Aladdin (2019, Dir. Guy Ritchie)

Lavish live action remake of classic animation. Effective enough, when it follows the original, more lacklustre when it deviates. Will Smith makes a good genie, but there is a lingering feeling that its all been done better before.

Men in Black II [AKA MIIB] (2002, dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)

Agent J has to tea up again with Agent K to fight a new alien menace. Passable SF/comedy sequel. As with its predecessor, there’s more interest in its showy make-up effects and throwaway gags than either worldbuilding or story, tho Lara Flynn Boyle has fun as a vampish villain.

Men In Black (1997, dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)

An NYPD cop is recruited into a secret anti-alien taskforce. Brisk SF comedy-thriller with some good moments and neat odd-couple playing from its leads, but too concerned with sub-Ghost Busters slapstick than with exploring the potential of its premise.

After Earth (2013, dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

An estranged father and son have to work together to survive on a hostile planet. Contrived and awkwardly-structured SF/horror; an obvious Smith family passion project. One great jumpscare aside, though, this is minor work from all.

I, Robot (2004, dir. Alex Proyas)

In 2035, a robot-hating detective investigates the suicide of a tech genius. CG-heavy SF action thriller based very loosely on Isaac Asimov stories. Some interesting production design, but linear and clunky plotting make this hollow, despite star Will Smith’s obvious charisma.

Bright (2017, dir. David Ayer)

A veteran LA cop partners with the first orc officer; they find themselves in the middle of an ancient magic war. While the procedural and mismatched partners stuff is great, Bright is saddled with too much backstory and a daft third act. Feels like a big-budget TV series pilot.

Independence Day (1996, dir. Roland Emmerich)

Aliens invade Earth. Patriotic, team-oriented, and generally satisfactory War of the Worlds update which shoehorns in Wells’ ending and makes space for an ensemble cast having fun plus then-state of the art effects work. Slyly tongue-in-cheek throughout.