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Men in Black III

A movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

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Men In Black 3: Don't Forget The Neuralizer

  • May 24, 2012


It has been 15 years since J was recruited by K to join the Men In Black and a decade since the last time we heard from these agents.  Time has not been kind to this franchise, which really should have just stopped after the first movie.  But after such a successful original story, and huge star power from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones you can't blame the producers for trying to recapture the magic from the original.  That is what Men In Black 3 feels like, an attempt to recapture the magic of the original instead of attempting to coming up with an original story.


Anytime a movie attempts time travel or goes to a tropical island viewers enter at their own risk, especially when the movie is a sequel.  Here J, must go back in time and save his partner from getting killed and put history back in its proper place.  So in this movie all of the fish out of water jokes from the first one are in relation to going back in time rather than learning about alien life on earth.  I can not think of a time traveling sequel that has ever been rewarding, so this movie is already up against a wall. 


The movie's humor relies on everything being dated.  That means that all the technology the agents use in the sixties are antiquated and bulky and therefore must be funny.  There are moment where it looks like there could be some genuine moments of levity, and they even touch briefly on the race issues of the sixties but are too quick to move on to a new device before any joke has the chance to settle in.  You can tell that the writing team for this movie had too many cooks in the kitchen and Etan Cohen tried pulling the best of the best instead of making every moment flow into the next one.


The bulk of the movie rests on Will Smith's back, because while K is a big piece of the puzzle, the role is shared by two different actors.  Smith seems like he is phoning this one in and is merely getting a paycheck to help his children do more projects.  Meanwhile Tommy Lee Jones literally disappears for half the movie, which may be due to the aging actor not being able to handle an action blockbuster like this anymore.  In his place is one of the few bright spots of the movie in Josh Brolin.  Brolin plays a dead ringer as a younger Tommy Lee Jones, with the good ole boy drawl and dry delivery down pat. Even if the younger actor is supposed to be in his late twenties and not his early forties the casting still works.


While Brolin was a nice surprise, what I was looking forward to most was Jermaine Clement as Boris the Animal.  I don't know what I was expecting out of him but I didn't get it.  Vincent D'Onofrio just did so spectacularly in the first one that I think they tried to replicate it.  Maybe I just wanted him to be a little goofier and I don't know bust out into leather dominatrix costume.  The most important part though may be Michael Stuhlbarg who provides some nice support as the last of his species who can see all the different possible futures which adds a little bit to the time traveling plot line.


Everyone keeps referencing a major past event in K's life, a moment which would turn out to be the climax of the movie.  With all that build up there was an expectation for a bigger moment.  That is this movie in a nut shell - bigger expectations.  And expectations weren't even that high for this movie, after all it was the third movie 15 years removed from the original that featured time traveling.  If you do go and see this movie, it may be a better idea to bring a neuralizer along and replace the two hours with a more pleasant memory like the one .  D+

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More Men in Black III reviews
review by . May 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Great Fun As a
The original 1997 film “Men in Black” was a hit and was loosely inspired-based on the comic series by Aricel comics (later on owned by Malibu comics). Despite deviations from the comic book series (Agents J and K investigated all paranormal activities that included ghosts, demons and monsters besides extra-terrestrial lifeforms), the original film was clever, funny and definitely took the viewer into this fantastic world where aliens lived among us. The chemistry between Will Smith and …
review by . June 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    "Men in Black" was released in 1997 to positive reactions from both critics and movie-goers alike. It was praised for its innovative premise, inventive creature designs, and a believable chemistry shared between the leads. In 2002, a sequel was released; and neither fans nor critics were impressed. After that little mishap, it was made pretty darn clear that no one really cared whether they continued the franchise from that point on or not. Well, after a ten …
review by . May 30, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
      Playing it safe is not always the resolution to achieve success with your movie. Was playing it safe this time helpful? On one hand it was because the final stage was better set than the previous one. One the other hand it wasn't because they relied too much on Josh Brolin and on the franchise' popularity. It's irritating because I realized that they could have made something more epic if they had given more heart to the project. I'm also satisfied at the …
review by . June 06, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The original MEN IN BLACK was memorable because it was a quirky sci-fi movie that had just the right balance of comedy and action. MEN IN BLACK 2 followed in that same vein, but the film wasn't as strong and felt more like a retread. MEN IN BLACK 2 was released in 2002 and a decade later (due to script issues, scheduling conflicts, and budget problems), the boys are back in MEN IN BLACK 3 and while the film isn't as funny as the original, it's a far superior film to MEN IN BLACK 2.   …
review by . July 11, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
In 1997 the first Men in Black movie came out.  It was different, it was weird.  It exceeded expectations.  So when Men in Black 2 came out in 2002 it was exciting to see... but they did nothing to expand upon anything.  No new characters, new rules or anything.  And then they backtracked by trying to write Tommy Lee Jones back into the movie which meant that our villain was... stupid.  Men in Black 3 doesn't have to try to be better than the second movie because …
review by . May 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'Men In Black 3' Two Jews On Film Agree It's The Best One Yet (Video)
   By Joan Alperin Schwartz      Okay people...They are back...      Those alien fighting dudes, in their black sport jackets, white shirts, skinny ties, shooting gadgets that can wipe your memory clean, faster than you can say 'The Martians Are Coming'      Not only are they back, after a fifteen year absence, but...Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) are better than …
review by . May 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Time travel movies are so difficult to get right. If they’re taken too seriously, the plot tends to get bogged down by confusing and abstract theoretical concepts, which often times fail to fully explain how and why certain things could have happened. If they’re not taken seriously enough, the story can fall victim to the impulsive and preposterous whims of the filmmakers. Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black 3 tells a time travel story …
Quick Tip by . September 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Saw this on board the Singapore Airline flight just last week. Not bad entertainment and certainly feels like a trend on the recent moviesl the handover of old cast to the new (ie. Batman, Spiderman, Bourne Legacy, etc...). Except this one goes back in time to the partner in his youth. An end to triology perhaps?!
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