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Men in Black III

A movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

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Great Fun As a "Buddy" Flick! It's Just....Boris!! (inside joke)

  • May 26, 2012
Rating:
+3
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 Tommy Lee Jones was odd, but it worked so well as a buddy flick that the film inspired an animated series. Its follow up in 2002 though was a little too much of the same things with a weak script and it never did anything to further its premise. Well, after almost 15 years since the original film, “Men in Black 3” seems to have corrected some of the flaws in the first sequel and now introduces some other mumbo-jumbo in the world of aliens with the premise of time travel or time jump (whatever you prefer).

                           Will Smith as Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K in ``Men in Black 3.''

At its heart, the “Men in Black” franchise is more like a buddy movie than a sci-fi film. With this second sequel, we find Agents J and K (Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones) still doing the stuff they know best when an alien from K’s past who has come to be called “Boris the Animal” (Jemaine Clement) escaped from a prison based on the moon. Boris had hatched up a good scheme, and that is to change the history of things by killing K in the past. One day, J wakes up to find that K had died during an incident in 1969, and he is the only one with any memory of what really happened. To make matters worst, the Earth is now being invaded by an alien race. J realizes that the only way to prevent this would be to time jump and with O’s (Emma Thompson) help, he finds a way to get to the past to prevent it from being changed. J needs help from K’s younger self (Josh Brolin) and a much younger O (Alice Eve) in order to keep history from being altered for the worst…

                        Michael Stuhlbarg as Griffin, Will Smith as Agent J and Josh Brolin as Agent K in ``Men in Black 3.''

                        Will Smith as Agent J in ``Men in Black 3.''

The story of “Men in Black 3” is pretty much your time travel mumbo-jumbo where the hero of the story goes back in time to prevent something terrible from happening. When it comes to the physics of time travel, there are several theories that shape it. Honestly, all of these are guesses and every movie or story seems to have establish its own set of rules when it comes to it. Truth be told, the theories and the rules about time travel in director Barry Sonnenfield’s creation does not stand up under close scrutiny, but then we are not here to see this film because of its science fiction themes. “MIB:3” is at its core a buddy flick that uses sci-fi elements to drive its plot. Hey, lay off, the film is supposed to be fun so if you are expecting a “Back to the Future” or a “Retroactive” kind of deal then you would be in the wrong place. "MIB: 3" is a film not to be taken seriously.

I guess the problems with the film begin when it tries to tie itself up to certain rules of time travel. Some are clever and admittedly funny (chocolate milk), while some ends up contradicting the set of rules it made for itself in the movie. The film goes back and forth and opens up a lot of plot holes and things that are underdeveloped. I did like the way it tries to incorporate certain funny bits about the 1960's and how things are in the 2012’s. It was also quite fun to see certain celebrities and most fashion models are aliens. The film also took a stab in introducing a new character in the person of “O”, who becomes K and J’s new boss. Too bad, I liked the fun with all the time travel jazz, and the creation of several alternate realities, but much like “Back in the Future II”, it loses itself amid all it tries to do. I am also not sure, but this 2nd second sequel is a one-shot as with the concept of time travel right? Ok, it gets all confusing and nonsensical if you try to put together the sci-fi mechanics behind it all.

                     Keone Young as Mr. Wu, Spiky Bulba and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K in ``Men in Black 3.''

                    Josh Brolin as Agent K and Alice Eve as Agent O in ``Men in Black 3.''

                    Nicole Scherzinger as Lilly and Jemaine Clement as Boris in ``Men in Black 3.''

Thankfully, the chemistry between Jones and Smith was more than enough to save the film for me, as it does do a set up in the first 30+ minutes of the film. The two banter, exchanged quips as natural as ever, and this made the film much more entertaining than expected. Josh Brolin does steal the show with his acting prowess. I mean, the guy can really pull off an agent “K” as good as Jones does. Brolin’s performance is an exact mirror image of Jones’ portrayal and this makes the film very charming and easy to like. Another plus for the film is the alien who is able to look at various possible futures, Michael Stuhlbarg was solid as Griffin as he assisted with the script’s flow. It made it easy to try and overlook the many flaws of its script and made me really buy into the fact that this is a buddy flick and not a sci-fi film.

The special effects in the film were as good as its predecessors. There is always a charm when CGI is blended in with some competent puppets and this MIB installment is no different. There is just something clever around the way the film is set up, I find the alien creations creative and fresh as ever. Classic characters (the worms and a Frank the pug was plugged) also make an appearance as well as introducing new ones. The designs behind Boris is pretty smart in its own way, but reminds me too much of a certain creature off “Predator” and “The X-Men” comic books.

                          Emma Thompson as O and Will Smith as Agent J in ``Men in Black 3.''

I suppose while I thought “MIB:3” was not anything special, it sure was an entertaining experience. If you are able to keep yourself from analyzing too much, and overlooking the flimsy mumbo-jumbo of its time jumping things, then it would prove to be a fun experience in the theaters. I did, I knew I was here to see the crazy chemistry between Jones, Smith and Brolin, and on this, the film is pretty successful.”MIB:3” is a good buddy action-comedy; it was funny, at times even clever, but certainly fails as a sci-fi film. Hey! Who said that “MIB:3” was supposed to be a sci-fi flick?! It is a buddy flick that merely uses sci-fi elements….comedy is its defining element. It is fun and makes one care for its characters, well-intentioned and I think one shouldn‘t ask for more from the franchise.

Recommended! To Fans of the Franchise [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

Poster art for "Men in Black III." Poster art for "Men in Black III."
 
Great Fun As a Great Fun As a

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May 30, 2012
I am interested in this one since I have heard good things, great review WP.
May 30, 2012
It is a lot of fun, man. Brolin just rocked in this one.
 
May 28, 2012
I wouldn't mind to be taken back to my childhood when all I've to worry is who & what to play with, LOL!!!
May 28, 2012
I'd rather be taken back to college....a lot more hotties LOL :)
 
May 27, 2012
I just saw this film about an hour ago, and I have to say that I agree with you on all points. This film at its best is nothing more than a buddy comedy with Sci-Fi elements thrown in to liven things up a bit. But I must say it was a hell of a lot fun while I was watching and you were right about Brolin being absolutely perfect in the role of a younger "K", Jones and Smith were as great as ever as the rather dysfunctional alien fighting duo. Excellent, well written review my friend.
May 27, 2012
Yep! The sell of the movie is the chemistry between the three characters. It was what drove the film's momentum as well as some clever touches of the 60's and how celebrities are aliens. Brolin was definitely awesome in his role, and he stole the show. It felt so natural and effortless in the way he connected with his character and with Smith. I hope you review this too!
 
May 27, 2012
Nice review Will - I liked the first one OK - this will be a rental for me; I know the hubby will love this one.
May 27, 2012
This was fun to watch and easy to like. The chemistry between the lead casts sure worked despite the flaws in its script. Thanks for the read!
 
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More Men in Black III reviews
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 …
review by . May 24, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
        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 …
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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William ()
Ranked #1
Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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