Movie Review: ‘Men in Black 3’


‘Men in Black 3’

Davalyn Stepzinski

It has been quite some time since we’ve heard from the men in black, but I think the wait has only made this latest installment better.

The antics of the deadpan Tommy Lee Jones and the jocular Will Smith continue in “Men in Black 3” with the same comedic chemistry between them after a ten year hiatus. With so much time between them, it was hard to recall the second movie offhand, or if I had even seen it, and try to remember where the last had left off. Luckily, based on the trailers and various comments from friends, users, and other reviewers, I can connect the dots and say that “Men in Black 2” was for many, a disappointment.

That being said, I believe this new installment picked up nicely where the last one failed to deliver to its fans and then some. While my memories of the first “Men in Black” are fairly vague and limited to some visuals that when I was younger honestly gave me a case of the heebie jeebies, the entire concept was something fresh and exciting to a generation going through its case of alien hysteria (remember “Independence Day”?). The energy, effects, and general plot was something that was fun to watch.

This movie definitely had all that.

As usual, Agent J (Smith) and Agent K (Jones) are patrolling the streets to keep the general public safe from the violent aliens among us. In the process, we learn a little about Agent K’s past and his relationship with a particularly vicious alien called Boris the Animal (Jermaine Clement). After Boris successfully travels back in time to kill the young Agent K, it becomes apparent that it has changed both his life at work and the fate of the planet. With such circumstances, Agent J goes on a quest to go back in time to save the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and the planet itself.

I know what you’re thinking; there are a lot of movies about aliens, their trying to take over the world and/or destroy it, where some underdog-like hero has to step up and stick it to them. Unfortunately, you would be pretty right in that thought. This is very much a movie more about the journey than the actual ending. The reason this movie is so much fun is due to the eclectic mix of goofy and creepy aliens, the fact that Clement is playing an oddly intimidating villain, the special effects that balance with a well written plot, and the wonderful bro-camaraderie between Smith and Jones.

Smith has a talent for responding as any average-guy would, given the tasks he is, all while as he says, “making this look good.” Jones is his usual silent self, being capable of delivering lines with the same skill as Mark Harmon in the role of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Brolin does a great job of emulating that and also loosening up the character to give Smith and the audience a little more insight into his life.

Personally, I really enjoyed Clement in the role of the villain; you have to give the guy props for trying to branch out more when many of us still see him as the business sock wearing counterpart of the Flight of the Conchords duo. I hope this role helps him continue to make his way in the film business, for the man surely knows how to take on some characters.

If I were to be upset about anything, I think it would be in the slight confusion I had before Jones is killed by Boris, the whole incident that provokes the plot of the movie. It’s done a little vague for me, expecting you to fill in the gap. However, these sorts of films are not usually my forte so it could be that I just missed the obvious.

There were some great references to past characters during this film though and some of the new characters have given this story a little added lift. Everything moves fairly quickly and is staged nicely. The end sequence may be a little farfetched, but it is not out of place in this genre. And what that lacks, it makes up for in the resolution, which is definitely worth seeing.

So while I have not watched the previous movies for a good amount of time, I can definitely say that watching “Men in Black 3” is worth seeing. Fans of the series should be happy with this new film and I know I will be revisiting its predecessors very soon.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a good sci-fi movie this summer, hit this one up.

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