Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Movie Review: Men in Black 3

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Will Smith, Josh Brolin, just plain fun
Cons: Tommy Lee Jones isn't in much
The Bottom Line
Generally fun film
Mixes action, laughs, sci fi
Just like the first one

"I Told You to Trust the Pie."

Try as I might, when I start hearing rumors of a troubled production for a film, I start to worry it won't be any good.  And since I was hoping that Men in Black 3 would be good, I was really worried.  But I decided to see it anyway.  I'm glad I didn't let those rumors scare me away because it turned out to be lots of fun.

Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are still working for the Men in Black to keep aliens under control and secret from the rest of us.  As they are cleaning up the latest mess, word reaches them that Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) has escaped from his prison cell in the Lunar Prison.  A run in with Boris shakes K, but he still won't open up about it to J.

The next morning, J arrives at headquarters to find that no one seems to have any memory about agent K.  But as J pieces things together, he realizes that Boris found a way to travel back in time and kill K.  So J chases him to 1969 to rescue the young agent K (Josh Brolin) from the alien.  Will J succeed?

The biggest rumor I'd heard about this movie was that it shut down production before they really got going on the 1969 part of the film.  If it was to retool the movie, it was well worth it.  While I enjoyed parts of the set up, things really get going when we hit 1969.  While we avoid most of the predictable time travel jokes, there are still plenty of laughs, and the story really seems to pick up speed, too.

Not that this is the most original story out there.  You can pretty much see the big plot pieces coming before they happen.  But there are enough surprises to make things interesting.

And it's just plain fun.  You can tell that those involved were enjoying making this film, and that really comes across on the screen.

Tommy Lee Jones doesn't have that much to do, but he makes the most of what he has.  Others from the first two films are noticeably absent as well, although a few of them get cameos or a shout out.  Emma Thompson has a fun part as Agent O, the new leader of Men in Black, although again she isn't in much of the film.

That leaves it on Will Smith to hold things together, and he does a great job of it.  He makes it feel like no time has passed since we last saw J.  And then there's Josh Brolin, who plays the younger K.  He does an amazing job of channeling Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal, and I could honestly believe that it was the same character.

The effects are up to today's standards and are great.  Like the first two films, a few bits will upset the squeamish, but they aren't any worse than anything else in the franchise.

So don't let any rumors about Men in Black 3 keep you from seeing it.  This is a fun movie that you will enjoy.

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