Elliott Serrano, For RedEye
May 24, 2012
Show of hands please...how many of you were clamoring for a Men In Black sequel? I mean, it's been ten years since we last saw Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) together at the cinema, so somebody had to be begging for this latest installment of thesci-fi franchise.
Was it you? Yeah YOU. No...I'm not talking to that dude behind you...I'm talking to YOU.
Well, I hope you're pleased with what you got for all your trouble, because MiB3 is a real mixed bag of good ideas and poor execution.
I mean, yeah Josh Brolin as a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones is truly remarkable. When Agent J (Smith) goes back in time to meet "Young Agent K" (Brolin) in 1969 because one of his enemies has gone back in time to mess with history, the potential comedic and narrative possibilites are endless. But once you get past Brolin's imitation and Will Smith learning what people think about black men in nice suits back in the sixties, well...sigh. So many possibilities go unexplored.
You also have Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) as Boris the Animal, the extra-terrestrial baddie of the film; and while he gets one scene to show off his comedic chops, the rest of the time he's just playing a dim-witting muscle head who really shouldn't be so hard to take down.
I guess I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up when Nicole Scherzinger first appeared as Boris' too-hot-to-handle girlfriend. Her appearance at the beginning of the film felt like a tease of the funky-romp MiB fans were expecting, but her character's sudden exit just served as a harbinger of promise unfulfilled.
Now, I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer for all of you who were waiting patiently for another MiB adventure. The film has its high points, like the aforementioned performance by Brolin and a number of guffaw inducing cameos by some well-known comedic actors. The appearances of Bill Hader and Will Arnett had me thinking of how they could successfully cast future features without the two primaries. And considering how long in the tooth Jones is getting, they need to start thinking about that if they want the franchise to continue.
Unfortunately, the script has some glaring plot holes that are inexcusable since it had a decade to come together.
Mild spoiler ahead:
Can someone explain to me how Agent J ever became a member of the MiB if there never was an Agent K to recruit him?
And if the MiB have rocket packs...uh...why did they need a rocket ship at the climax of the film?
That left me scratching my head.
Oh well, as the old saying goes, be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.
MiB 3 has a Geek Factor Rating of 2 out of 4 Neuralizer Bursts.
Directed by:Barry Sonnenfeld
Written by:Etan Cohen
Based on the Malibu Comic by:Lowell Cunningham
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg and Emma Thompson
This film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for SCI-FI ACTION VIOLENCE, AND BRIEF SUGGESTIVE CONTENT.
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