- User Rating: Excellent
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Brolin, Stuhlbarg, Smith, Jones, Hader, Clement; good comedy and action mix
Cons:Still a great deal of seriousness; historical inaccuracy regarding Cape Canaveral
The Bottom Line: Back in Black - and better than last time.
Agents J and K have been working together for nearly fifteen years, but J still doesn't know all of the secrets his partner does. One of K's earliest cases is about to be revisited in Men In Black 3. Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) find themselves on the trail of Boris The Animal (Jemaine Clement), a violent and dangerous alien criminal. He has escaped the lunar prison where he'd been confined sice 1969. He comes to New York to rewrite history, and knows just how to do it. K knows, and makes himself disappear.
The next morning, J awakens with some strange feelings. When he goes to work, he sees all sorts of different things, and few who remember K at all. One of the few besides J who remembers K is the MIB Chief, Agent O (Emma Thompson). In this version of reality, she tells J that K was killed in a confrontation with Boris. With neither K nor O being forthcoming about Boris, he goes to the one place in New York that can help with time travel. J arrives in New York the day before K's fateful encounter with Boris. There, J meets young K (Josh Brolin) and young O (Alice Eve). After much talk, J convinces K that he's not telling a tale from the future.
They go on the hunt for Boris, and their travels take them to a party thrown by Andy Warhol (Bill Hader). At this party, they meet Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg), an alien in human guise that has something Boris wants, and tries his best to keep a very low profile. Meanwhile, the old Boris and the older Boris set about their revisionist history, though their New York efforts fail. The chase continues to Florida, where the two Borises and the MIB take their fight to the launching pad of the Apollo 11 mission.
Men In Black 3 is a definite improvement over the cheerless Men In Black II, but it's still not as good as the initial entry in the franchise. The chemistry between Smith and Jones is still there, but MIB3 still leans a bit toward the serious, in spite of a screenplay from Etan Cohen, whose previous credits include Beavis And Butt-Head Do America and Tropic Thunder. J's neuralizing speeches are mildly amusing, but the best funny lines are delivered by young K and Griffin. K is still mostly business, but he does have a fixation with a certain dessert. Brolin's deadpan delivery as the young K is perfect. Stuhlbarg is a scene-stealer as Griffin, a highly optimistic being who can see multiple time lines, but thinks one of the greatest moments in the history of the universe is the 1969 Amazin' Mets.
Clement has shown his comic talent in Flight Of The Conchords and Dinner For Schmucks, but here his funniest line as Boris The Animal is telling people "It's just Boris!" Having said that, Clement is effectively menacing as Boris, whose sharp spikes are highly lethal. Hader is also very good as Andy Warhol, who shows a surprising side to the eccentric that fans of his might enjoy. Other brief, but good, performances are delivered by Will Arnett, Nicole Scherzinger, and David Rasche. Director Barry Sonnenfeld has also returned somewhat to the spirit that made MIB so entertaining, but the serious overtones from MIBII remain.
On a quick note, history buffs and most people alive in 1969 know that Apollo 11 was not launched from Cape Canaveral, as the film repeatedly indicates. Cape Canaveral, at the time, was called Cape Kennedy, and only reverted to the name Cape Canaveral after the Apollo moon missions ended.
Men In Black 3 is a sort of hybrid of its two predecessors. It embraces elements of the first two movies, but the comic spirit of the first movie has the upper hand over the very serious overtones of the second one. A being bent on world domination wants to change the way his life has gone, and knows how to access time travel methods to get his plan back on track. Agent J has to go back in time to save his partner and friend from the ultimate rewrite. If anyone is going to rewrite the history of mankind, Agent J wants to make sure that task falls to mankind.
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Movie Mood: Action Movie
Viewing Method: Other
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Script