I can’t quite figure out the purpose of Men In Black III, and coincidentally I’m not quite sure director Barry Sonnenfeld can either.
With a predecessor that may very well be the worst film of 2002, MIB III is a moderate improvement in a franchise that should’ve been concluded after its uproariously fun 1997 original.
Ludicrousness and an absolute disregard for the space-time continuum is to be expected in a MIB film, but this latest entry breaches a new territory of ineptness.
After Boris “The Animal” (Jemaine Clement), a ruthless alien criminal, escapes from some sort of space prison located on the moon, he goes back in time to 1969 to kill the agent that arrested him all those years ago, K (played Tommy Lee Jones). If K were to survive he would not only arrest Boris, but also implement a shield that would hinder all extraterrestrial life from ever entering Earth.
To stop this radical change in events from occurring, Agent J (Will Smith) must also go back to 1969 in order to stop Boris from ever killing his partner.
On the way to help saving K and the Universe, J works with younger K (played excellently by Josh Brolin) to help hunt down Boris and save his future self.
Whether that makes any sense will vary from person to person. But in short, time travel is a completely feasible and plausible activity.
Not much radiates from MIB III. That is, with the exception of the absorbing talent of Josh Brolin. Who not only imitates Agent K, but recreates him. Young Agent K is a kind and soft man, one that displays outwardly emotion. The reasons for why he ultimately becomes the way he does (Tommy Lee Jones), is one of the few satisfying payoffs in a film that perpetually introduces new characters and subplots with no resolution.
After the brilliance of Brolin, Sonnenfeld’s film has little fuel left to run on. Will Smith’s shtick as the witty smart-ass who has a punch line for every second of the day, is becoming actively annoying. The special effects are goofier and less stylized than ever. And the shoddy screenplay written by Etan Cohen (not to be mistaken with Ethan Coen) plunges J and K in a typical “chase after the criminal” film that neither explores new depths nor entertains. What’s worse, though, is that our protagonists are provided some of the most hackneyed dialogue to be recorded for the screen this year.
It’s sad to see a once upon a time promising franchise go down the drain. The enthralling original prided itself on intelligent screenwriting and plot that kept us engaged. MIB III simply focuses on action sequences, which are awfully underwhelming.
Then again, after Men In Black II I should’ve remembered where there is death, there’s always death.