It’s been 10 years since the abysmal Men in Black II tortured our souls and made us forget what was so good about the first Men in Black film. Well it looks like director Barry Sonnenfeld, along with Steven Spielberg and the rest of the producing team, have learned a thing or two since then and have gone back to basics and delivered a truly worthy sequel.
After Boris the Animal (Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement) escapes from Lunar Max Prison, he’s on the hunt for Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones); the man who took his arm and locked him up. In order to get K, however, Boris must travel back in time to 1969 and kill him. After he pulls it off, K disappears from present day and no one remembers him except for his partner, Agent J (Will Smith). Now J is time travelling in order to try to save K and put things back in order.
Smith has not been in a movie since the 2008 drama Seven Pounds and it’s nice to see he’s still got what it takes to entertain and make us root for him. He’s just as witty and on his toes as he was in the first film. It also appears he might be an alien himself as he has not aged a day since 1997.
While Jones is only in the film briefly, Josh Brolin kills it as the younger version of Agent K and proves he can really do no wrong. He and Smith play off each other wonderfully and he gushes charisma while keeping in check he’s technically playing Jones.
As the villain, Clement is an interesting choice and does a wicked job with the role. Michael Stuhlbarg as an alien who looks oddly similar to Robin Williams’ Mork from the ‘70s television series Mork & Mindy is also a nice treat and adds a lot of humour. Unfortunately both Emma Thompson and Alice Eve are wasted on throwaway roles.
Although the 3-D was pretty useless, the effects were decent and worked well. Same with Danny Elfman’s score. It would have been nice to see them play up the ‘60s angle more, but then again this isn’t Mad Men.
In the end Men in Black III is a fun summer flick that puts the series back in the pop culture consciousness and should leave fans wanting more.
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin
Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Top image: A scene from Men in Black III. Courtesy Sony Pictures.