on 9 June 2012
Having seen this in the cinema yesterday I was quite surprised to read some of the reviews on this site. First of all, I must state that I am not a big fan of MIB or MIB2 - I thought they were OK films. My young son wanted to see this so my wife and I thought it would help alleviate a wet and windy afternoon. All I can say is Wow, how pleasantly surprised we were. I thought the action scenes were adequate and the gags were quite funny. Where I have to differ with most of the other reviewers is that I thought the story was excellent. It takes you on a brief history trip while managing to round off the MIB story, taking the characters full circle.
As I stated, I wasn't a fan of the other MIB films but we all really enjoyed this one. If you're undecided as to whether or not to watch it, give it a go - you may be as pleasantly surprised as we were. I would certainly watch it again. It's also worth mentioning that you don't have to have seen 1 and 2 to be able to follow this one. Hope this helps.
on 26 June 2012
When the original Men in Black film came out, it was to a lot of hype. The film was a huge success, as it more than lived up to the expectations it had built up for itself.
When the second MiB film was released, it was to an equal amount of hype. It was ok, provided you didn't mind seeing the plot of the first film with the roles reversed. Not a huge success, but it had some good moments.
And now we have the third film. I had not seen as much hype about it, and the trailer looked promising. So I decided to go and watch it to see how they faired this time around.
First of all, the plot was thankfully different: as you are probably aware, time travel is involved. Agend K (Smith) has to go back in time to save Agent J's (Jones) younger self (Brolin) from being killed. This leads to the inevitable "Black man in racist-era New York" confrontation. Which is played for laughs, and bizarrely, works! That only plays a minor part in the plot, and your opinions probably vary as to whether or not that is a good thing.
The plot is pretty straight-forward, with lots of hinting about the events in past early on. Sure enough, by the end of the film, all the major questions are answered, and very few plot holes are created (and the one or two that do stand out are not enough to spoil your enjoyment).
Casting is crucial, and when you have to select an actor to play a younger version of a well established character, it becomes even more critical. There has been varying success in other films: Ewan McGregor is almost believable as a younger Alec Guiness in the Star Wars franchise. Rob Lowe as a young Robert Wagner in Austin Powers is not so spot-on, but we forgive as he is plays the part so well. But what of Josh Brolin as Tommy Lee Jones?
Characterisation - excellent. Accent - well, I still don't know if it was Brolin speaking or Jones dubbing him! Either way, it was not a distraction, other than to marvel at how good a job they did.
As for the Big Bad... Jemaine Clement as Boris is very good. Wonderfully hammy, not too cheesy, and instantly dislikable. In short, everything you want in a comedy drama such as this. As an aside, I did not realise until after the film was over that he was one half of the comedy musical duo Flight of the Conchords. And yes, I have seen it the mockumentary... he really was that unrecognisable, which is all to Clement's credit.
The story itself was nothing special - in essence it is a standard plot that crops up every now and then in Doctor Who, and was the staple for every Quantum Leap episode ever made. Nevertheless, they made it work here, and they made it fun. It was clichéd, but that's not always a bad thing. After all, a cliché is only a plot device that gets re-used because it works well.
If you want a sci-fi film that will make you think, then this is not for you. If you want a bit of well acted silly and funny nonsense then this is likely to be right up your street.
on 16 October 2012
I was a big fan of Men in Black as a kid, being a sci-fi nerd and all that, but even as a child I wasn't a big fan of the first sequel. It made the fatal sequel mistake of trying to take what was popular about the original and exploiting it, rather than driving the overarching story forward or exploring deeper the world it had created (which was a shame, because MIB opened up a whole universe of possibilities - literally).
Men in Black 3 actually DOES do the latter, to an extent. It does not try to replicate the conditions of the original film, which is very refreshing, even going so far as to remove Tommy Lee Jones from the majority of the film, where the second film even denied him the happy ending he had found in the first just to drag him back into the franchise.
The plot, involving time travel, does not seem out of place in the film's universe of endless possibilities. The 60's setting allows some hillarious scenes, such as revelations about Andy Warhol, and a great little scene where Agent J encounters some racist cops.
Josh Brolin, as the younger version of agent K, is superb - his Tommy Lee Jones impression is so good that I was completely sucked in while watching this in the cinema. The character of Griffin, an alien with the ability to see all possible futures, is the best part of the film however. He is such a sweet, likeable and funny character that he makes the entire film worth watching. The villain is decent, although he is not nearly as threatening as the Bug in the original, and there was never a moment where I thought he might win. Emma Thompson's Agent O (replacing Rip Torn's Z, who is explained, rather abruptly, as dead) is also decent, although she has little to do in the film.
There are a few dud moments - the first ten minutes was so bad that I was worried the entire film would follow in the same vein, and the ending you will predict with a slight groan (although it is nice, if implausible).
Overall, I think this film is at least worth a watch if you enjoyed the original. It's the silly and exciting fun you expect from the franchise - and with a few nice callbacks to the original for fans. I enjoyed it a lot - I actually saw it twice in the theatre and left happy both times.
- p.s. Whoever decided Pitbull should do the title song was an idiot.
on 23 July 2014
I didn't expect to enjoy this and the first few scenes in - the breakout of the Boris were so hammy, contrived, awkward with the 'actress' Nicole Scherzinger (thankfully she was in it for less than 5 mins..) I was contemplating switching off.
I can say I am glad I didn't. I think in hindsight i was expecting to be disappointed really because i thought the plot would be the the same run of the mill set up as MIB 1 and 2 which were ok but third time round gets tiring.
The plot was a more of an insight into the relationship between agent K and J and how / why they are the way they are and that their pasts are intertwined, including a time travel venture and old nemesis thrown in, which is brilliant as the normally 2D characters really come alive. I have to say Will Smith cheesy as ever as agent J but Josh Brolin who plays the younger Tommy Lee Jone was solo watchable, flawless. I haven't really noticed or known of him before but will deff look into watching some of his movies.
Its actually a very thoughtful plot from an emotional point of view- all really about Will Smith wanting to get his partner to open up to him! The jokes gags are actually not so spoof or slapstick, not too crass and the action is pretty cool without being disturbingly gory. Its a good movie for older kids too, no nudity or sexual innuendo or overt double entendres a la carry on movies...
Don't expect a rocket science plot regarding the time travel, this is an easy going movie for a nice afternoon or evening. well worth the watch.!
on 6 June 2013
"Is there a Mr Will Smith here? There is a Tommy Lee Jones on the phone; he wishes to dial his performance in for Men in Black 3 today." For every fun and sassy science fiction comedy like `MiB', there is an awful disjointed mess like `MiB2'. If the law of diminishing returns is to work, `MiB3' should be the worst of the bunch, but if the franchise gets any lower than the second outing they will have to start paying people compensation for sitting through it. On release `MiB3' was given a hard time, but now that I have seen the film this appears mainly to be sour grapes on behalf of the people who had to endure `MiB2'. This is not the greatest science fiction or comedy film, but is perfectly entertaining.
Smith and Jones return as agents J and K in this third outing, still being directed by the once great Barry Sonnenfeld. In this adventure J has to travel back in time to save the young K (Josh Brolin) from being killed. The trio of Smith, Jones and Sonnenfeld have every right to want to sit back and breeze through this film, the second outing was truly ghastly and there is not real reason to expect that the third would be better. However, this is not the case as, although Smith does not quite bring his A game, he is charming and funny enough that you remember why he is a star.
The true star of the film is Sonnenfeld, a director who started off with the superb `Addams Family' and has been slipping ever since. However, a jaunt into the world of TV has helped refresh his eye and comedic tone, `MiB3' is a fun romp with some good set pieces and amusing moments. Only Jones lets the side down, acting and looking like a deflated dingy, thankfully Brolin as the younger K is far more willing to play the game. Will `MiB3' go down as a classic? Certainly not, but it won't sully the name of the first film and should entertain for the full running time, enjoy.
With some good alien effects the BluRay is certainly the best way to enjoy the film - 3D or not. There are also plenty of extras on the disc that are fluffy, but fun.
on 19 November 2012
Hard to believe that the first Men in Black movie is 15 years old, but in some ways it's fitting that it's taken so long. Will Smith has gone from being newly-recruited 29 year-old MiB rookie Agent J to a 44 year-old service vet who is almost as grouchy as the King of Cantankerous himself, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones). And while his petulance at being patronised carried the comic interplay in the first movie, the fact that J now regards himself as K's equal makes him even more petulant - with extremely funny results.
I read somewhere that there probably wouldn't have been a MiB 3 had Will Smith not stumbled upon a photograph of Tommy Lee Jones circa 1976 and realised that the resemblance to Josh Brolin was more than passing. Et voila! MiB 3 and the time travel concept story was born, and everyone got on board.
If the reason that it took so long to make the third instalment was because you can't rush these things, then that's good enough for me - Men in Black 3 was worth the wait. It plumbs new emotional depths (believe it or not), develops the characters in a way that seemed difficult to do after the second movie, and turns in some absolutely genius comic moments (the Andy Warhol party scene being one). Not only that, they've had enormous fun with the 1969 setting as well. There is (in my view) a genuinely scary villain in the form of Boris the Animal (an incredible turn by Kiwi Jemaine Clement- yes he of Gentlemen Broncos) but the real mention has to be for how Will Smith holds the attention as the senior-yet-still-sarcastic agent whose comedy timing and one-liner delivery has become razor-sharp. He is superb in this movie (and is the reason the second movie actually grew on me over time). That said, he is almost matched by Josh Brolin, who is clearly having a great time playing Tommy Lee Jones playing Agent K (just watch the gag reel for proof!)
Plot-wise, it was always going to be comparatively silly, but there's no `nuking the fridge' in this film - the time travel element adds a degree of credibility that might otherwise tend to be absent in comic science-fiction films, as well as some unexpected tension from knowing that the slightest cock-up could unravel the future (or something).
In short, there's very little to dislike about this movie. It's fun, funny and as believable as these things get. It's got a clever story, great performances, decent special effects, along with excellent photography and sweet-shop production design - the 1969 sets and costumes make Austin Powers look like 1940s film noir.
It seems to have been a year for decent sequels - Mission Impossible 4, Sherlock Holmes 2 and now Men in Black 3 have all been surprisingly good stuff. I don't know if that's a fluke or because there's some new talent around not content to just churn out conveyor-belt rubbish just because the original made a few quid. Long may it continue!
[As an aside - the UV download that comes with this movie IS very annoying. Despite already having a UV account for such downloads I had to set up a Sony Pictures account as well - you need both to download the movie. Even then it didn't work - every time I poured out every personal detail and vital statistic imaginable and clicked submit, the registration failed due to a tech error and I've not been able to get past first base. That is a minor gripe however, and, in my opinion, not a reason to mark the movie down.]
If you have seen the first two films you already know the plot. J and K battle special effect aliens to save the planet. Add some minor eye candy and a little cheese and we have a hit movie. In this one there is the element of time travel which excited me as much as the aliens did in Indian Jones when I found out about it. However, it works out well.
There is no introduction of characters. The film assumes you know them and the MIB story. They pick up with the same running gags as the previous films, only now they have lost some humor. J is the only person not effected by the change in time, he is still part of MIB, and is the only person alive who remembers K who dies 40 years ago.
Josh Brolin plays the 1969 agent K magnificently. Interesting aspect of the past life of K. I loved the NY Mets of 1969. Good climax scene for the big screen although I would wait for the DVD (you're going to add it to your collection anyway).
No f-boms, sex, or nudity
''Don't ask questions, you don't want to know the answer to.........after 10-years absence 'Tommy lee' and ''Will smith'' return to their M.I.B roles with the usual mix of tongue-in-cheek action, superb one-liners and grotesque creatures.
In present day 'Boris the animal has escaped his long-term imprisonment, he seeks revenge for the loss of his arm and capture finding his way back to 1969, 'Boris the Animal' (Jemaine Clement) intends to change history.
Agent 'J' (Will Smith) has to travel back to that time to save his future partner 'K' (Josh Brolin (young K) from 'Boris' (Tommy Lee as
'K' the older) ( of course 'K' doesn't know 'J' yet )
However the past and the future arn't so very far apart.
With the usual mix of light hearted nonsense along with some interesting character's coupled with great graphics.........to.......enjoy of course.
on 8 June 2012
A decade away from the movie scene has given the Men In Black series a chance at a fresher, newer perspective. Taking its cue from Shrek Forever After, MIB 3 takes on a tired concept (time travel in this case) if only to acknowledge the failure of its dull sequel and take us back to a different era allowing us to view the franchise from an unsullied angle. The result is a film that returns to its roots and gives audiences the chance to relive much of what they first enjoyed - a smart, sci-fi, buddy comedy that embraces everything weird and wonderful about the unknown universe.
In his first cinematic role in nearly 4 years, Will Smith's Agent J is the usual charming, witty wiseass we expect him to be. Still teamed up with the laconic Agent K (wrinkly Tommy Lee Jones) he is no closer to cracking his older partners deadpan demeanour but their relationship issues take a back seat when a nemesis from Kay's past, Boris the animal, turns up to exact revenge for having been imprisoned on the moon 40 years ago. His elaborate plan takes him back in the past, to the day he was caught, and sets ripples in the present, where K no longer exists and a different reality results. J has to then literally time jump (off the Empire State building no less) and fix the past for normalcy to return in the present.
The films primary achievement and a true signal of its return to form though are the scenes set in the past. Not only is Josh Brolin a deadringer for Tommy Lee's K during his youth, but the hip musical vibes of the late 60's/early 70's allow for plenty of playfulness to ensue with a particularly hilarious segment devoted to Andy Warhol. If that isn't enough, everything very neatly ties into another epochal scientific moment from that time period and ends on a moment of curiously satisfying emotionality that provides not only closure to the film but the series as a whole. If that doesn't make you forgive all the wrongs that the sequel did and embrace this film as one of the years better movie franchise offerings the only thing that might work on you is a neuralizer.
Try as I might, when I start hearing rumors of a troubled production for a film, I start to worry it won't be any good. And since I was hoping that Men in Black 3 would be good, I was really worried. But I decided to see it anyway. I'm glad I didn't let those rumors scare me away because it turned out to be lots of fun.
Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are still working for the Men in Black to keep aliens under control and secret from the rest of us. As they are cleaning up the latest mess, word reaches them that Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) has escaped from his prison cell in the Lunar Prison. A run in with Boris shakes K, but he still won't open up about it to J.
The next morning, J arrives at headquarters to find that no one seems to have any memory about agent K. But as J pieces things together, he realizes that Boris found a way to travel back in time and kill K. So J chases him to 1969 to rescue the young agent K (Josh Brolin) from the alien. Will J succeed?
The biggest rumor I'd heard about this movie was that it shut down production before they really got going on the 1969 part of the film. If it was to retool the movie, it was well worth it. While I enjoyed parts of the set up, things really get going when we hit 1969. While we avoid most of the predictable time travel jokes, there are still plenty of laughs, and the story really seems to pick up speed, too.
Not that this is the most original story out there. You can pretty much see the big plot pieces coming before they happen. But there are enough surprises to make things interesting.
And it's just plain fun. You can tell that those involved were enjoying making this film, and that really comes across on the screen.
Tommy Lee Jones doesn't have that much to do, but he makes the most of what he has. Others from the first two films are noticeably absent as well, although a few of them get cameos or a shout out. Emma Thompson has a fun part as Agent O, the new leader of Men in Black, although again she isn't in much of the film.
That leaves it on Will Smith to hold things together, and he does a great job of it. He makes it feel like no time has passed since we last saw J. And then there's Josh Brolin, who plays the younger K. He does an amazing job of channeling Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal, and I could honestly believe that it was the same character.
The effects are up to today's standards and are great. Like the first two films, a few bits will upset the squeamish, but they aren't any worse than anything else in the franchise.
So don't let any rumors about Men in Black 3 keep you from seeing it. This is a fun movie that you will enjoy.