Friday, June 22, 2012

Movie Review: Men in Black III

Men in Black III (2012)

Based on: The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Producer: Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald
Studio: Amblin Entertainment, P+M Image Nation, Hemisphere Media Capital
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Release Date(s): May 23, 2012 (France), May 25, 2012 (United States)
Running Time: 106 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: PG-13

Official Site

Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back... in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K's life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him - secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind. (Source)

Movie Tags: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comedy, Goofy, Imaginative, Quirky

Yes this is a time-travel movie and somewhat of a 'tie-in' to piece in the other movies and the world of MIB after 10 years. The funny thing? It actually works.

Let me say I am a huge fan of MIB when it first came out and while I have seen them all, I can admit when one isn't that great. Even to the point of not being happy to admit that I have seen it.. those of you that have seen Men in Black II should know what I'm talking about.. (While parts of the storyline are valid, the movie wasn't one to be remembered and I'm still trying to block it out..)
This one however, surpasses any expectations set for it along with being better than the previous example of the series. Although, it could be argued that's why it's better.

Bringing a storyline back to life after 10 years, isn't easy; actors age, people won't sign back on, and there's always the factor of trying to introduce not only the old audience but a new one as well. Trying to appeal to new fans while pleasing the old ones.
This being said, it's no surprise that there are new faces to the franchise, although these new ones should not be overlooked; most notable there is the introduction of Josh Brolin as young Agent K who was amazing. It was a pure entertainment to watch him in the role. He went above and beyond, doing the role of Agent K justice.

While most of this films' plot line seems similar to what we've seen before, expanding on Agent K, his life and trying to farther understand him, there more to this story than meets the eyes. Under the almost typical plot there are plenty of twists, turns, and laughs to be found. Some moments are more pleasing than others, and there are a few that might have you saying "Predictable" this is still an entertaining movie.
Nothing is ever going to stop the complex relationship J and K have. K being distance and J forever trying to figure him out and make him less stiff and strict. K being K and J being J; it's that opposites' relationship that both works and causing never-ending friction, only leaving room for entertainment.

Plot-wise, the general roles of 'good' and 'bad' where displayed along with those fighting to help the good while stopping the bad and save the world, a simple plot, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with simple, when you rely on the characters coming to life and playing the story out. I feel they did, having this movie live up to the expectations set for it.

What I enjoyed the most was the ever growing introduction of aliens and other life forms. There was an alien introduce that was able to see multiply futures, never knowing which was the one they were heading towards, which leads to countless awkward moments. He constantly said things along the lines of "Unless we're in the reality where (thing) happens" *waits for it, it doesn't happen* "Whew, that was a close one." While everyone else lives on none the wiser. Although that's kind of the theme in MIB isn't it?

What I really loved, was the cleverness behind this film. In the sense of not only appealing to it's young audience, in expanding and while introducing it's self to new fans, but also in the sense of playing homage to an older crowd that I feel may have been previously overlooked. With the factor of time travel, there are countless jokes and references to things that aren't around anymore, that might have applied to an older crowd. Both the seriousness of the theme (aka being in the past) and in poking fun; jet-packs the size of a car and the usual, H-U-G-E cellphones.

One of the negative points I have to comment on, it's a very large pet-peeve, the CGI and general computer animated or manipulation of the film. Compared to the other films, there is no question this is the best looking MIB movie in all of it's Sci-fi glory. However, there are still moments of sloppy work which drive me insane. Mostly the villain hopping around, which looked ridiculously fake, no questions asked. I understand some situations can't happen in real life, it should still look 'real'. (I can only explain it as, he looked like Mr. Fantastic, you know stretches and looking like he has no bones, hoping around. Really bothered me.)

I highly recommend this film. Not the MIB we're used to, which isn't a bad thing.
Compared to the other movies, I was felt feeling MIB has lived to a reputation of being over the top, bigger and badder is ultimately better, where as MIB III delivered a story with more heart and soul while not sacrificing anything plot wise. Well other than Tommy Lee Jones not having much time in the spot-light, which makes me sad but still happy to see he would return for the role, if only for awhile.

There are questions answered while others are raised. I feel the journey is worth what we find out, over what is left to be answered or decide for yourself. Which is what the Sci-fi genre is about; the conspiracy and theories the individuals decide on.

There are already questions behind the possibility of MIB IV, I hope it doesn't happen. This movie left on a fairly clean although possibly open-ended note. It could be said to nicely wrap up the series. *Crosses fingers*

Recommended: Sci-fi, Quirky, Time-travel, Adventure.

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