|MIB3 (A)||1 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
Nine times out of ten, time travel story arcs end up stupid with glaring continuity errors. The “fish out of water” jokes of being in a new era wear out there welcome very swiftly and the bored audience has nothing to do except count the glaring errors in the plot.
This means it is a great surprise to see that time travel brings more to the Men in Black series, making MIB the best in an already great franchise. The story is the most touching and most witty, and the new cast members are just as good at acting as the old ones.
When we last saw Agents J and K, they were once again partners protecting the world from alien threats, with all of K’s memories restored. In MIB, the duo are still working together, but their relationship has grown strained due to the coldness and lack of empathy of K. Meanwhile, an alien named Boris the Animal escapes from his lunar prison and vows revenge on K, who shot off his arm and imprisoned him decades ago.
Boris steals a time travel device and uses it to go back in time and kill K. The current scientific theories suggest that this would in fact not matter to the J we know since he would have killed an alternate universe K, but apparently this reality-warping time travel device doesn’t work that way. K is now gone and J is the only one who remembers the old universe. J must not travel back in time--to 1969--and prevent Boris from killing K.
This sounds confusing; I know. But the movie ends up overcoming the logical gaps with a surprisingly witty story that takes its science (slightly) more seriously than the previous two entries in the series. Written by Etan Cohen--on a hot streak after penning the hilariously funny blockbusters Tropic Thunder and Madagascar 2--the picture gets consistent laughs, but remembers to keep the touching bittersweet elements of the first two. In fact, MIB is the darkest in the series, but it isn’t so dark as to forget to be humorous.
Barry Sonnenfeld is still directing the series, and the action sequences are top-notch. The CGI elements are better than before as well. It is worth noting, though, that the majority of the effects are still created by legendary make-up designer Rick Baker.
Will Smith (Agent J) and Tommy Lee Jones (Agent K) are just as charming as team as they have always been, but MIB brings in a bunch of new actors who definitely add to the charm. Emma Thompson doesn’t have much to do as Agent O (the new head of the Men in Black), but Jon Heder is hilarious in a cameo as Andy Worhol. Michael Stuhlbarg brings great depth to a melancholy alien that sees every possible future at once but is unable to determine which one will occur. Jemaine Clement takes the already cool character of Boris and makes him what I hope to see become one of the great villains. As the young, vain Boris of ’69, Clement shows an intimidating and ruthless biker who dominates every scene he is in. As the older, one-armed 2012 Boris, Clement (and Cohen’s script) give us a tragic figure who is filled with regret and goes back to redo his life, but fails to remember the past, and is thus doomed to repeat it.
The best performance--one deserving of a Best Supporting Actor nomination--is from Josh Brolin. As the younger Agent K, Brolin’s impersonation is dead-on, but isn’t just a rip-off. This K is happier, calmer, and friendlier without the years of regret Tommy Lee Jones’s version had. Seeing how even if K survives he will be forever haunted by what happens to him in the next few days haunts every scene, but Brolin has all of Jones’s charm and thus keeps us laughing all the same.
Both previous Men in Black films had the same theme of marveling at a universe we can’t begin to understand. The more in-depth conclusion to the trilogy (if it stays a trilogy) makes that idea more poignant than ever.
MIB is summer entertainment at its best--clever, funny, action-packed, and ultimately uplifting.
P.S. Check out Screened's Fan Art section for some amazing artwork (not mine).
Trailer: Men In Black 3
Guys? Josh Brolin's Tommy Lee Jones impression is kind of uncanny. It's...weirding me out.
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|Name||Men in Black III|
|US Release||May 25, 2012|
|UK Release||May 25, 2012|
|AUS Release||May 24, 2012|
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|Alias(es)||Men in Black 3
Men in Black 3D