“Men in Black” was one of those movies like “Ghostbusters”, that wasn’t meant to be much but they’ve both gone on to become these beloved mini classics in film. I honestly never loved the first “Men in Black” as much as other people have but I did like it just fine, it was a fun little film from my childhood, and I enjoy watching it every now and then but it’s far from my favorite summer blockbusters list. The second movie, “Men in Black 2” was just okay, didn’t hate it, had some fun moments but nothing great. Now we have the third movie, “Men in Black 3”, and when I first heard about this film, I thought that this would be nothing more than a film that’s just trying to milk a series because it hadn’t been milked in a while. Even though I didn’t flat out love the first film, it felt like just a nice little gem that can be very self contained and while I didn’t hate the second film, it did still feel like there was little to no care or thought behind it. After seeing “Men in Black 3”, I’ll admit, it was pleasantly better than I was expecting.
Again, it didn’t knock my socks off or anything, it’s just a very simple, fun little film and I got some good laughs. But the thing that I really liked about this film is that there was some thought and care behind it, like they were really trying to pay tribute to fans of the first film. As you’d expect from the trailer, this is a time travel story, which is a fresh new idea for the series, yet it’s as far away from “Men in Black” as you could get. Basically, Will Smith has to go back in time to prevent an alien from killing his partner, Tommy Lee Jones. The ace up this movies sleeve is Josh Brolin as the young Tommy Lee Jones, he is phenomenal in the role and he really makes you feel that you’ve gone back in time to meet the young Tommy Lee Jones. His performance was just so rich that it actually reminded me of Martin Landau’s outstanding performance as Bela Lugosi from Tim Burtons “Ed Wood”, and how it felt like the actual actor came back from the dead. It’s also very refreshing that this film doesn’t recycle as many jokes and characters from the first film (unlike the second film which tried to bring back every single joke and charter from its predecessor), a lot of the new aliens are interesting and fun to look at, but there’s also a few other new characters that may be just a little to stupid for the movies own good.
The new villain is called Boris the Animal, and at times he feels laid back and sinister but other times he goes way over the top. He has this cool power to shoot toxic darts and he has an insect for a hand but the rest of his design is very basic. One minor disappointment is that the film doesn’t end with a big monster battle the same way the first two did, as soon as the villain takes of his skin and reveals his true form, he’s beaten right away. Fortunately, the film gives us one more little twist at the end, which is actually the most touching moment of the whole series and I wasn’t expecting it at all. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are still two of my favorite actors and it’s still just a nice little treat to see them together again in the black suits. The hummer in this film will either make you laugh or wince in pain, so you really have to be in the right mind set to enjoy it. Overall, I’m glad I saw it but I don’t think I’ll be watching it again anytime soon unless it’s on TV. But that doesn’t make it bad, it’s just simple fresh entertainment that’s good every once and a while. I give “Men and Black 3” 2 ½ stars.