MEN IN BLACK 3: Movie Review
It’s been 10 years since our last Will Smith blockbuster and the ageless one returns with another summer blockbuster to add to his resume, Men In Black 3 (MIB III). Does the film have the same charisma as Smith’s previous films or is it a signal that a Hollywood star is fading?
Continuing the current Hollywood trend of “threequels” that no one asked for, comes the follow up to 2002’s Men In Black II. This is arguably, the first threat to dethrone Marvel’s The Avengers from the top of the box office and I can safely report that it’s deserving of the achievement. While The Avengers requires minor plot restitution, the plot of MIB III requires a modicum more of mental massaging. Still, that’s almost to be expected when you’re dealing with a film revolving around time travel. There are some paradoxes in this film that would simply make your mind melt if you thought about them too hard. But luckily for the movie audience, the film is asking you to do the exact opposite of that.
The movie centers around the time-travel threat posed by badass alien Boris The Animal, portrayed by Jemaine Clement who turns in a surprisingly good performance. By going back in time and assassinating a young Agent K (Josh Brolin) Clement’s character can ensure a successful invasion of the Earth in the present. When K is assassinated in the past no one remembers his heroic exploits in the present except for Agent J (Will Smith) for reasons that are never fully explained in the movie. Naturally, J goes back to save his partner and that scenario is the basis for an entertaining summer popcorn flick from director Barry Sonnenfeld. Brolin channels Tommy Lee Jones’ previous portrayals of Agent K effortlessly. I say previous exploits because Jones is in the movie for a relatively small period of time and if you aren’t familiar with the previous films then you don’t really get to fully experience Jones’ gruff, no nonsense approach to Agent K. Brolin and Smith have easy flowing chemistry on screen and the film would’ve been better served with a greater focus on this duo. Truthfully, the film can easily be divided into three distinct segments; Smith with Jones, Smith by his lonesome and Smith with Brolin. Out of these three story components, the scenes featuring a solo Smith are probably the part of the movie that works the least, it literally feels like you’re watching Smith shake the rust off. Where the film shines is in the action and the SFX. For a movie that carries expectations of being funny, it’s really the action scenes that carry the film. At times, the story and comedy attempts takes a backseat to the MIB agents vaporizing aliens with their sci-fi guns and that’s actually a good thing. The visual spectacle of traveling back to the late 60’s was another element of the movie that was good but should’ve been better. The costumes, props and historical details were commendable but visually I feel like the movie should’ve taken thing s a step further to differentiate between 1969 and present day. Even some minor visual touches would've gone a lot further to differentiate scenes in the 60's and the present---
There are more plot hiccups that I haven’t called out but by now I'm sure you’ve gotten the point. If you’re going in to the movie expecting a plethora of laughs you might be disappointed but you’ll be rewarded with entertaining action and a fun, light-hearted plot that makes this a worthy addition to the Men In Black franchise. Also, Nicole Scherzinger and Alice Eve are vastly underutilized in the eye candy department. Still, Men In Black III earns ----