This movie is almost the perfect example of a film without soul and I have almost nothing constructive to say about this movie, so you can stop reading this review now.
Still here? Damn. Do I really I have to come up with 400 words about a movie that I absolutely didn’t care about before I saw it and one that failed to make me care after? Ok. Let’s start there.
The issue with the Men In Black Series for me is that it tries to hard to be funny, or maybe not hard enough. It always goes for the obvious gag and doesn’t strive to be anything more than it is. While, I usually applaud that mentality in movie making, especially my action/comedies, for some reason the MIB series has just never appealed to me.
I have always liked Will Smith, but am getting a little tired of his act and frankly I’ve never understood Tommy Lee Jones’ popularity, to me he is a one note actor who has been doing the same crotchety facial expression for 20 years now. I really would love to see him attempt to do something different. The pairing of these two actually worked well in the first movie but started to get soggy in the 2nd one.
The entire movie is based on Smith’s personal charisma and he just tries to hard with very little. At times he comes across as a child seeking his parent’s approval – in this case Agent K serves as a stand in for the Audience (or Parent). After a long hiatus Smith wants to return to the action comedy elements that made him a star in the first place.
As the movie makes clear Agent J. (Smith) has been at this job for 14 years now, why is he still acting like some rookie fresh off the farm? Why is it no one in the agency gives him the same kind of respect that Agent K. (Jones) commands? He still runs around and craves attention from everyone he comes into contact with.
The only one who really seems to get part of the joke is Josh Brolin. He is brilliant as the young Agent K and does an uncanny imitation of the older Tommy Lee Jones. The chemistry between he and Smith are spot on. I loved watching their interaction but Agent J’s voice is just a bit grating.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld seems to be more interested in trying to gross the audience out with juvenile slimy aliens than creating truly original Aliens. There’s a scene early on when they are in a Chinese restaurant and the gags all consists of things like live eyeballs in Noodles, or a waiter that is some sort of slimy, multi-tentacle creature. The head bad guy Borris The Animal (Jemaine Clement) isn’t menacing, he is just ugly to look at.
The memory wipe gag is overused this time out. It was funny in the first few pictures, this time out I had no idea why J. was saying half the things he said. In the first film whenever he memory wiped someone he at least gave them something positive, this time out its just an excuse for Smith to improve some jokes – none of which worked.
When J. jumps off the high rise, he is way too calm for most of the jump. I expected more panic. Instead of being an exhilarating sequence it felt like it was never going to end.
I’m not one who criticizes movies like this on implausible plot points, but I generally expect these movies to at least live up to their own internal logic. Before Agent J goes back in time he is told that he should avoid all contact with Agent K in the past, it is never explained why and the warning is completely ignored anyway.
Later there’s a moment where a character says Agent J will disappear the minute one event happens that “sets history right” but then nothing happens. There are too many instances in the movie where a possible plot point gets set up but never followed up on. It looks like they wanted to really delve into standard Time Travel paradox questions but decided against it – figuring the audience wouldn’t care.
I did enjoy the touching, poignant ending. However, while tragic, I didn’t understand why it would have had such a profound impact on Agent K. Men In Black III is a movie that feels dated. I’m not sure if anyone was screaming for a sequel, but this bucket of water has been drained dry.
Final Grade D