Movie review: 'Men in Black 3' fails to bring back magic of previous films
I remember as a child how I felt after watching the first "Men In Black" in the theater with my parents. One half of me was scared of the aliens, of course; however, the other part of me found enjoyment in the fun characters and the climactic ending. I even remember buying Will Smiths hit single “Here come the Men in Black” shortly after seeing the movie. I wish I could say the same about "Men in Black 3."
The movie begins with a cleverly directed escape sequence from a high-security moon prison used to hold only the most dangerous threats to mankind. The prisoner who escapes is simply known as Boris the Animal, and it is clear from the get go that both he and Agent K have a score to settle 40 years in the making.
Next we find the dynamic duo, Agents K and J, (Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith) doing business as usual. By business, of course, I mean sitting in the car having the classic type of conversations Agent J and K had in the first two movies, recovering alien spacecraft and getting into shootouts with rogue criminal aliens. One shootout involves a very “unsanitary” Chinese restaurant and some unsettling “sushi.”
Soon after, the two agents are called back to MIB headquarters to attend a funeral, and soon after they have a run-in with Boris. In the scene, Boris tells Agent K that he is already dead. This is because Boris has obtained a device allowing him to travel back in time to kill Agent K, thus allowing him to lead an alien attack on Earth.
After Agent K disappears, Agent J catches wind of this and embarks on a time-traveling journey and needs to go back to 1969 to save the young version of Agent K (played by Josh Brolin), which in turn will set the future back to the way it was. The rest of the movie consists of Agent J overcoming impossible odds and taking part in some of the biggest moments in human history, i.e. the Apollo Moon Mission.
I didn’t think the movie was as strong as the first or even the second one. One of the reasons this movie didn’t sit well with me was the fact that it just wasn’t as funny as the other ones. Yes, Smith is still the young comical Agent J he was in the previous films, but for some reason I felt like his jokes were a bit overdone.
Another reason was that this movie was very predictable and cliché throughout. I and the entourage accompanying me knew how the movie would end by the second act, which is a problem. As well as being predictable, some of the events taking place — especially the ending — were very cliché (but I will not spoil it for you). The movie is also ruined for me with one particular plot hole that doesn’t follow the history explained by the first two movies.
As well as having issues with predictability and plot, another big issue I think is relevant is the misuse of side characters. These include the use of two comedic roles played by funnymen Will Arnett and Bill Hader. Yes, they were both funny, but I felt like the director really underused their comedic talent, which honestly made the movie more disappointing rather than enjoyable.
All this aside, I would like to point out that Josh Brolin's rendition of Agent K was utterly brilliant. His impression of Jones' established character was totally believable and spot on. Other than that, this movie was disappointing for me as I had the hopes that it would bring back the magic that filled the first movie.
For all those die-hard MIB fans out there, I'm sure this is a must-see, but for those who appreciate good franchises, I would wait for this flick to hit DVD and Blu-Ray.
Maxwell Meier is a broadcast and electronic media sophomore.