Review by: Mark Bricker
I went into Men in Black 3 with very low expectations. It’s not because I didn’t enjoy the first two Men in Black movies, in fact I thought they were quite good. It has to do with the fact that Hollywood has been dishing out too many sequels, prequels and remakes. With that said, I rather enjoyed stepping back into director Barry Sonnenfeld’s universe, as well as seeing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones once again don their infamous black suits. Although, to be honest, most of my enjoyment was due to the nostalgia I felt from the first two movies. Any fan of the first two will find something to love in this movie, but if you disliked the first two, you definitely won’t enjoy this one.
Many of my issues with the movie had to do with the plot and the absence of Tommy Lee Jones. Not that Josh Brolin didn’t do a great job of capturing Jones’ essence, I just felt that the chemistry between Will Smith and Jones was more explosive; they made a great pair. Such a great pair that Jones’ absence was quite noticeable and kind of disappointing, but with the time travel plot they chose to go with, that was expected.
The time travel portion was rather confusing but I guess it’s just one of those things you have to trust them on when you step into the universe Sonnenfeld and team created. Most of my distaste for the movie had to do with the fact that they poorly handled this portion of the plot, leaving so many holes and unanswered questions. I also didn’t like the villain, Boris the animal. He didn’t hold the movie like an antagonist should, but more or less paved the way for them to take you on a journey mainly focused on Jones’ character of K. Although it was interesting to see Jermaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords fame as a villain.
The journey Sonnenfeld took us on was filled with many great moments for fans of the Men in Black series. It was great to see Will Smith step back in his comedic shoes, and Josh Brolin’s spot-on Tommy Lee Jones impersonation provided a number of laughs. It was obvious though that the movie was clearly riding on Will Smith’s shoulders. He carried it quite well considering the circumstances. The circumstances being great actors with only okay material.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say that the driving force of the movie should have been the relationship between J and K because there’s a moment at the end that brings on the water works. Instead that relationship got lost in a sea of confusing time travel concepts and a unnecessary love interest.
It was nice to see the characters we loved from the first two films, and enjoyable to learn new things about their characters. Also there are great comedic moments about civil rights, Andy Warhol, and technological differences between the ’60s and now. Will Smith continues to give one exceptional performance after another and I admit he was not only my favorite part of the movie, but the only reason I wanted to see it. So any Will Smith or Men in Black fan will walk out of this movie with something to like, but if neither is your cup of tea I would sit this movie out. Men in Black 3 gets 3 out of 5 Nerdskulls from me.