The Rambling Crab’s review of Men In Black 3 comes courtesy of Christopher Patrick, Scottish movie review correspondent for TheRamblingCrab.com.
It was with slight trepidation that I took my seat for my latest cinematic outing. I was expecting to be somewhat let down, hoping what I was about to watch had a purpose other than being a cash cow for the movie studios. The film? Men In Black 3, or MiB III as the kids say – if indeed they say anything these days without running their fingers over a mobile phone.
Anyway, Men In Black 3. The long gestating threequel to the poorly received second installment sees Will Smith’s “Agent J” jump back in time to 1969 to prevent his partner K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) from being killed.
There was the danger, or rather fear, that a third visit to this universe would be nothing more than a stale rehash of what we’ve seen in the previous two movies; Aliens threaten the world, Agents J and K exchange some back and forth banter, Agents J and K save the world. That was my worry going into the film, as I am a fan of the first two movies (yes, the first TWO movies, thank you very much). Although I needn’t have worried.
Men In Black 3 is a fresh injection into the franchise, a smart move by the filmmakers to send Agent J back to 1969. By doing this, they manage to return to the “fish out of water” element which made the first movie so fun, something that Will Smith revels in.
It takes a while for the film to warm up. The first act feels a little like it’s playing catch up, to ease in newcomers to the series, bringing them up to speed and introducing them to the Men In Black universe. Hardly necessary given that this is the THIRD installment.
Once the scene setting is out of the way, and J takes the thrilling time jump back to 1969 (we see a dinosaur, I like dinosaurs), the movie really picks up. It breaks away from the tropes of the first two films, away from the formula, but keeping the fun. There are several funny moments throughout with a lot of the laughs coming from Smith’s increasingly bewildered J and his new found craving for chocolate milk.
Josh Brolin is magnificent as the younger Agent K, adding depth to the role and bouncing off Will Smith in a similar way to Tommy Lee Jones. The thing that I love most about the Men In Black movies is the relationship between these two characters, and this entry into the franchise really serves that relationship well. Even though Jones is absent for most of the movie, it never feels that way. The chemistry between Smith and Brolin is undeniable (Phew!).
Jermaine Clements’ villain, Boris The Animal (sorry, just Boris) is played with fantastic menace and really harks back to the danger imposed by the antagonist of the first film. Except this time he’s bigger, scarier and even more threatening. There is a real sense of danger whenever he’s on screen. I think it’s the eyes….or lack there of.
Part of the added threat by this film’s villain is the fact that he succeeds in killing Agent K in the first place, which leads the audience to believe Boris is a tangible threat to the characters we have grown to love.
The film also has an unexpected sweet, emotional core which I think is a major strength of the movie. J traveling back in time to save his partner from death is touching. The revelation in the third act adds further meaning and depth to the relationship between J and K, something that is extremely satisfying should you find yourself invested in the characters. It is also a rather emotional moment (I got goosebumps), something unfamiliar to the franchise, but a welcome addition nonetheless.
Men In Black 3 is fun, entertaining and remarkably fresh for a third installment. I’d recommend you go see it.
Christopher Patrick – A Scottish guy who watches a lot of Film and TV. One half of Killer Tofu Films. Aspiring filmmaker. I also like cake.
Follow him on Twitter: @cpatrick1604
Like Christopher Patrick’s review? Check out his movie review for The Avengers (US) – Avengers Assemble (UK).