Three is definitely the magic number to kill a franchise. This is usually because the other movies can never match up to the wonder we had exploring the world of the first movies….The Matrix anyone? But this most recent instalment of the Men In Black series delivers just what it promises – fun. This movie is all about the things we loved in the first one – aliens exploding (courtesy of the incomparable Rick Baker), a sassy Will Smith (still in fine form) and Tommy Lee Jones/Josh Brolin, who tries his hand at a Tommy Lee Jones impression (impressive!).
Though it opens with a rather anticlimactic prison break, the film gets us to the loveable bickering of Agents K (Tommy Lee Jones) and J (Will Smith) quickly. Everything is just as we remember it from the first two movies, though Agent Z has passed on. This lets us move along to the main storyline with not only the world in danger this time, but Agent K’s life as well. The third movie retains the other’s slick but retro feel and helps that trope along by literally taking us back to the 1960’s. Will Smith gets his requisite “black man” jokes in and we’re off for a thrilling ride to catch the future killer of Agent K with the help of a much younger Josh Brolin. Other than a personal reveal for Agent J, that’s pretty much the entirety of the plot. No Inception-like twists here.
Josh Brolin’s Tommy Lee Jones impression is spot on and really helps keep the movie from falling apart. The movie is all things we’ve seen before – celebrities hidden as aliens, Will Smith being reckless and mouthing off, a mysterious object everyone wants and the Agents have to get to, even a Viagra joke. There’s no real puzzle to solve other than the minor police investigating the agents do but just going along for the ride is fun enough to retain your attention. Continuing on the time travel theme with a new character that can see multiple different timelines was a nice addition that stuck to the main action.
I came away from Men In Black III with the feeling I had been watching a nice popcorn movie. Though the special effects were certainly updated, and we had completely unnecessary monocycles, I felt like I could have easily been watching this movie in 1995 – when more simple, fun fair was available and we weren’t all racing to top each other with 3DDDDDD. It was a nice break from the Avengers type spectacles that promise to change my very life and just turn out to be a good movie. See it if you’re in need of a warm fuzzy feeling about how movies used to be.
7 out of 10 Men in Black