Men In Black III Movie Review
Ten years after the last installment, MEN IN BLACK III finds Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) still as partners battling aliens and fighting off end of the world domination. With reports that filming for MIBIII started before a third act was even written, I had my reservations about the film going in. But As Danny Elfman’s familiar MEN IN BLACK score leads the audience into the creative world of aliens coexisting with humanity, I couldn’t help but smile.
One of the successes for this installment is the wickedly creative villain Boris the Animal played exquisitely by The Flight of the Conchords’ Jermaine Clement. With monster sharp teeth and claws that reveal themselves throughout his body, Boris’ greatest asset is his hand like creatures that act like pets. These pets live in the palm of his actual hands and can shoot blade like nails easily killing his victims. Boris escapes from his specially made prison on the moon, travels back in time and kills the MIB agent who shot off his arm before locking him up for over forty years. That agent is K. With K gone, the world is left unprotected from domination by the now flourishing species of Boris. As the only one who realizes the world has changed, J must travel back to 1969 and stop Boris before he kills young K played to perfection by Josh Brolin.
Time travel is always a tricky situation in film because it’s far too easy to break your own rules one must set up. MEN IN BLACK III is no different. I wish I could shut that part of my brain off but the fact is I can’t. I sit there foolishly questioning all the holes and thinking of all the ways the time travel doesn’t work or is inconsistent rather than mindlessly enjoying the ride. But if you can manage to ignore those major time travel flaws, I think your amusement level will rise.
None of the MEN IN BLACK films would be near as successful without the magnetic Will Smith. Who by the way, hasn’t been in a film in the last four years. Yeah, crazy. The king of summer blockbusters has been on a hiatus and returned for a watered down sequel. Smith once again provides most of the humor, as the now senior agent must once again adjust to being the fish out of water in an unfamiliar decade. Unfortunately most of the supporting characters and storylines are underutilized including Emma Thompson as K’s possible love interest Agent O and Will Arnett as a short-lived emotional partner of J’s.
The original MIB was wildly creative and adventurously fun, the second one not so much. I’m happy to report MEN IN BLACK III is better than the sequel showing a lot of heart, humor and silly 3D gimmicks. One scene in particular has Smith’s character J jumping off a building traveling through centuries and decades utilizing amazing 3D effects in cartoonish fashion. However the question remains does the scene work without the 3D? Never quite capturing the magic of the original, MIBIII is a fun return, just unnecessary. The average viewer should at the very least be mildly entertained.