By: Mark Di Stefano
Rating: 7 out of 10
The men in black are back (sort of). Eight years since the last film came out, Men In Black 3 brings back Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, along with some familiar and new faces. However with stunning visuals and effects, the third go-around was lackluster at best.
Smith and Jones return as Agent’s J and K (respectfully) of the Men in Black, a secret agency devoted to protecting earth from the scum of the universe, however there are secrets out there that K knows that J doesn’t. When an alien from an ancient race goes back in time to 1969 and puts K’s life and earth at stake, J must travel back to 1969 to team up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save not only K but the present-day as well.
The visual effects and make-up are in top form, thanks to the talented Rick Baker, who’s worked on all of the films in the series to date. Aliens both in present-day and in 1969 look superb.
Crafted from a script by Etan Cohen, Barry Sonnenfeld returns to the director’s seat once again. Sonnenfeld captures the same ominous tone that has emulated the first two films. Along with Danny Elfman coming back to compose the music, all the elements that have become essential to the franchise are here, but somehow it doesn’t feel right.
Other elements seem to be missing though. Given that Tommy Lee Jones is on screen for maybe twenty percent of the movie due to it being primarily set in the past, the chemistry between J and K is absent. While it makes sense because of the plot, the chemistry between the two is what made the franchise, and it’s a shame that it’s absent for most of the film.
However, new characters and elements save the film from being a dud. Brolin’s interpretation of Jones’ K is spot-on, and you can’t look away from how amazing his performance is. Given that him and Jones previously worked together on No Country for Old Men, it was a no-brainer for Brolin to play the part.
Jermaine Clement, of “Flight of the Conchords” fame, adds his own distinctive flair to the villain Boris the Animal, who goes back in time to kill K and destroy the world. Emma Thompson who plays Agent O, the new head of M.I.B., is hilarious. Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, Hugo) as an alien who can see possible futures is stunning. To top it all off Bill Hader plays Andy Warhol who’s secretly an agent for M.I.B., and having puts the icing on the cake.
Despite good writing and awesome visuals the elements that made the film were absent, with new characters coming in to make up for it. Men In Black 3 is sure to be a blockbuster hit, taking the top spot from The Avengers and makings Will Smith reclaim his title of “Mr. Blockbuster.” Whether the sequel was necessary or not is still up in the air. The film is solid, and it’s good enough to keep the summer movie experience going.