Men In Black 3 (2012) – Barry Sonnenfeld

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For a film based on a rather dark comic property, these films tend to be light and fun and mindless popcorn entertainment, when they work.

The third outing, feels way overdue, but I settled in, finally to take a look at the third installment of the franchise. K (Tommy Lee Jones) is in trouble (and also grossly under-used), it seems a prisoner he put away some 40 years ago, Boris The Animal (Jemaine Clement), has broken out of a maximum security prison on the moon, and has his sights on removing K for good, by going back in time and killing him before his past self can be arrested and lose an arm in the process.

J (Will Smith) is shocked to learn that no one remembers K, and has a sudden craving for chocolate milk.

The new head of MiB, O (Emma Thompson) realizes what is going on, and sends J into the past, to track and stop Boris before he can remove K from the timeline.

Arriving in 1969, a day before the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, J meets up with K (played to perfection by Josh Brolin, who has the character down pat), and the two of them race to stop Boris, not only from killing K, but also to stop a future invasion of earth by a previously extinct (before the time line alteration) species!

It’s fun, lighthearted, and Will Smith is still very much at home in his character.

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It also has some nice story threads tied up, leaving the trilogy complete, and now, probably ready for a reboot, as it’s a Sony property.

As I said, Tommy Lee Jones is sadly missing from the bulk of the film, but Brolin plays a fantastic younger version of him, and has a nice little repartee with J that is still very much K, but younger, and less jaded. Alice Eve does something similar in her younger portrayal of Emma Thompson’s O, though neither of them get enough screen time.

The computer generated creatures are, for the most part, nicely married to the practical effects, and seeing the retro look of 1060s MiB headquarters, was a lot of fun, and was decidedly warmer in design and color. I loved the neuralyzer, and the battery belt, but hated the bikes used at the end of the film… oh well…. and hey… no, hit single from the movie by Smith either!

Clement as Boris seems to be having a lot of fun, and actually makes a fairly imposing villain.

The only problem I tend to have with these films is that they tend to be short, and don’t really play around in the universe as much as I would like. It’s introduce, or catch-up with, the characters, introduce the baddie, first confrontation, regroup, and final confrontation. It’s too bad, as I do like the world they’ve created, though I am also a fan of the much darker world of the original comics penned by Lowell Cunningham.

This one was a bit of popcorn fun, but I don’t feel the need to run out and add it to my collection…

How about you?

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