We were first exposed to the Men In Black franchise in 1997, and the first sequel arrived in 2002. Now ten years later, we get the second sequel Men In Black III. Perhaps the movie makers thought it had been long enough to pull out some of the same special effects and characters and sell them as new. It hasn't. MIB3 comes across as a movie full of something old and very little new.
At the start of the film Agent J. (Will Smith) and Agent K. (Tommy Lee Jones) are still investigating alien offenses. J. continues to try to get K. to open up to him but K. remains as tight lipped and private as possible. He will barely give out any information about Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), a deadly alien who just escaped from a lunar prison.
When K. disappears and no one knows what happened to him or can even remember him, J. goes back in time to try to solve the mystery of K.'s disappearance. Once he arrives in the year 1969 he meets a young Agent K. (Josh Brolin). Together they go after Boris the Animal one more time.
This is a pretty simplistic rendering of the plot. It is much more complex and overdrawn than this. Plus there is the introduction of a character named Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) who seems to have some mysterious power to see and influence the future. All of the intertwining past and present stories get a bit confusing and overall just don't mean that much. There is a bit of a twist at the end that is interesting.
The one part of MIB3 that is unique, special and awesomely entertaining is Josh Brolin's performance as the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones' character. Brolin manages to create the look, the sound and the mannerisms of a young Agent K. His perfection in doing this is uncanny. If you close your eyes and just listen to the sound of his voice with its rhythm and tonal quality, it is Tommy Lee Jones.
Smith doesn't bring anything new to his performance as Agent J. He is totally likeable but that is just him being Will Smith. There is nothing that he does which makes us feel that is uniquely Agent J. The same is true of Tommy Lee Jones performance as K. He has the same bag of tricks that he introduced in the original MIB film -- his hangdog look, his frozen facial features, and his lack of communicative skills.
The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.
Overall MIB3 is just too much of an old thing. We have the same special effects in the presentation of aliens, and the same droll humor from the Men In Black agents. The only new weapon in the arsenal is the performance of Josh Brolin and that isn't enough to put this film in the winner's column.
I scored Men In Black III an alien-ated 5 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper
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