Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back fighting alien beings. Is the third one a charm? ”Sidewalks’” J.P. has your review of “Men In Black 3.”
“MEN IN BLACK 3″
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for by the MPAA for SCI-FI ACTION VIOLENCE, AND BRIEF SUGGESTIVE CONTENT.
Run Time: Approximately 106 minutes
In Men in Black™ 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back… in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K’s life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him — secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.
Adapted from the comic series created by Lowell Cunningham, the “Men in Black” movie franchise is one of the highest grossing sci-fi –comedies of all time and now a third installment is presented. I have to hand it to director Barry Sonnenfeld, along with co-writers Etan Cohen, David Koepp, Jeff Nathanson and Michael Soccio, for managing to produce a cohesive, if mildly enjoyable sequel. Even after a 15 year stint between the three films, they find something fresh to say. The dry wit and silliness, paired with the odd couple kinship between agents K (Tommy Lee Jones) and J (Will Smith), are still intact, although the creepily weird beings that crept their way onto the screen in previous “MIB” films aren’t as abundant as before — but are still part of the gross out fun.
Separating “MIB 3” from its predecessors is a change up in story direction, which focuses on the relationship between the two main characters rather than the alien adventures. Somehow Part 3 fits as the next logical progression in terms of sequels in the sense that it adds an emotional component to the overall presence of the trilogy. The makers could have churned out another alien invasion story, but instead opted for a more sentimental one. With the first two, the premise focused on earning one’s place in the secret organization, and ridding the Earth of extra-terrestrial scum. This time around a plot is conjured that tests the comradery of both black suited agents. And like the second “MIB,” the third provides a vehicle for Will Smith to bask in the spotlight once again.
What allow the film to work as a whole are the performances of Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, and a stand out performance from Josh Brolin as the young agent K. Brolin is a dead ringer for Mr. Jones and has his mannerisms, even vocal inflections down to a science. As the film calls for time travel to take place, we slip back in time to the summer of 1969, where we watch the youthful K as he shoots off the arm of his future enemy Boris the “Animal” (Jemaine Clement). You can rest assure Brolin is the man for the job as you witness his uncanny portrayal.
Tommy Lee Jones plays his usual cranky agent K role, yet there is a subtle change in his personality. After learning about Boris’s escape, the audience sees a side of K they haven’t seen. He becomes concerned for his own life for once, and for the safety of long time sidekick agent J. This subtle touch adds just enough of a difference to Jones’ character and is welcome fresh change.
I mentioned above Smith as agent J is still the life of the party, he feels like the veteran E.T. crime buster whom has been through it all. The script still calls for his usual one liners; however, they are best taken in small doses. Smith is still charming and funny and a seasoned vet here.
More amusing moments come from scenes involving the character Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg), an alien being that can see infinite possibilities through out the universe who can predict specific moments in time that will eventually happen. Not only does he provide some comic relief to the static moments, Stuhlbarg injects a child like curiosity into his character.
If you’re looking for a truly frightening villain, well, unfortunately, Boris the Animal may not securely take top listing. Jemaine Clement as the eerie bug-like humanoid is certainly one of the most noticeable creatures to grace an “MIB” movie. Boris, with an insectoid like hand, does add some creepiness not seen in the franchise, but he does no more than shoot poisonous spikes from that hand and spout off threatening phrases. Still, he’s worth watching.
Most movies that rely on the old time travel premise usually ends up becoming a mind boggling viewing experience. Not so here. “MIB 3” pays close attention to the main story at hand as it centers on Boris escape from a maximum lunar prison to exact revenge on agent K. If anything “MIB 3” does in some ways surpass the second film, while retaining the likable atmosphere of the original. It’s lighthearted, sentimental and sits quit well with the first two movies. There are enough odd moments happening to keep movie goers amused in the allotted 106 minutes.
“Men in Black 3” is a worthy sequel and should garner support from fans of the franchise. I enjoyed it more than part two.