Men In Black 3 Review
Review of the new feature film Men In Black 3 starring Will Smith , Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin And Emma Thompson.
Men In Black 3 - Review
It’s been 4 years since Will Smith has appeared in a film, it’s been 10 years since “Men in Black 2” came out and people were surprisingly weary of this franchise coming back after the second movie. Was the wait too long to garner interest about this series with today’s audiences, or will the film’s interesting story and take on these familiar characters prove applicable to modern interests? Let’s find out. We pick up right where K (Tommy Lee Jones) and J (Will Smith) left us in the last film, still fighting aliens and still protecting the world from the truth about it. However, an old enemy of K’s named Boris the Animal (Jermaine Clements) breaks out of prison and goes 40 years back in time to 1969 and kills K, thus, altering time and space. J remains unaffected and contacts the new head of MIB, O (Emma Thompson) who reveals that J must travel back to 1969 to protect the younger version of K (Josh Brolin) from being killed so time and the world are not altered to allow Boris to unleash an alien invasion on the Earth in the present time.
Now it’s been a long time since the last Men in Black film so you could be wondering how this franchise was going to stay fresh and in the beginning of the film, it didn’t seem this dog had learned any new tricks. Most of the jokes and gags all seemed the same and they felt stale and lacking any kind of originality I had been hoping to see. However, once we got into the whole time travel storyline, things really got interesting and things got a whole lot funnier and a whole lot more dramatic than I had expected. The film series seemed to know its style of humour was dying quick so the idea to time travel back to 1969, introduced a whole plethora of new types of visual, musical, and physical opportunities for all kinds of interesting things to happen and it pulled it off very well in my opinion. The style of clothes, the cars, the look and feel of the buildings and everyone around you really made you feel like you were back in 1969,even the aliens in the film seemed to be designed as a throwback to the B movies of the past monster alien invasion movies. Much as everyone loves Will Smith (and they do), he can’t do this movie alone, even though at times it feels like he is trying real hard to do so, but J needs his partner and for this film, we get the younger version of his partner played by Josh Brolin.
Brolin is absolutely one of the main reasons to see this film, his portrayal of Tommy Lee Jones character is hilariously dead on, the impression gives the character a newfound sense of charm, humor and intrigue that make the character come off as brand new and yet, still acts like someone we have known and seen for the past 2 MIB movies. He nails the stone face, dead pan, stiff as a board personality but at the same time, allows the character come humorous moments to show us a more personal side to them. So in many ways, Brolin is actually mimicking Jones character while also exploring new sides and depths to him that make his performance even more impressive. Another impressive feat was one accomplished by the story’s villain Boris, in his make-up design AND his performer, Jermaine Clements. His design and character was amusing yet dangerous, creepy yet able to make you laugh, and he had such a unique physical sense of energy and originality to his appearance and character that I just found myself loving how this character carried himself throughout the film. He was the much needed better, bigger and more bad ass villain that the second film failed to produce with Laura Flynn Boyle’s Serleena.
Supporting characters were also quite enjoyable, such as Griffin played by Michael Stuhlberg and a brief but hilarious cameo by Andy Warhol played by Bill Hader. They were amusing, interesting and charming at the same time and they may have been smaller parts but I felt their unique charms gave a much memorable edge and spark to the film’s cast of performances. Best aspect of the film though in my opinion was the change in tone with the story. The story was darker, more dramatic and took some serious emotional twists and turns that surprised me and moved me in many ways I had not at all been expecting from a film like this. Some may feel this more dramatic, darker tone doesn’t fit well with the comedy/action mix of the previous films, but I felt it was a great mechanism to help the characters grow deeper and give us a direction/surprise that worked infinitely better than originally expected. On the negative side of things, other characters like Emma Thompson and Alice Eve (playing older and younger versions of the character O respectively), were barely used and hardly appeared in the film, which makes them both feel like a collected waste on screen.
Another problem involves the beginning, which as I said, takes way too long to get to the whole time travelling issue. The beginning feels like a failed attempt to capture the dwindling, dying magic the last 2 films have ultimately used up by this point and it does make some of the jokes feel rusty and sometimes even way off target. I also think Will Smith tried too hard to make this his movie and not a balanced film as he has with the past films, what makes this series work is J AND K, not just 80% J and 20% K. Overall, Men in Black 3 succeeds in getting the film franchise back in the good graces it was founded upon. The story and characters finally feel fresh, funny, and joyfully engaging once more. The introduction of Brolin’s Young Agent J, new villain Boris, and the whole time travel 1969 storyline work wonders in the way of humour and surprisingly well executed melodramatic timing. The beginning does take too long to get you into the good stuff and Alice Eve and Emma Thompson don’t add a lot of value but even after 10 years of waiting, Men In Black is finally back and better than it was before.