Barry Sonnenfeld has returned to film directing after panned films like RV and Big Trouble with Men in Black III. It has been fifteen years since the release of Men in Black and ten years since its less successful sequel, so expectations for the third film have varied. My major hope was for it to surpass the dreadful MiB2, which it does. However, it is nowhere near as humorous or engaging as the first film.
J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are still partners for the secret alien-watching organization the Men in Black, but their relationship has not changed nor developed in the last ten years. Their personalities clash, but K seems even more distant to the point of sullen. An infamous alien criminal called Boris the Animal (completely unrecognizable Jemaine Clement) breaks out of space prison vowing to enact revenge on K. When Boris goes back in time and kills K, J must time travel to prevent this new future. After running into young K (Josh Brolin), the duo tries to piece together the puzzle leading to their original future and stopping Boris.
It is obvious that the screenwriter tries to develop depth for the characters, but the story feels random and unconnected to the previous two films for its majority. The real point of the story is an event in K’s past, but there is no lead up to it except J’s constant questioning of what had caused K to be such a grump. There is no development of story; all events just kind of happen, including the ending that abruptly answers this convoluted character development. Mostly I’m just bothered by the fact that this plot idea doesn’t sync with the previous two films, that it seems outrageous that it took fourteen years together to get to it. It is a subject that would have made much more sense as the second film with a five-year gap instead of a very late third.
A side story between K and O (Alice Eve/Emma Thompson), a fellow agent and future head of MiB, goes absolutely nowhere. Though, it is almost worth it to see Eve try to play a young Thompson. Otherwise, the storyline seems to negate K’s love interest from the first film.
As expected, the only attraction of the film is Brolin’s Tommy Lee Jones impression. His perfect portrayal is the only reason to watch the film. Not to say the film is horrible, it just is not very appealing. MiB3 has less pizzazz than other films. Mostly it tries to replace funny action with a few 3-D thrills and hopes you will ignore the plot holes because the conclusion is so moving.
Rating for Men in Black III: C-
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
MiB3 is playing in just about every theater in Columbus in 2-D, 3-D, and some have IMAX 3-D. If you are bringing younger children, though, I would advise against 3-D of any kind because much of the 3-D might be scary for them with creepiness popping out from the aliens, etc. For showtimes, click here.