Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg
Running time: 106 minutes
Extras: Gag Reel, Partners in Time: The Making of MIB3, “Back in Time” Music Video by Pitbull
Despite the considerable success of MEN IN BLACK some 15 years ago, I don’t think any of us expected to see a third outing for Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. When MEN IN BLACK 3 was initially announced by Barry Sonnenfeld, it’s soundly safe to say that a rippling sigh of ‘really?’ flowed as a general consensus. However, with original creator Lowell Cunningham still involved plus the addition of TROPIC THUNDER writer Etan Cohen, they’ve actually put together an enjoyable finale to the unusual trilogy.
MEN IN BLACK 3 sets us in the modern day, where we find Will Smith’s Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones Agent K, up to their usual business finding Aliens within people, fighting plans of these disguised souls to destroy the Earth. Things take a turn for the worst when time-travelling villain Boris The Animal (Jemaine Clement) kills Agent K in 1969 and sets us up for Smith’s Agent J to travel back and save his pokerfaced partner.
Boris is a fiendish, vulgar-looking alien played by Jemaine Clement, who you’ll know better from FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS. Clement’s performance occasionally reflects some kind of bastard-child of Alan Rickman and David Bowie, being equally furious and unique. The man who steals the show is Josh Brolin as the younger Agent K and uncanny is the right description but probably an understatement. You’ll find yourself forgetting that he’s literally not just a young Tommy Lee Jones. His drawl and deadpan nature is perfectly recreated but Brolin also adds depth to the character, as he reveals the past that made him who he became later on. There has to also be a praising note for the awesome Emma Thompson, as I like to call her, in a Head Office role of Agent O who also, in a supporting role, has her part to play as does Michael Stuhlbarg as Griffin, a man from outer space who can see all futures simultaneously and adds an inventive dash to the action.
MEN IN BLACK 3 is an enjoyable jaunt with the same team intact from the original, with additional surprises. What makes it predominantly notable, is Sonnenfeld’s clever blend of quirky and caring. This may not be something you were expecting to hear, but with Smith on good form centre stage and Brolin on the edges of brilliance, MEN IN BLACK 3 is a strangely gratifying affair.