Men in Black 3
I was a big fan of the original Men in Black, it was boldly imaginative, irreverently funny, and just plain cool. Unfortunately, I thought that Men in Black II, was a stupid, derivative, rehash, that despite one or two fun moments sort-of soured me on the whole franchise.
When the trailers hit for Men in Black 3 hit, I’m sure it was this bad taste in my mouth that lead me to think that the film would be another step in the decline of the series, a pure cash grab of limited to no quality. That said, when fellow movie blog Today I Watched a Movie gave the film a top score, I decided that maybe I was wrong. I’m now glad that I decided to check it out.
The film features Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprising their roles as MiB agents J and K, as the two agents team up in order to defeat the latest alien threat to Earth, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement). This time however Jones’ part is fairly minimal, because thanks to a little bit of time travel, Smith’s J winds up back in1969 where he encounters Josh Brolin as a younger version of K.
The film really is a lot of fun, with some interesting timey-wimey happenings, a lot of fun, a fantastic villain, and most importantly, a return to the creativity and sense of wonder that made the first film so good.
I really enjoyed the evolution of Smith’s J. As the character points out, at this point he’s a senior MiB agent having been with the agency for fifteen years, and the film gets good mileage out of the role reversal when he finds himself taking the lead in the partnership with then-Junior Agent K in 1969.
Much has been said about the incredible job that Brolin did in his nearly flawless impression of a Jones’s K, and I won’t bother rehashing the much-deserved acclaim. However, I was also very impressed by the performances of Emma Thompson and Alice Eve as Agent O and Young Agent O. Granted, their task was easier as they could work together to create an entirely new character, but up until the credits rolled I honestly thought that a single actor played both versions of the character, and that the makeup department had simply done a remarkable job.
I was less impressed by the time-sensitive alien Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) he serves an important part in the plot, and I suppose he injects some nice sentiment into the film, but I found the character kind of annoying.
Overall this was a really fun movie to watch, it allowed a creative new direction for what had become a tired franchise, and it made the series fun again. The film wasn’t without its faults, but it really was a first-rate popcorn movie, and it was absolutely worth seeing.