Men in Black 3

At one point, Will Smith says something about having been K's partner for fourteen years. My first thought: "No way. It cant have been fourteen years already! That can't be right." And it isn't. It's actually been fifteen years since the first MiB flick. On the other hand, waiting ten years between sequels has produced a movie in the series at least twice as good as the one that they produced after five years, so it works out in the end.

Strangely, Will Smith hasn't been all that busy lately -- he took a three-and-a-half year break between movies -- so I haven't reviewed him since Hancock. They're plotting a sequel, though it's pretty vague, and I'm really not sure where they could go with a sequel anyway. A friend suggested they could explore where the main characters came from, exactly, but I already know -- see the link above for my theory.

Anyway, there's a really mean and ugly alien. I know, there are lots of those in the MiB movies, but this one is really mean and ugly. He's called Boris the Animal and is played by Jemaine Clement of Despicable Me. Five minutes in he did something that made the entire audience go "Ew," and things never got any better, really. He's been locked up in high security on the moon for forty years, ever since a young Agent K arrested him on July 16th, 1969. (It's a time travel movie; dates are important.) Since he's extremely bitter now as well as mean -- to be fair, he did lose an arm, and pretty much his whole race died, too -- he hatches a plot to travel back in time and kill K before K can arrest him. So he breaks out and then runs around bragging that no prison can hold him. Since there's no indication that he needed to wait forty years for some reason, though, I'm calling that an idle boast.

Josh Brolin from True Grit plays the young K, and he must have one of those faces, like Kevin Kline, because I hardly recognize him from one movie to the next. He does a really good job channeling Tommy Lee Jones' version of K, only younger and just different enough to show the change that happened after that fateful day forty years ago. The actor is actually only 22 years younger than Tommy Lee, however, which perhaps explains Will Smith's remark that he's "got some city miles" on him.

The time travel angle isn't too hard to follow, thankfully -- sometimes I think they make time travel scripts complicated just for the sake of making them complicated. There's a nice little subplot revolving around the relationship between K and the new chief, O -- played by Alice Eve of The Raven in the past and Emma Thompson of the Harry Potter franchise in the present. I'm not sure how that supposedly fits in with the wife K had in the first movie after he supposedly woke up from a 35 year coma, though of course that might have been all part of the cover. And there are some nice mentions of things from previous movies -- the pie habit, for example -- without them getting overpowering or seeming forced.

As for the new stuff, Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg, Hugo) is great. He's a very Zen sort of alien who can see all possible futures. You'd have to be Zen going through life like that. Boris is somehow a little too over the top, even though pretty much everything is over the top, as usual. Once I got used to the tiny little arms with the claws he sort of stopped being as intimidating as he should have been, and I'm not exactly sure why. But also look for Mike Colter of Salt in a small but pivotal role.

I'll go with four out of five. It was solid entertainment, with a good balance of action and slower scenes, and eve a plot that hung together well, which you don't often get on Memorial Day, sadly. There were flaws; for some reason the editing was bad. A couple of times people are suddenly eating without having had time to pick up their sandwiches or lift their forks, for instance. And I don't really know enough about Andy Warhol to have gotten many of those jokes, but somehow I totally believe him as an alien, which is all they were after. Just remember, though, that the Chrysler Building is nearly three times as tall as a Saturn V rocket. You'll understand when you see it.

Image: 
Look directly into the neuralizer. MiB II never actually happened.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

well I love Will, but why is

well I love Will, but why is he only doing sequels, I'm tired of men in black, bad boys, and handcock, lol, do something new movie please.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: <abbr> <acronym> <address> <bdo> <blockquote> <del> <hr> <img> <ins> <pre> <q> <sub> <sup> <dl> <dt> <dd> <ul> <ol> <li> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <table> <caption> <col> <colgroup> <tbody> <td> <tfoot> <th> <thead> <tr> <b> <big> <cite> <code> <dfn> <em> <i> <kbd> <samp> <small> <strong> <tt> <var> <u> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options