Never underestimate the power of a shitty movie sequel. 10 years ago, the forgettable and uninspired Men in Black II turned what could’ve been a kick-ass franchise into an infuriating cash grab for stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, as well as series’ mainstay director Barry Sonnenfeld. And that’s a shame, since the 1997 original sci-fi romp holds up as a blast of superb visual effects, enjoyable comedy, and the degree of spectacle that’s perfect for summer cinema.

But, again, Men in Black II really sucks. So much so, in fact, that we’re still unable to get more than marginally excited for Men in Black III (in theaters nationwide Friday), the much-ballyhooed 3D installment that, if critics’ early reviews are to be trusted, is a return to ’97 form.

Even if the time-travel adventures of Agents J and K aren’t up any good, though, there’s one facet of Men in Black III that should definitely work: the pristine FX used to render all of the film’s scene-stealing aliens, which, it should be noted, were quite memorable in Men in Black II despite the movie’s overall lameness.

To keep the optimism flowing here, we’ve compiled a gallery of The Men In Black Franchise’s Coolest Aliens. Just don’t listen to Pitbull’s wack “Back in Time,” from the Men in Black III soundtrack, while clicking through. Or ever.

Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)

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