Men In Black III
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones,
Josh Brolin, and Emma Thompson
Trilogy works despite layoff between films
MONTE YAZZIE ~ THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS~ 6/6/2012
Trilogies are very hard to pull off successfully, especially ones that are done 15 years after the original and ten years after the sequel. In most cases characters become stagnant and plotlines too familiar and the magic that was found in the original begins to wear thin. Men In Black was a standout film during a time when Hollywood returned to science fiction and unfriendly aliens. To say that the cards are stacked against Men In Black III is an understatement. However, pleasantly Men In Black III succeeds to a point at recreating some of the satisfying elements from the original film, even if it doesn’t stray too far from familiar grounds, it still accomplishes a gratifying experience.
The film begins with Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) investigating a prison escape, from the moon. The dangerous Boris the Animal, an unrecognizable Jemaine Clement, has broken out vowing revenge on Agent K for shooting his arm off and sending him there. Boris plans to travel back in time and kill Agent K before he can succeed at capturing him. This leaves Agent J with the task of traveling back to 1969 to save his partner.
Yes, there is a time travel aspect to this film and with any time travel film the concepts get a little convoluted, however not confusing. Sonnenfeld has treaded through much of the territory in the previous two films and rehashes a bit here too, but the switch to incorporate time travel adds enough change in environment to keep the film from becoming monotonous.
Will Smith embodies an undeniable charisma with the quick-witted Agent J, while Tommy Lee Jones composes Agent K with relaxed, sometimes dispirited, sensibilities. The standout role in the film belongs to Josh Brolin, who plays a 29-year-old Agent K with spot on mannerisms and vocal imitations. Brolin has an uncanny ability of adding life into any character; and with Agent K Brolin does a fine job of making the role his own, which is a difficult aspect to accomplish considering Tommy Lee Jones does a great job with it in the first place. The narrative is ingenious if a little too overpopulated with ideas. While each of the main characters gets an opportunity to shine, much of the supporting cast is lost in the mix. There also seems to be a lack of humor, a strong component in the franchise, which is missing from this film that could be correlated to a joke told one too many times.
I was asked almost immediately after the film whether or not Men In Black III was necessary? Probably not, considering it’s so far removed, but it was still a fun film and for a moment erased the displeasure I had with the second film. The performances are good and the story is inventive if lacking some of the qualities established in the franchise and having a rambling final act. However, for a summer popcorn film, Men in Black III entertains just enough.
3.50 out of 5.00