Thursday, May 24, 2012
Men in Black 3
by Reymundo Salao
You might think that the Men in Black franchise is overdue for a sequel. Actually, it was rather nice that they made people forget for a while that this franchise ever existed. The last one (the part 2) was bombarded by negative critics as a mere remake of the first movie. This new movie felt fresh because you have not seen these heroes for, actually, a decade.
Although there are so many similarities to the previous movies, and yes, in a pessimistic way of seeing it, one can say that this has so many things that have been repeated from the previous MIB films (such as the progression of the action sequences, gadget gimmicks), the very core of its main plot is refreshingly a different one from part 1 and 2; it's a time travel movie, and we get to see Agent K in his younger version, played by Josh Brolin.
Josh Brolin was perfect in playing a younger Tommy Lee Jones. Although one would think Josh Hartnett would visually be a perfect match for Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin on the other hand, has the acting chops and the charisma to bring to life Jones' character Agent K. He was so good in the role that you almost disregard that there was a switch; you'd think that Agent J (Will Smith) was actually with Tommy Lee Jones the entire time.
Emma Thompson looks like a great addition to the cast, but she really plays a smaller role here than what it seems in the trailers. Will Smith is, as expected, pleasantly great in this movie. What's so impressive about Smith's acting is that he seems to have a different face for when he's playing a role like this, and the role he's playing when he's doing drama. Here, he makes subtle expressions and facial reactions that are already funny.
The story takes us to 1969 where Agent J has traveled to, via a time traveling device. There, he must stop an alien criminal known as Boris the Animal from causing the present day Earth to be invaded by an evil alien race. It was immensely amusing to see the Men in Black universe version of 1969; the music, the hippies, the racism, the fashion, Andy Warhol, and the aliens of the time who also look like the aliens in 1960s science fiction movies. If there was one thing that I was not happy about, is that I yearned for more clever usage of the time travel element of the storyline. The movie did not seem to take full advantage of that plot device. However, it was rather nice that the direction of the movie went to a point that it gave the storylines of both Agent J and Agent K more depth than the way we knew them before.
As always, the movie bears that same Men in Black atmosphere; overly bizarre and cartoony aliens, villains that have some sort of quirk, and its "subtlely poking alien connotations at weird celebrities at the screen monitor background" humor. On its first sequel, one critic might think its recycling the previous humor. But now, I realize that it defines what the Men in Black universe is. Thanks to director Barry Sonnenfeld who has consistently made this universe wonderfully outlandish from the first movie, through the second, and the present.
I would not say that this is the greatest sci-fi comedy that I have ever seen, but it was still incredibly entertaining and fun. Wild, funny, and adventurous. A thumb up and a quietly wide smile is enough to say it all.