Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Men In Black III

directed by Barry Sonnenfeld


Agent K's grumpy, laconic character is one of the things that makes him and J (Will Smith) such a great double act. But when a ruthless Boglodyte Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from a high security lunar prison he returns to the past and murders K (Tommy Lee Jones), erasing him from history.

For some reason J is the only one left with any memory of K, as the result of some temporal anomaly that doesn't get fully explained. But without this inconsistency there wouldn't be much reason for the time travel story that follows. So J goes back in time to 1969 with the aim of rescuing his partner and saving the world from annihilation.

Although this is a PG film there are still quite a lot of shoot-outs and splattery alien deaths, and the extraterrestrials are as peculiar as ever. There's no good reason for time travel to require a death-defying leap off a tall building, except that it's more exciting to watch. This film is all about spectacle. It's big, and bold, and bright, but that's tempered by the usual predictable plot about saving the world from alien incursion. Boris isn't a particularly inspiring villain: he has scary teeth and gross-out body parts, but he's not in the slightest bit nuanced. His best moment comes when he meets his younger self, but even that isn't particularly riveting.

The character of Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) exists in more than one temporal reality at a time, which for some reason means he can see the future. He's likeable, but his ability makes about as much sense as the rest of the plot. However plot holes aren't the biggest issue. Etan Cohen's script isn't quite as funny as the first two films in the series. Josh Brolin's version of young Agent K is fairly droll, but the poignant moments are too brief to have a big impact, so in spite of the great effects and fast pacing the overall impression is of a fairly pedestrian movie. Part of this is because J and K's jobs policing aliens are no longer a surprise, so there's a sense of diminishing returns from the Men in Black concept.

28th May 2012

Film Details

Year: 2012

Categories: Films

  Kids     Science fiction

Classification: PG

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