Friday, May 25, 2012

Movie Review: "Men in Black 3"

Agents J and K return for this third outing in the Men in Black franchise.  While Men in Black 3 does not feel warranted, it's a harmless enough movie that somewhat makes up for the horrendous Men in Black 2.

When an alien named Boris escapes from a prison on the moon, he travels back in time and erases K from modern existence, with J being the only person remembering K.  Like Back to the Future, J must travel back in time to save K, and alas this is all you need to know about Men in Black 3.

There really isn't much more depth to this movie, and there are many plot holes to the time travel presented here.  Why is J the only one that remembers K?  Sure, they say that's because he was there in the past when what happened to K happened, but it still makes little logical sense.  Time travel is tricky, and if you can't iron out the holes, perhaps it's best not attempted.  Even still, it gives us the joy of seeing Josh Brolin play a young Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K in 1969.  What's most impressive is that Brolin actually manages to make the character his own, while still honoring Tommy Lee Jones, and in many ways he's actually more charismatic and more likable as the character.  As for Will Smith, his schtick is starting to get a touch old, with a few too many wisecracks that don't really hit their mark, as well, the action is fairly trite and uninspired.  Even with all this said, it's still a mildly entertaining film (key word:  mildly).

The jokes regarding Andy Warhol and Mic Jagger are spot on, the character of Griffin the alien who can see all possible futures is original and is the highlight of the film thanks to the humor he evokes, not to mention the fact that the ending is actually quite emotional and feels earned.  However, none of this really answers the question as to why this movie exists in the first place.  While the first Men in Black was fairly good, the second one wasn't, and it's simply because the characters of J and K were so one note to begin with, there wasn't much more room to go.  While the characters don't get many new layers in Men in Black 3, they get just enough to make this movie watchable, especially if you have an affinity for the original, such as myself, and if you don't, this one's going to do nothing for you.

I give Men in Black 3 a D-

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