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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Men in Black III (2012)


Look out aliens, they’re getting older.

Agent K (Will Smith) travels back through time to the 1960s to save Agent J (Tommy Lee Jones). However, the big mishap here is that he’s about 30 years younger (Josh Brolin) and they both have to fight off super-alien, Boris the Animal, from destroying the world.

Now, I know I sure as hell wasn’t asking for this and I’m pretty sure (hoping) that nobody else really was either; but there is still something positive to be said about this franchise. The first one was very fun and probably stayed in every kids memories forever; and then the second one came around suck all of the fun from the first one! Still, there’s a smidge of fun here taht brought me back to the good old days of sitting down and poppin’ in the old MIB into the VHS, with a couple of my really cool buds. Oh, the old times.

What really had me scared in the beginning was how out-dated this flick seemed. It’s been awhile since the first and second film came out, so when you have Smith up on-screen using lines like “pimpslap the biznitch” or “fo’ real dawg”, it gives off barely any comedy and seems like everybody involved is trying to go back to their 90′s flavor. It’s not sitting well with the viewers, though. Actually, movies, Summer blockbusters, and comedy in general has sort of changed since ’97 and you don’t have to look past the first 20 minutes to notice. I didn’t find myself laughing once and felt boderline disappointing because they tried so damn hard to make me. Everything that Smith did back in the 90′s that seemed hip, cool, and funny —  comes off flat. Sure, there’s something nice about a comedy that isn’t all about being raunchy goes with a clean approach, but it just isn’t funny enough here and that’s what pushed my buttons at first.

Thankfully once Smith finds himself in 1969, things start to pick up smoothly. Director Barry Sonnenfeld did a nice job with this material because he was able to balance out all of the elements of comedy, action, sci-fi, and even a bit of drama; and somehow he made it all work. I started chuckling a lot more once they got into the 60′s lunged at the time-period by bringing up iconic figures like Andy Warhol, played hilariously by Bill Hader, and a couple of little references to outdated music and fads that were big around then. Yeah, the time-travel idea may have not been very inspiring, but it still worked, alright? Thanks mainly, of course, to Sonnenfeld, who is able to make it work, without just seeming like a one-trick pony where every other joke is a hit at the decade. When you got MIB gadgets in the 60′s, you got a quick laugh.

However, a lot of the fun comes from the action and sci-fi elements. The 3D for this movie is actually pretty good and the special effects look even better, thanks to the wonderful work by Rick Baker who always seems to be on his A-game no matter what the movie is. Of course, the aliens look great and the gadgets are cooler than ever but there’s also a lot of action here that really keeps the movie going, without ever really stopping itself to slow down and focus on its characters.

You know what? I did sort of like when they started to slow the film down and focus on the characters, because it worked better than expected. The film really focuses on how Jones’ character has changed over the years from this smiling happy dude that is liked by many, to this totally stern and miserable-looking guy that nobody wants to be around. This was a cool idea and used well — whenever the film brought it into the picture a bit, however, it immediate starts to shy away from it and then this final twist comes in at the end to give us a connection to these characters more and it comes off as totally shoehorned in. I don’t want to give anything away but what shocked me at first, really made no sense and seemed like a really manipulative way of getting us to care for these two characters that we already love and root for as it is.

Will Smith returns to the screen after a 4-year absence and plays the role of Agent J with all of the charisma and enthusiasm he has in his pocket, almost as if he wasn’t gone from the screen for 4 minutes. As I said before, a lot of Smith’s comedy at first, comes off as dated but he starts to get the hang of it and shows why he is one of the most lovable personalities on the big-screen and I hope he comes back to stay and not leave us after doing some dumb shit like Seven Pounds. Tommy Lee Jones is not really here all that much as Agent J, because a lot of that time is given to the awesome Josh Brolin, who plays a younger version of him. Brolin hits the deadpan delivery that Jones has perfectly and he adds a lot of charm to a performance that could have easily just been one-note. He said “slick” a little too much for my liking, but I still have to give a lot of love to Brolin for bringing an impersonation of a very notable actor, and giving it his own, little swing.

Jemaine Clement is sort of one-dimensional as the villain, Boris the Animal, and I think it’s a disappointment because I think Clement could have really handled this material like a champ. Instead, they give him non-intimidating villainous lines, a running gag about his name that wasn’t funny the first 100 times they did it, and a Randy “Macho Man” Savage look that made me feel like he was going against the wrong guys in a battle like this. He should have been facing Hulkamania, brothers!!

Consensus: Men in Black III may not be a threequel we needed to see nor does it bring anything new to this almost-forgotten franchise, but it does bring a lot of kid-oriented fun to it, with charming performances from the cast, a breezy pace, and a nice mixture of comedy and action that will remind you as to why this franchise worked so well in the first place.

7/10=Rental!!

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22 responses to “Men in Black III (2012)

  1. alec96 May 25, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Glad to learn this movie isn’t crap, like I thought it might be. I got from your usual outstanding review, that this isn’t as good to justify the long wait to a sequel to the disappointing second one. But it still is a fun time.

  2. Pingback: Follow Fridays!: Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews | Fogs' Movie Reviews

  3. Dan May 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Good stuff. I’m not expecting much so I’m sure it’ll live up to expectation.

  4. sati May 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I’m not the fan of this franchise but I do like Josh Brolin so I’ll probably catch this one on DVD. The idea with the time travel is actually pretty cool here.

  5. S May 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Fine review here Dan; might wait for rental but hard to resist Smith and Brolin (great pick as young Jones) on the BIG screen. ;-)

  6. Ethan May 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’m surprised you didn’t laugh once; the theater I was in seemed to really enjoy it. Anyways, good review! Here’s mine…

    http://ethanunscripted.blogspot.com/2012/05/back-in-black-again.html

  7. Texas Susan May 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Gotta disagree, Dan . . . my family LOVED MIB3! Nice touches of humor plus Josh Brolin simply nailed Tommy Lee Jones’ mannerisms. We’re big Flight of the Conchords fans, so we loved Jemaine’s turn as the bad guy. MIB3 is well worth seeing at the theater.

  8. Erik (AngryVader) May 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I thought it was enjoyable enough, but there were a lot of missed opportunities with the story and many of the jokes fell flat for me. At least it’s an improvement over the MiB2 and reminded me a little of why I liked the first one so much.

  9. Jaina May 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Sad to hear that Jermaine Clement’s a bit of a waste in his role. :( Was rather looking forward to seeing a Conchord on the big screen.

  10. tajgreenemoviesinreview May 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I thought Smith’s comical takes were exactly what I would expect from this franchise. They didn’t change the dynamic of the comedy because this is the lane they feel comfortable for their audience. It worked for me. I didn’t find myself laughing out loud, but I did laugh.

    This installment provided the best overall story for me. Character development was great and the solid ending made this installment my favorite thus far. Glad u weren’t too hard on it. I wasn’t expecting much and ended up leaving the theatre feeling like I got my monies worth. Nice review! If u get a chance stop over and read mine

    • CMrok93 May 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks Taj! I had fun with this one, no doubt about that and I’m glad that it didn’t suck because the first one was always so much damn fun.

  11. JAY May 31, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Good Review.
    Sonnenfeld delivered the right blend – Action, Drama and Aliens. Josh Brolin was the best among the leads.

    http://www.jayanthj.blogspot.in

  12. Pingback: » Movie Review – Men In Black 3 Fernby Films

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