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Men in Black III

Men in Black III

What She said:

She

I’ll admit, when Men in Black III came out in theaters, I was generally curious but not particularly interested.  I had found Men in Black II to be a disappointment, and I didn’t think anything could live up to the original.  That’s not to say that the original MIB is that awesome, but you have to remember, I was 13 when it came out, and so I just thought it was the coolest movie ever.  Flash forward to the DVD release of MIB III and an overall  fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and I started to get a little excited.  So, The He and I skipped on down to our local Redbox, waited in line for what seemed like an eternity, and finally got our claws on the new flick. 

I gotta say, I wasn’t too disappointed.  I’ve always enjoyed Will Smith, so it was fun to see him at work, getting all snarky with his innocent attitude.  He and Tommy Lee Jones have a good dynamic, although it was somewhat saddening to see how much Jones has aged these past few years.  As The He pointed out, “He has old man ears.”  Indeed he does.  They look like they’re going to start dragging on the ground any day.  So, back to the movie.  MIB III was originally released in 3D.  I’m not sure if it’s the settings on my new TV, or if it was the conversion from 3D to 2D, but the special effects were nothing to write home about.  The picture looked wonky on multiple occasions throughout the movie.

Let me back-up and tell you a little about the storyline.  As you probably know, MIB is about a government agency that keeps aliens secretly living on our planet in order.  In the third movie, Earth is in peril when the last surviving member of an ugly and very scary race called the Boglodite’s escapes imprisonment on the Moon, comes back to the blue planet, and travels back in time to 1969 to kill the man who arrested him and left him with a missing arm, Agent K (Jones).  Boris the Animal (that’s the bad guy’s name) is successful in his assassination, and Agent J (Smith) strolls into work one morning to realize that everything has changed.  Agent K is not around, and everyone seems perplexed when he asks about him.  Agent J’s boss, Agent O (Emma Thompson) realizes that Agent J is being truthful, and that there has been a tear in the space-time continuum.  Agent J must travel back to 1969 to destroy Boris the Animal and save Agent K before he is wiped out. 

It sounds super complex, but it’s not.  And all the background happens pretty quickly.  Then you get into the hunting and chasing Boris the Animal.  I should note that Josh Brolin plays the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones, and boy does he do an exceptional impersonation of the more senior actor.  His mimicking is actually quite hilarious in its own right, and probably the best part of the movie.  The plot of this film gets a little confusing, and things get a bit slow in the middle, but overall I found MIB III to be humorous and lots of fun.  Tweens will like the aliens, and there’s some funny moments for adults as well.  MIB III is clearly not the best movie ever made, but it’s good enough for a summer action flick.  Overall, I’d recommend it as a rental.

Thumbs mostly up.

Men in Black III

What he said:

He

I’ve never had a huge attachment to this series. I’ve seen the first one all the way through just once and that was years ago. I don’t remember a whole bunch about it other than it being about a secret government agency that deals with alien-related (as in outer space, not from another country) issues. I don’t remember disliking it, but I don’t remember being blown away by it either. I didn’t bother with the second one, because it has horrible reviews, and I was never head-over-heels about the original anyway. I feel like I have a better understanding of them now and actually want to go back and watch the original. When I saw the first one, I think Independence Day was what I was thinking. Will Smith was still pretty new to making movies and I think I went into seeing the first MIB thinking it would be similar (big, action-packed, blockbuster). Well, they're not. They are more like Ghostbusters for a new generation.

MIB III continues the adventures of Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones). While investigating a “routine” case, K discovers an old nemesis of his – Boris the Animal – has escaped from a maximum security prison on the Moon. Boris is a very dangerous creature called a Boglodite. Boris (Jemaine Clement) wants nothing more than to seek revenge against K for putting him in prison and contributing to the loss of his arm. He gets his hands on some time travel technology and heads back to 1969 to eliminate and change the course of history. He actually succeeds, because in the present all traces of K are erased.

J seems to be the only once to notice. He goes to work and nobody seems to know who K is aside from the lady in charge, Agent O (Emma Thompson). She knew K back in the 60s and starts to believe J’s story when he appears to know K pretty well. J is also able to get his hands on some time travel tech and goes back to attempt to right this wrong.

Men in Black III

Back in ’69 J meets up with the young version of K (played by Josh Brolin). After some trust issues early on, the two of them eventually team up to try to stop both the Boris’ (because there is now two of him in the past) from killing K and altering history.

I must circle back to Brolin’s version of the K character. Impressive, most impressive. He totally nailed the younger version of the character Jones helped create. It’s a bold move to take one of your two main stars out of a movie for a healthy chunk of it, but Brolin more than made up for it. Just watching him speak made me laugh. He looked, sounded, and acted exactly like a younger version of K. It was easily the highlight of the movie.

Will Smith was his usual entertaining self. He is a very likeable guy and that usually comes through to his characters. He’s a smartass, but not a bad guy, which is why I like him. You just want to root for him. His reaction to Brolin’s version of the K character also helped sell the premise. Not all of his jokes work, but some are bound to fall flat when a character is tasked to represent the bulk of the laughs in a franchise.

There were several other little things I enjoyed about the movie. As always with these movies, there’s all kinds of slimy, bumpy, or just plain ugly creatures to marvel at. There’s also a whole new crop of new gadgets to enjoy as well. I also liked the villain Boris (he worked well for this kind of movie) and the little sidekick character Griffin (Michael Stuglburg). I liked that he was kind of childlike, but wise too. I also thought the Andy Warhol bit was hilarious. That was a clever little plot point.

That only complaints I have are that it looked very fake at times. Some of the effects were really bad. I don’t think converting the movie to 3D then back to 2D did it any favors in that department. I also think our new TV played a factor. It suffers from the dreaded “soap opera effect” and you have to play with the settings a bit. You can fix the picture, you just have to putz around with it more often than I’d like. A couple of the jokes also fell flat early on, but that problem righted itself fairly quickly. I thought we were in for a long night at first, but it got better after just a few minutes.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on December 6, 2012.