Men in Black III possesses a certain charm
Starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin. Rated PG. Now playing
It’s been 10 years since the last sequel to Men in Black, which may make you wonder if a third kick at the intergalactic can is really necessary. When the concept debuted 15 years ago, the idea of two wisecracking agents battling aliens on Earth seemed remarkably fresh. Now—despite the undeniable charm of series leads Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones—the premise seems almost quaint.
The road to Men in Black III has included some serious potholes. Credited to no less than four screenwriters—including high-priced script doctor David Koepp—numerous production delays caused the budget to bloat up to a whopping 250 million dollars. What does director Barry Sonnenfeld deliver for the price? Some typically impressive special effects tacked on to a swinging-’60s version of Back to the Future.
Actually, it’s a lot more pleasant than it sounds. Especially if you ignore the recycled plot. The basics? A one-armed alien named Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from his lunar jail cell to get revenge on Agent K (Jones). Boris is still fuming over how a much younger Agent K chopped off his alien arm back in the 1960s. When he learns the secret to time travel, Boris decides to go back to 1969 and kill Agent K before you-know-what can happen.
In an effort to save his partner, Smith’s Agent J ends up travelling back to 1969. He encounters everyone from Andy Warhol (Bill Hader) to the younger version of Agent K (played to perfection by Josh Brolin). Of course, once you start messing around with time, anything can happen. As it turns out, the future of the world is at stake.
Thankfully, Sonnenfeld keeps things light, concentrating on the relationship between the two long-time partners. A wise move, since the surprising back story tends to make up for more than a few familiar moments.
Watch the trailer for Men in Black III.