Latest Men In Black doesn’t disappoint
“Men In Black III” picks up just where you would expect it. Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) are in the midst of covering up a disaster by “reprogramming” the memories of those who witnessed an otherworldly happening. Meanwhile, in a remote maximum-security prison on the Earth’s moon, Boris “The Animal” (Jermaine Clement) executes his prison break. Now he plans to travel back in time to exact revenge on Agent K (Jones/Brolin) and prevent his imprisonment. Agent J experiences a time shift from the parallel timeline that Boris creates and realizes that he must return to 1969 in order to stop Boris and save the universe once again.
In a sea of comic-book-turned-movie adaptations, it is easy to forget that “Men In Black” also had its subtle beginnings rooted in their pages. This series of movies always has a veritable barrage of quirky alien characters that you could easily imagine seeing in comic form. While the “Men In Black” are not your typical cape-wearing superheroes, they are just as important to the summer movie lineup when it comes to saving the universe. “Men In Black III” is no small player either. Aside from the comic books and three movies, the franchise has also spawned a cartoon series, video games, fan websites, Halloween costumes, a toy line and some very expensive, licensed prop replicas. You can get your very own neuralyzer for about $400 on the internet. Although, if it really worked, I would happily shell out that much so that I could forget Adam Sandler’s last few movies — especially “Jack and Jill.”
The overall pace of the film is very spry. There is such an onslaught of action that the 106 minutes really flew by for me. I suggest you get your concession stand and restroom trips out of the way before the lights dim because “Men In Black III” delivers non-stop plot acceleration with an ample helping of comedic retort. After three films, Smith and Jones are obviously comfortable with playing these characters. Their onscreen interaction with one another is fundamental to the success of this franchise. Will this movie have a different feel to it during the scenes where Jones was not present and Brolin would be depicting the role of Agent K? The answer is a resounding “NO.” Josh Brolin’s characterization of a young Agent K was flawless. It was as if I were watching Tommy Lee Jones himself play that role 40-some years ago. He perfected the mannerisms of the character every bit as good as Jones did.
The props are one of the things that make “Men In Black III” so fun to watch. From the absurdly large ray guns, neuralyzers and monocycles to the living ones like the shop owners and aliens, it is a visual masterpiece of CGI. I have always liked the way that they all have a 1950’s stylization to them. The guns and ships are artfully crafted with sleek curves while the aliens are like something you would imagine while listening to an H. G. Wells broadcast. There is also a level of pleasure that you get when you see aliens literally explode into an eruption of slime as the heroes engage in melee with their chromed ray guns.
One of the devices that “Men In Black” has been consistent with is also one of the things that I like most about the series. They are adamant about showing secrets behind things that are right under our noses. If you think back to the first “Men In Black,” the cockroach alien was trying to leave Earth via a spaceship in Flushing Meadows Park, NY that we conceived as an observation tower built for the World’s Fair in 1939. “Men In Black II” had a newsstand mascot dog that turned out to be Agent F. We are also told that many of Earth’s most beloved celebrities are actually aliens, including Elvis and Michael Jackson. “Men In Black III” has a few of these wonderful premonitions, too. Andy Warhol is finally explained in such a manner that it actually makes sense. You get to see what really happened out of camera sight at the Apollo 11 launch. Heck, you will even learn what goes on at seedy bowling alleys when you aren’t there.
“Men In Black III” will easily appeal to fans of its two predecessors. It has a great structure and flow to it that make it a good standalone movie, too. If you have not yet seen the first two movies in the series, please try to check them out. They are very entertaining and cleverly constructed. “Men In Black III” was a pleasure to watch and had a enticing storyline supported by some phenomenal acting. We have been promised some great movies this summer, and this one is no exception.