Action and sci-fi films are filled with cool-looking jobs that we would die to have. Who among us wouldn't push down a small child for a chance to be a Jedi or a James Bond-esque secret agent? But they require a lifetime of grueling training, beyond even what we see in the montages. Hell, even Harry Potter had to spend six years in wizard school.
Fortunately, if you lack the drive and dedication for that kind of career, there are other equally awesome fictional jobs that apparently just take a few days to learn.
5MIB Agent in Men in Black
The Men in Black are the best-kept secret on the planet. They're here to monitor alien life on Earth, make awesome quips and shoot elaborate weapons at ridiculously designed monsters. Best of all, if they ever slip up, they get to erase the memory of anyone who might have noticed.
"You wouldn't believe how often this gets us laid."
So in the film, NYPD officer James Edwards (Will Smith) is recruited to be one of the MIB after he impressively chases an alien on foot for a couple blocks. He is recruited into a class along with other candidates from the Marines, the Navy Seals and the Air Force, all chosen because they are "the best of the best." And Will Smith gets a shot because he can run fast for short distances.
"He passes the 'have a beer' test. Let's promote him to the World-Saving Department."
But, in a "it's so crazy it just might work" moment, Edwards does get the job and becomes Agent J. Well, all right, the MIB are clearly an "outside-the-box thinking" type of organization, so maybe they spotted some innate talent in him that could be cultivated with the right training. So, he gets the job.
"I like the way you shoot children."
So What's the Problem?
From that point on in the movie, they don't teach him jack shit.
Sure, they tell him aliens exist and give him the background on the MIB in the form of a quick tour, but from the moment that J puts on the suit, K (Tommy Lee Jones) throws him into the job headfirst and just expects him to catch up or ... uh, die, we guess?
"You know what totally wouldn't result in dozens of civilian casualties? Giving an inexperienced rookie a powerful and wildly inaccurate weapon and then not telling him."
Agent J is left to figure out how to use an impractically reckless gun and how to fight a giant cockroach unarmed (and other tasks that turn out to be equally dangerous, like delivering a predatory alien baby). Any one of those tasks alone would be difficult for an expert, and J has to stumble through it without so much as a company handbook.
"You're making coffee next."
Keep in mind, it's not like the Men in Black are some ragtag crew who are trying to figure it out as they go along. It's an enormously wealthy organization with lavish facilities and lots of staff. It has been around for decades. It's the "only line of defense against the worst scum of the universe."
And yet, there he stands.
We guess you could say that the reason Smith was partnered with Tommy Lee Jones' character is that this is how they do on-the-job training at MIB, but at the end of the movie, J gets to assume that role as the lead partner doing the training. He even gets to pick his own trainee partner, and naturally, he picks the cute lady from the morgue. What about that whole "best of the best of the best" thing? We didn't see any deleted scenes of her chasing down an alien on foot. Where did all the standards of hiring go in the course of the film?
"No, there's no manual for that thing. Just point and hope."
That can't possibly be an effective staffing model.