar, and was never the same. I have not liked him in anything he's been in since then. The smug self satisfaction that exudes from every pore of his being is tangible and noxious to my senses. There are others who are equally smug and loathsome, Jennifer Lopez and Bradley Cooper come to mind quickly. But the question was this, could I go back and enjoy older Will Smith movies? Would present day "Will Smith" corrupt my enjoyment of old Will Smith? Was he less obnoxious then, or did I not notice and/or care? The answer is a resounding YES. Yes, he was pretty damn obnoxious, and yes, I presume that I just didn't notice.
Well, thanks for everything Fresh Prince.
Will Smith, you go to join Tom Cruise and Jack Black in movie purgatory where your likeness shall remain blissfully unobserved by me for all eternity. Oh! What a sad day, how will I go on? Goodbye, say hi to the sheep for me. Baaaahhhh.