Anthony's Film Review

Men in Black 3 (2012)

Finally, a Men in Black movie that I can actually say is more than OK...

Usually, when a movie has sequels, the interval between films is no more than, let's say, three years. So it's somewhat surprising that Men in Black in 1997 would have one sequel, Men in Black II, five years later and the next sequel, Men in Black 3, released ten years after the first sequel (totaling 15 years between the first and third movies). That's not to say the movie will automatically suck. Rather, it presents a challenge to the filmmakers: making a movie that will still appeal to those who have seen the predecessors, while making it fun for the newcomers. (Yes, I can tell you that watching Men in Black 3 does not really require seeing the first two.)

If you like the first and second Men in Black movies, you will be happy to know that the key elements of those movies are in the third Men in Black. You have Will Smith as the jovial Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones as the dead-serious Agent K, both members of an organization that keep track of aliens on Earth to protect the planet. As the opening of Men in Black 3 shows, there is an alien prison on the Moon. Otherwise, if you walk into the MiB headquarters, it looks like you're walking into an intergalactic community, where humans and aliens are walking about together. In contrast to this peaceful image, there are some aliens living among us who are disguised as humans but may be breaking a law or two, and that's where the Men in Black come in with powerful high-tech laser weapons to terminate them if needed. (Oh, and there's a gadget to wipe away memories, so that any humans witnessing aliens won't remember a thing after that device flashes a light.)

Anyway, the plot of Men in Black 3 combines a cat-and-mouse chase and time travel. An alien criminal named Boris the Animal, played by Jemaine Clement, breaks out of the Moon prison I mentioned above. This is a guy who vows revenge against Agent K, who, on July 16, 1969, had taken off Boris's arm in a fight before arresting him. Now that he is free, Boris obtains a means of time travel and goes back in time to murder Agent K on that day. As a result, we see Agent K suddenly disappear, his home turning into a different home owned by someone else, and information at MiB headquarters indicating that Agent K already died. Yet, Agent J still remembers having spoken to K just recently, and now he figures out the method of murder in the past to change history.

Hence, Agent J time travels to July 15, 1969, one day before K's death, to kill the younger Boris and ultimately allowing K to live again. The method of going back in time is, I must admit, kind of funny, and the visual effects that go with it are done creatively. Anyway, once J is in 1969, he enters the MiB headquarters that still looks very high-tech compared to the ordinary 1960s America right outside. Then he meets the young Agent K, played by John Brolin, whom J has to fight to gain his trust. After a bit of effort, the two become a team.

The rest of the movie is what you'd expect: the two Men in Black on Boris's trail, a bit of action, and plenty of laughs. The climax of the movie is good, and it is followed by a rather touching revelation about one of the characters, which I obviously will not spoil. Overall, Men in Black 3 is good and certainly better than the first Men in Black that was OK and the second Men in Black that I thought was disappointing. It's enough for me to give a Men in Black 4 a chance if that ever gets made. (And even if that movie ends up being bad, I'll just forget about it, like anyone witnessing aliens and having their memories erased by the MiB.)

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Men in Black 3, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my review of Men in Black and Men in Black II.


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