Once upon a time, in a land called the 90s, came a little film about the world beyond what we regular humans see, and the crazy amount of alien threats we all face but are blissfully unaware, basing it on a decades old conspiracy about men in black suits who seemed to know more and do incredible things than any human. And of course, they named it Men in Black cause creative titles are overrated.
But the film was imaginative and fun, and did incredibly well in the box office, which of course means Hollywood decided it needed as many sequels as the stars would consent to, if not more. But many people were disappointed with the second film, so how will this sequel, a full decade after the last, fair?
Let’s look the recently released Men in Black 3.
Let’s get through the plot first. Is it a stupid plot? Oh yes. There’s just no real way to continue and add to the story in any meaningful way. A super villain with scary hole in his hand that releases a creepy scorpion-like monster escapes from moon-prison to take revenge on Agent K. See, years ago in 1969, Boris the Animal (this alien villain) tried to bring on a major invasion but was stopped by K and lost his arm in the process. So, Boris goes back in time to kill K and Will Smith must go back and save him. There’s a…weird, very predictable twist as the end, so it’s a bit of a bust.
However, what the film lacks in plot, it makes up for in humor. See, there’s a character called Griffin, who is best described a magical transdimensional humanoid unicorn, or maybe like a guy whose very acutely aware and high at the same time. He can see all timelines and futures connecting within one another. He is played very well, considering he needed to be normal enough to connect with the audience, but not so much so that he’s overly human. It works well most of the time and he was certainly the most enjoyable character in the film.
Josh Brolin as 1960s K is incredibly believable, and does a spot-on impression of Tommy Lee Jones. The only problem? That’s all he does – there are some throw away lines here and there that try to add to the development of the character but never go anywhere, and that’s a real waste. It’s always been implied that K has dealt with a lot, and I wish there were more about exactly what it all was. I’m not going to even attempt to criticize Will Smith as he was good, as he is good to great in basically all his movies. No fan-rage, please. Tommy Lee was smart enough to be in this as little as possible and just get the check they owed him, though his scenes are by far the most enjoyable.
Boris the Animal is…not particularly threatening. I mean he’s got the “scary” voice and the weird hand thing, but I’m not scared when I see him on screen. He’s a very rationale, stable villain and that’s boring. You know what he wants, and how he’ll get it done so his motive, his actions are all laid out before they are even delved into. That’s what was so great about cockroach man from the first film, that he was completely foreign and unstable, and you never knew if he’d kill a person or not. Boris is tame by comparison.
What I can say is good in this film is the cinematography. And I know I tend to go on and on about this but face it – if your movie looks like shit, it tends to feel like shit, and so when the script is bad, I just wanna look at the pretty colors. They tried to capture the 1960s most unsuccessfully, but the effects were top-notch and if you had to recreate a lunar take off, you would emulate this movie. Again, it needs substance and this would have been a better movie…especially the ending.
Personally, I feel there could have been more done with the movie and exploring how MIB in the 1960s handled aliens…or at least showed more aliens. We get four or so, including Griffin and Boris, which is lame. This is a movie about aliens, right? So make it about aliens! Yes, it’s important to build character, and to try and stay centric but you could at least put a few more in the background. It’s sad, cause I feel like I have nothing more to say about this movie, cause I wish I did.
Overall, Men in Black 3 is better than its predecessor but nowhere near as good as the original. It’s a fun little movie, and is certainly worth going to see in the middle of a weekend when nothing else you wanna see but can’t bear to spend another minute out in the heat. It’s certainly not the stupidest move you can see in theaters right now. If they want to pull off a fourth, which I hope they don’t, they’re going to need a much better script.
Next week, since I won’t have enough time to go see Prometheus, I’m going to give a small preview of the blockbuster season to come! All I can say now is that I am very excited!