Men in Black 3 review

Barry Sonnenfeld
Will Smith
Tommy Lee Jones
Josh Brolin
Jemaine Clement
Rated: PG-13

Will Smith has battled aliens now four times and robots one time, he should be able to qualify to join the Jedi order soon.

“Men in Black 3” follows up with our main characters from the previous films, Agent J (Smith) and Agent K (Jones), as they continue their day to day work of protecting the citizens of Earth from aliens living on the blue and green planet. Trouble starts brewing, though, as an alien that K locked up back in the 60s named Borris the Animal (Clement) escapes from a prison on the moon and vows revenge.

To execute his vengeance, he goes back in time and kills K so it changes history. Not only does this have J wake up with out a partner at MIB, the super secret organization also realizes that an alien invasion begins on Earth and they have no way to stop it since K hadn’t been around to get a type of defense system since history changed. Because of this J has to travel back in time and work with a young K to stop Borris.

The “Men in Black” series took a major nose dive with its second installment. Since they had written themselves into a corner at the end of the first one and had to spend most of the second one reintroducing K and at the same time having a less then interesting sub plot with Rosario Dawson’s character.

The third film fortunately goes back and is for the most part what the second film should have been. MIB 3 plays very much like a buddy cop film with J and a young K exploring clues and solving the case, no introduction or reintroduction plots to worry about, just two agents tracking down a criminal. This works so well because it just makes for a simple yet fun film just watching these two characters interact and work together.

Sometimes a time travel plot can go awry, however here it really works. We get to see K from a different perspective and learn more about him and its cool seeing a young K and J work together after J having to work with the older K for so long.

The acting is really enjoyable. Will Smith is still charming and gives the role he plays a fun level of attitude, it’s made even better this installment as the younger K is a bit more fun playing off of J here, too. Speaking of which, Josh Brolin, who plays the young K, does a damn near perfect impression of Tommy Lee Jones, getting both the look on his face to the way he talks down. Smith and Brolin bring the same level of chemistry that Smith and Jones had, which helps the film a lot.

One area where I thought the film fell really flat though was the villain Borris the Animal. Jemaine Clement completely overacts and chews up a truck load of scenery and it gets old really fast. Plus, we already had a very overacting villain in the first “Men in Black,” here it just feels regurgitated.

The scenery was interesting, especially with the 60s element. Seeing a retro looking MIB headquarters was especially nice. The special effects looked fine too, however the action in the film wasn’t really that engaging, it’s made better though by some of the interrogation scenes which were fun.

The third and possibly final installment of the “Men in Black” series is for the most part enjoyable. The chemistry between Smith and Brolin makes for a good buddy cop film that’s interesting to follow and the set designs are nice to look at. The humor is also pretty strong, what hurts it though is the villain who was nothing but annoying. It’s a good film, but not great. Nothing to rush out to the theater to see but still good, very high 3 out of 5.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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