Men in Black 3 [M]

 

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Starring : Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson

Running Time : 103  minutes

Release Date :  24 May 2012

‘They are back… in time’

Yes they’re back. Our favourite galaxy defenders are back on the big screen to save us from……something.  After that flash, I can’t seem to remember. But seriously…..

It’s the present day. Zed is dead and Agent O (Thompson) is now in charge. Someone has helped Boris The Animal (Clement) escape from a lunar prison and he is out to kill Agent K (Jones) who was responsible for the loss of his arm some 40 years ago, before the loss of his arm some 40 years ago. Agent J (Smith) must travel back in time to 1969 to avert this tragedy. J encounters a young Agent K (an impressively Tommy Lee Jones-esque Brolin) with amusing results.

The safety of Earth is at stake. If Boris succeeds, history will be altered forever. Serious stuff, right.

Nahhhhhhhh this is Men in Black.

This plot is very interesting as we get to travel back to 1969, the year of the first Moon landing. So we have the mix of 1969 clothes, speech, style etc with the MIB gadgetry we have become used to. My favourite was the wheel bike thing. I think it’s in the trailer. Very MIB cool.

Brolin as the young Agent K is, as I mentioned, impressive. He absolutely nails Jones’ dry, unsmiling, cold Agent K so much so that I checked when I got home that it was actually Jones in the present day role and not Brolin wearing a mask. He was just that good. But Brolin does intense very well.

We have the usual list of suspects. Lots of human looking aliens who are exposed for the creepy, slimy, sometimes hilarious aliens that they are. Lots of humans who witness bizarre situations, strange looking aliens or just crashed spacecraft but with the flash of a light, all is forgotten as their minds are erased.

Boris The Animal, sorry it’s just Boris, deserves special mention in the creepy looking alien department. The special effects team have excelled with Boris. Apart from his dark circle glass eyes, there are his creepy teeth. They are upside down molars. They made my skin crawl but I couldn’t stop staring at them. YUCK!! Then there is the creature who lives in his hand. The memory alone is making my skin crawl but again, I couldn’t look away. Every time he opened his hand, I would want to look away but instead found myself cringing transfixed. Even when there was a shot of his hand sans creature, I would stare at the closed opening just waiting…..blech.

The look and feel of this latest instalment in the MIB franchise is what you would expect. It is slick, clean, vivid, bright and visually engaging.  The agents are all men in black neat and tidy and the addition of the supremely magnificent Thompson as the Agency’s Boss adds a touch a crisp class. The aliens are fantastically unhuman and the humans are all just blissfully unaware. This movie doesn’t steer too far from the original and very successful formula of the previous 2 movies.

But there is something lacking in this movie. And it is something that I just can’t quite put my finger on.

Maybe it’s the lack of youthful exuberance from the now 40 something Smith who although he looks like a man 15 years younger, certainly lacks the vigour of that man.

Perhaps it is the chemistry between Smith and Brolin. The previous movies relied on the vast age difference between the 2 leading men. Okay so the actual age difference is not so vast but the implied difference was.  J was always a preppy, bouncy, chatty thing while K was just a cantankerous old man who, at times, looked like he could have happily zapped J into oblivion.

With the current Smith/Brolin pairing, the on screen relationship between J & K suffers accordingly. It’s missing that snap, crackle, pop so important to carry a buddy movie. And for all it’s distractions and special effects, MIB is a buddy movie.

The best thing about MIB 3 is it ties up some loose ends. Some of them I didn’t even realise were loose but they are all tied up neatly and believably. The last 10 minutes or so was really quite moving…..for MIB. Quite lovely and unexpected.

Go see this pic if you have a lazy Sunday afternoon to fill in, if you are MIB fan or if the kids like aliens. Not the real little kids though. Boris is far too creepy for our little movie goers. But should you rush out to see this…….hmmmm not really.

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