Film Review: Men In Black 3
One respected magazine called it a muddle. “Too many cooks” was one quote used. Another publication called it “Forgettable.” The production of the film has been delayed by plot problems and issues over the directorship, which has only served to further the criticism coming its way. Another quote cites that “There’s nothing worse than an Action Comedy film that delivers neither quality action nor comedy.”
So, what does this reviewer say to all of the seething negativity above?
Well, let’s agree to disagree.
I thoroughly enjoyed the latest instalment of the Men In Black franchise. Let’s start by looking at the cast; Will Smith is still every bit as funny and slick as when he first burst onto the acting scene. Make no mistake, all three films belong to him and the chemistry he generates alongside his co-stars. Whilst Tommy Lee Jones only has around 20 minutes of screen time, the K character is what drives the story of the three-quel. Jones is his usual excellent self, while Josh Brolin puts in a fantastic performance as Young K and takes off Jones’ demeanour and personality to near-perfection. Emma Thompson, Agent Z’s replacement as Agent O, is just wonderful and deservedly gets a cracking comedy moment towards the end of act 1. Jemaine Clement’s Boris The Animal (“IT’S JUST BORIS!!”) is an absolute riot, bad to the bone throughout and the perfect choice of opponent for J and co to continue the story progression.
The time ravel aspect is a touchy subject, and it’s not hard to see why such a scenario would cause chaos behind the scenes when it comes to scripting and wrestling with complex plot points, yet somehow director Barry Sonnenfeld manages to pull it off to good effect. It’s a cheesy idea, yet Smith’s charisma and the way the 1969 setting is conveyed make it a winner. Look out for a fun exchange between Smith and some policemen and a brilliant scene with Bill Hader portraying Andy Warhol.
So what are the downsides?
Whilst infinitely better than the last sequel, MIB3 still isn’t a patch on the original. Some acts are just too tough to follow, and whilst the gags and fluency of the jokes are done brilliantly here, the first film was totally unique in both conception and execution. Some members of the cast, notably, Emma Stone, deserve plenty more screen time. In truth there are bigger, better films in the 2012 calendar that explore themes such as time, space, alien races and superheroes. Also, more cameos from the first two films would’ve been welcomed.
But those gripes aside, you should take Men In Black 3 for exactly what it is; fun, fun and more fun. Contrary to other reviews, the action is plentiful and the comedy is nice and sharp. There’s an excellent opening sequence and everyone lives up to their roles very well throughout the 90-odd minutes. The ending is actually rather emotional, yet necessary. Don’t take the film too seriously and you’ll have an absolute riot. Neither sequel could ever reach the heights of the original, but this is the fitting finale that the series deserves.