Men In Black 3: "We Are No-one. Our Mission Is To Moniter Extraterrestrial Activity On Earth"

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer:    Etan Cohen
Starring: Will Smith
               Tommy Lee Jones
               Josh Brolin
               Jemaine Clement
               Emma Thompson
               Alice Eve
               Nicole Scherzinger
               Will Arnett
               Bill Hader
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now

If only it were as simple as using a 'neuraliser' to forget things, then we could all forget that god awful sequel, Men in Black II, but no such luck. Luckily however, the third movie, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, relights the spark between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones; even though Jones has literally just about 10 minutes of screen time.

 Despite his lack of screen time, his younger incarnation in a parallel universe, Josh Brolin, somehow manages to do an even better Tommy Lee Jones than Tommy Lee Jones himself. It's a performance/impersonation so creepily good, you could be tricked into believing that Brolin really is some sort of alien body-snatcher. It almost appears that Will SMith can't quite believe how good it is either, with Smith giving sideways glances and smirks to Brolin throughout.

Tommy Lee Jones & Will Smith
The story basically follows Agent J (Smith) as he is having trouble getting his bearings when he travels back to July 1969 to prevent Agent K (Jones/Brolin) from being killed by the alien is Boris (Clement). Clement has undergone a startlingly tremendous transformation from bumbling idiot, into a monstrous alien biker idiot. Of course the urgency of J's mission is even greater thanks to the fact that K's murder leads to an alien invasion of Earth, pretty standard methinks.

I guess realistically, if you were in this situation, you would probably go further back in time to allow yourself more time to save the day, but then we wouldn't have such an exciting and fun movie, so we'll ignore this fact. Every single opportunity for action is fully exploited, from scene one when Boris escapes from a lunar prison, with help from his sexy girlfriend (Scherzinger), and zooms towards Earth.

Emma Thompson
the direction taken by Sonnenfeld is a really playful one, setting the tone for the film with a tongue-in-cheek raid on a Chinese restaurant that serves extraterrestrial chow mein. Naturally, the visual effects are stunning (including the wonderful '60s sets) and Sonnenfeld gives the locations perspective in a way that really works when it comes to the use of 3D, but what's more important is that, unlike the second film, the flesh-and-blood characters (the heart of the film) remain at the centre of the show.

Smith makes it look so so easy, but his outlandish expressions and constant wisecracking could make him really unlikeable. Instead, he comes across like an proud little brother, so eager to win Agent K's approval, even after all these years. When Brolin is portraying K, he allows the stern character slip a little, and shows a little bit of warmth; this means that a believable and sweet bond begins to form between the two, and it really helps the film and characters.

Jemaine Clement & Nicole Scherzinger
Emma Thompson adds another dimension with her brilliant supporting role, replacing Rip Torn as the head honcho at MIB. Her comedic timing and cold, yet warm, performance (I know it's a contradiction) works brilliantly for the role. Inevitably, the time travelling means it's easy to pick holes in the plot, but it's cleverly brought together and ties everything together nicely, and fills in all of the blanks by the time the end of the movie come around..

The superb Apollo 11 mission to the moon provides a suitably earthshaking backdrop for the grand finale and the moment is given even more energy because Sonnenfeld has taken the time to build on the agents' friendship, meaning you care for them so you really invest in their survival/victory. Of course, it;s not a life changing and profound film, but this is a funny, adrenaline-fuelled, spectacular and surprisingly emotional thrill-ride, and if you are a fan of the first then it is perfect for you (and everybody else really.)

Men in Black 3 - Trailer


  1. This was a fun flick, but nothing too entirely special. Just a bunch alien fun with Will Smith, a guy who needs get back out there pronto! Good review James. Definitely a lot better than that 2nd one though.


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