Completely pointless third part of the trilogy, where everyone complies to their contractual obligations.
It’s been ten years since Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones last appeared as agents J and K in Men in Black 2, the sequel that massively underachieved on it’s predecessor, and due to the overwhelming public demand of one man at the studios (presumably) we’re back for a third instalment. Well, I say we. Smith is back for a full jaunt, but Jones pops up at the beginning and the end and is replaced through the rest of the film by Josh Brolin.
So let’s get the good things out of the way first. Brolin does an incredible impression of Tommy Lee Jones, it’s uncanny, really good. Emma Thompson does as excellent job as the head of MIB (although if you do the maths on how old she is playing it’s not flattering casting) and Nicole Sherzinger’s dress in the opening sequence is lovely, in a pervy way.
Men in Black 3 embraces a time travel motif to allow Jones to put his feet up in his trailer and so Smith finds himself back in the 1960′s, with one day to save Agent K from himself, and an alien imaginatively named Boris the Animal. Boris is played by Flight of the Concordes Jermaine Clement, but he is too encased in prosthetics to really be able to do anything with the character other than growl.
The script glosses over a lot of the potential political comedy inherent in sending a black character back to the 60′s and further abandons any idea of the fish out of water plot device that was so successful for Austin Powers. Instead the plot gets held up in a standard chase to a destination, the destination here being the launch of the Apollo 11 moon mission. To add to the mess we follow Boris across both time periods for no reason other than to remind us that there is a time travel thing going on.
Barry Sonnenfeld has only made one other movie since MIB2, and with his work here it seems that the studios will not be clambering to get him to sign on to direct many others. Characters are broadly drawn, jokes are mistimed and performers are stopped from doing what they do best. The script is nowhere near as funny as it needs to be and the 106 minute running time is about 20 minutes too long for the story they are trying to tell. The conclusion to the story brings a sentimental tone that jars with the rest of the film but may well have nailed the coffin shut on this series.
There is one moment in the film, when J first arrives at MIB headquarters that the comedy tone of the original movie is realised. In this moment the movie could have been saved, however this was dropped almost immediately as with every other intelligent idea in this mess of a nostalgia trip. Nostalgia is all very well and good but I think in the 10 years that have passed no one has really missed the MIB, apart from the toy manufacturers who with Avengers, Batman and Spiderman this summer hardly have empty shelves that need filling.
- Movie Review: ‘Men in Black 3′ (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Men in Black 3 will erase all meaning in your life [Movie Review] (io9.com)
- Men In Black 3, more action and aliens (bigpondnews.com)
- MOVIE REVUE: The Power of MIB3 (therogersrevue.wordpress.com)