Men in Black 3 (2012)
When I first knew that a sequel to the blockbuster series of Men in Black was in production, I was really excited, even seeing the leaked photos from the set. The trailer even had me wanting to revisit this science-fiction comedy. Then the reviews came in, luke-warm to cold turkey. And I can see why…sadly.
When I think of the original two there was strong buddy movie feel that has lasted since their release, full of great laugh out loud moments, I can’t place them, but the feeling is still there. Men in Black 3 sadly has very little of that, there were moments which had me laughing, just not out loud. The use of 3D is worthy of this film, visually its packed with fantastic spectacle. However the interaction with the local aliens was more aggressive than humorous. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have lost none of their spark that places them in such regard today. It’s the script that lets them down, the use of Emma Thompson serves no real purpose other than being the generic English character. It’s true Josh Brolin gives a pitch perfect Lee Jones impersonation, going to far at times with the nicknames which start to get annoying.
Visually the film hasn’t changed much, the gadgets are still chunky and shiny, the language is still very much the same, its just the content that really lacks. I felt that the Apollo 11 scenes were very artificial and polished, I wondered how the original footage may have looked if they digitized that into the scene. Of course this moment in modern history has been recreated in camera countless times before so the licence is clearly there. On another level it was only the backdrop for the plot, not a major plot device. Agent J would’ve arrived at any rocket launch, the sixties at the first manned mission is rather more exciting. The sixties backdrop was overly stylized, still I’m not surprised or really bothered, being swept up in the romance for the era created by Mad Men, making use of all the iconography of the era to be fully immersed in that time.
I won’t be watching this film again, it doesn’t spoil the MIB cannon, in some ways it makes more sense of both Agent J & K’s relationship, which is a bonus for the audience. For me the first two will always be true MIB, whilst this was an attempt to take us back to that moment in time. I remember the down-right awful Batman and Robin (1997) which nearly killed the film franchise, its not a train wreck, just a few flat tyres instead.
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