Men in Black 3.
Back in 1997, the world was introduced to the Men in Black. Will Smith was in his prime of doing alien/sci-fi movies (ala Independence Day and I, Robot). The movie was pretty funny and was packed full of quotes that I still repeat. A few years later, Men in Black II came out and basically ruined any hope of doing a third movie. Well, 10 years after the horrific sequel, Men in Black 3 hits the theaters.
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return as Agents J and K. An evil alien has escaped from a secret prison on the moon and has managed to travel back in time to kill a younger Agent K before he could imprison him. Agent J goes back to 1969 and meets up with a younger version of Agent K played impeccably by Josh Brolin. They then have to find and stop the renegade alien before he can change the present.
What doesn’t work?
This movie smartly avoids all the pitfalls made by the MIB2. The sequel tried to take all the funny elements of the original and amplify them. “People loved the talking dog, let’s give him more screentime!” There are a few corny jokes and bits of physical humor that fall a little short but overall nothing disasterous.
You know, I’m having a hard time thinking of a fault with this film. If anything, some of the visual effects are a little shotty.
All three leads pull off amazing performances. Smith manages to keep his bravado that he’s built up but also shows some wisdom, as we’ve been away from these characters for 10 years now. Jones is stoic as ever and Brolin imitates him perfectly. Brolin is a much livelier version of Agent K but we get some really heartfelt insight into what happens to his character over the course of his life to make so stoic and unemotional.
Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) stars as our multiple time-travelling villains and is very convincing and rarely plays the comedic card but comes off as realistically evil. The visual effects of his character are pretty cool as well.
I also applaud the writers for giving us a substantial character arc here. Both MIB and MIB2 both were pretty superficial I thought and this one gives us some decent moments where Smith and Jones get to actually display some variety in their performance. I actually kind of started tearing up a little towards the end.
Overall. I expected a flop but Men in Black 3 surprised me. It was a nice return to the franchise (and just ignore MIB2 completely). If you’re looking for something fun and light-hearted, this will probably do the job.