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“Men in Black 3” – Early Review (POSTIVE)

May 24, 2012

After the disaster that was “Men in Black II”, I seriously wasn’t looking forward for a third outing about the famous boys in black, fighting off nasty alien beings, hell bent on, you guessed it, taking over the world (OF COURSE). The previews for “Men in Black 3” didn’t show any real interest for me in revisiting these characters. The trailer focused more on the whole time travel aspect, young K, and little to no show of the movies actual villain. So, in a sense, as J puts it in the film, ‘I hate going in blind’.

Much to my surprise, like Sony’s earlier comedy release this year, “21 Jump Street”, a movie I wasn’t looking forward to at all turns out to be a good film after all. Surly you cannot say that “MIB3” is the best one in the franchise, god no, that award remains with the original 1997 film, but it’s a major improvement over the 2002 blunder. A better & more heartwarming ending is injected into the movie, with a villain who’s as disgusting and bitter as the first films bad guy, are just the few new additions that made this film work.

An alien criminal, known to many as Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), escapes from a lunar prison, specially made just for him, and makes it his mission to travel back in time to kill the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) in 1969, altering the timeline, changing the Agency and placing the Earth in danger. Old K’s (Tommy Lee Jones) go to guy, Agent J (Will Smith) must travel back in time to 1969, a day before the murder of K, and work with the young K to save him from the old bitter Boris from the future, meanwhile figuring out how to stop young ’69 Boris from committing a serial of alien murders that are all connected with the impending alien invasion.

Lets be real, the movie borrows familiar elements from past time travel films, one that should come to everyone’s mind is “Back to the Future Part III”, but that’s neither here nor there. During the 2010-2011 production of the film, there were many problems with the script, leading to countless rewrites during the actual filming. It shows in the completed product, in small places, but it really doesn’t hurt the movie. Where the film lacks in it’s writing it does however make up in other elements. Rick Baker continues to prove that he is the master of special make-up effects and creature design, especially when he lets loose on the creature feature of the 1960’s setting. The movie is fun to look at, with amusing set pieces, hilarious gags, and witty performances from all around. With four-year absences from the movie scene, Will Smith returns in full form, with his classic wise cracks that made him the star he is today. Tommy Lee Jones has the best deadpan expressions as Agent K, sad to see him in the movie for a total of 30 mins, but his lack of appearance in the film is fulfilled by his youthful double played by Josh Brolin.

If there’s one great thing to take away from “Men in Black 3”, it’s Josh Brolin’s take on K. He’s funny, he’s spot on by doing a youthful version of Jones, but at the same time still makes it his own. The villain, Boris, really doesn’t have much to work with except seeking revenge, because K blew his arm off. I’m not sure that’s the correct drive to give a legit reason to invade earth, but hey, you loose a limb caused by an enemy of yours, I’d have sour feelings too. [Jemaine] Clement is amusing in the role of Boris, his character reminded me a lot of the Bug from “MIB1”, no remorse, no sense of irony or humor; just mean, grouchy, and gross to look at.

“Men in Black 3” isn’t the perfect threequel, but it’s certainly fun, funny, and enjoyable to look at. Fans of the series, keep your eyes peeled for some clever easters eggs of elements from the last two movies. Slick performances, savvy special effects, and cool artistic designs makes this movie a fun watch, and will certainly bring in the business for the Memorial Day weekend. Have “The Avengers” finally met their match?

3D GRADE: C+

MOVIE GRADE: B

OVERALL GRADE: B-

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