Men In Black III – Review
Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the third and probably last installment to the popular Men in Black franchise. Men in Black III takes a comfortable stroll through a familiar park where everything feels just right. Sonnenfeld, and of course the writers, don’t take any risks with the characters or the very formulaic structure of the series. Granted, its fun and I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion, but if anything, I found myself a little bored at times.
Agent J travels in time to MIB’s early years in the 1960s, to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history.
I guess to me the MIB formula is starting to feel old. Big bad alien kills everything in its way to get what it needs to destroy the Earth, the hunt or chase ensues, and the final confrontation between J, K and it. Nothing in MIB III is done badly, it’s just familiar territory. Even most of the alien technology looks the same in the 60s… with the exception of the memory flasher, which sounds like it uses an old modem and requires a cabled attachment. Aside from a few jokes, the 60s just didn’t feel like the 60s… and to get to the 60s, why does J have to pass through a dinosaur timeline? I guess it was in the budget.
Performance wise, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are the same as they’ve always been…. comfortable. Josh Brolin however delivers a spot on performance of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) in his younger years. Brolin steals the show! I felt like I was watching Tommy Lee Jones through every one of his scenes. Emma Thompson is good, and so is Alice Eve (She’s Out Of My League). The entire cast is actually fun and there’s definitely good chemistry with everyone.
The aliens… It feels like they’re really stretching at times, some of them feeling unimaginative and lazy. Different combinations of distorting the face, bulging the eyes… you know the deal. All the bad seed aliens feel exactly the same as in the previous films, and serve as nothing more than comedic punching bags for J and K. There is however a cool fish alien sequence where J pulls out its heart. I thought it was dead, yet a few minutes later, its seen alive and kicking on a flatbed truck. Boris The Animal (Jermaine Clement) starts out as a cool character, but gets somewhat boring as the show reaches its climax. There seems to be a hint of something cool just under his jacket, y’know, that awesome creature payoff… Unfortunately, it doesn’t surface until the bitter end, and just as it looks to explode cool all over the screen, bringing the film to its FX laden crescendo, its taken away. To a visual guy like me, that’s like waving a fudgicle in front of a 4 year old’s face, opening it, and then throwing it in the garbage.
Speaking of endings, but not to spoil it, MIB III has a very touching ending that can easily serve as a book end to the first film, actually closing out the franchise in style. Yeah, I felt a little lump in my throat. Although there are a few questions in the logic, I dismissed them to embrace what they were doing. Sadly, the ending was probably my favorite part of the film… ASIDE FROM THE AWESOME 10 MINUTE SPIDERMAN TRAILER… As you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan of the Men in Black series, but I honestly think true fans will totally enjoy it. If you dug the first two films, there’s absolutely no reason to miss this one!