‘Men in Black 3’ Advance Review: Too Little Fun to be Had in This Unnecessary Sequel

Photo Credit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/men-black-pitbull-back-time-will-smith-tommy-lee-jones-304285

Ten years after the first sequel to one of the best sleeper hits of the 1990s, this choppy third entry comes along to try and reignite the magic captured in the original…and fails. Men in Black 3 tries so desperately to shake up the formula of the original, and while it isn’t a complete failure, this is a case of trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return as Agents J and K, respectively, in this late edition to the franchise that involves the breakout of a terrible villain who wants revenge on K for some event in 1969. When Agent K is removed from the current timeline, J has to go search for him back in time. That is where he meets a much younger K, played by Josh Brolin, and together they must defeat this old foe once and for all.

First off, philosophy majors will be none too happy with how nonsensical the time travel mythos are handled here. But if you disregard that there is definitely some fun to be had with the 1960s setting. While it may not necessarily make sense, it was great to have the aliens in the ’60s look like aliens in sci-fi movies from the period. It was a fun way to build this new setting for the franchise.

But the original Men in Black was made great by something that was largely missing in this entry: the wonderful chemistry between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. While Josh Brolin does a fine job imitating Tommy Lee Jones, he never really connects with Smith, making for a boring dynamic between the two main characters. This is the film’s greatest detractor because there is nothing wrong with how Agents J and K interact in the present. Sure, some nice things are done with the 1960’s environment. But in the end it just didn’t feel like Men in Black without Tommy Lee Jones around.

That being said, there is certainly enough humor and action to keep you entertained for the film’s surprisingly short run time. There is enough of the subtle humor from the original for die hard fans of the series (look for a certain famous pop star that the film accuses of being an alien on a screen in the background).

Sadly, however, the script is atrocious. Not even the main stars can get past some of the terrible lines they are given. It also does not help that Boris the Animal is an awful antagonist. Even Lara Flynn Boyle did a better job in the poorly received 2002 sequel Men in Black 2.

Men in Black 3 just feels unnecessary. There is virtually no character growth and nothing interesting done with the situation they find themselves in. All this sequel is good for is some cheap thrills and a few laughs. Preferably, Will Smith will walk into my living room and neauralize me so that I forget the sequels ever happened and remember how great the original is. Grade: C-

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