Men in Black 3 Review (Kirk Haviland)

Men In Black 3 (2012)

Starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Alice Eve and Emma Thompson.

Written by Etan Cohen

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Will Smith returns after a decade to the role that cemented him as a mega-star, that of Agent J in Men In Black. Having come out a year after Independence Day, it was Men in Black with its fun and charming story of a brash young agent in training and the stoic and stubborn partner training him so he could retire, that started Smith onto a string of hits that would make him the most bankable star in Hollywood.  Well, its 15 years later and Smith’s J is still as wise cracking as ever and K is still not retired after being brought out of retirement in the dismal Men In Black 2. What antics will they get up to this time?

Men in Black 3 starts with one of the most unique jailbreak sequences I’ve ever seen. Boris the Animal (Clement) is in maximum security in the most clandestine and impenetrable prison imaginable, built specifically for him, because of Boris’ unique capabilities. After the jailbreak we discover that “K” (Jones) has a unique history with Boris; K was responsible for putting  Boris away and preventing a full scale invasion of earth from his people, a vicious alien race that has become extinct because of K’s actions. Boris tracks down the one man who can help him, the son of the man who invents the now banned Time Jump device, and goes back in time and kills K. With the universe split into a different reality because of this and J (Smith) apparently the only one who remembers that K is supposed to still be alive, the long delayed invasion begins.  The new director of MIB, “O” (Thompson), figures out what J is saying is true and sends him back in time to fix the damage before it can start all over again. Once J returns to 1969, he tracks the clues to a spree of killings that the Boris of 1969 commits and uses those to track him down. He of course bumps into the 1969 K (Brolin), and a 1969 O (Eve), and they set forth to find Boris and save the day.

Men in Black 3 is 4/5th’s of the fun time at the theater you are hoping for. Unfortunately it’s the last 5th of the movie that gets completely preposterous and runs the film right off the rails.  The chemistry that launched the series between Smith and Jones is still there and works, but the chemistry between Smith and Brolin as the young K may even be better. Smith and Jones deliver exactly what you think they will; they know these characters inside and out and don’t hit a sour note until the script lets them down at the end. Brolin has a lot of fun with his K – it’s one of the reason’s to watch the film. The main reason though has to be fantastic work here by Clement. The former Flight of the Concords member is nearly unrecognizable with all the prostheses his Boris has to wear, but he chews scenery left and right. His Boris is as strong a villain as the original film’s Edgar, and way better than the villain in MIB 2, and quite possibly just as creepy. Thompson and Eve both seen to be enjoying  the hell out of being in a MIB film, yet most of the jokes given to Thompson fall very flat.

The story behind the production is that they started shooting before they finished the script; this unfortunately becomes very obvious towards the end of the film. Men in Black 3 is a much better film than the 2nd entry in the series, but lags well behind the fun of the original. I give MIB 3 a very mild recommend, because the end just ruins it so much for me. The first 4/5th’s of the film would get a decent recommend without the final 5th.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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