The Men in Black series has never been known for its deep, emotionally touching plots. This film is no different. While parts of this one are actually deceptively meaningful, the overall theme of the movie is no different than the prior ones: smash aliens and get the shiny glowing thing that will save the Earth. So obviously anyone who sees this movie isn’t going to the theater for the philosophical meaning behind what is basically a vehicle for alien carnage; however, as I mentioned before, and I will go more into depth later about, there are some relatively deep (for the MiB series) moments in this film, and that adds an extra layer to an otherwise recycled story. I’m certainly not saying don’t see it, because it is just as much fun as all the previous installments. I just suggest that, should you see it, don’t expect a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking story. Know what to expect when you go into it.
The cast was great, which is to be expected of a group that has been together for the amount of time that they have. They’ve had this chemistry from the beginning of the series. Even with the addition of Josh Brolin as a Young Agent K, the cast didn’t miss a beat, and Brolin managed to incorporate all those mannerisms that Tommy Lee Jones used to make K who he is as a character. Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) as Boris the Animal manages to mix that evil villain element with enough humor to make him comically inept, yet menacing simultaneously. An especially fun scene involves Boris the Animal talking to Young Boris the Animal, so there’s always that to look forward too. Alice Eve as Young O was a nice touch, although she gets a very small amount of screen time, and a short appearance by Bill Hader is sure to elicit at least a chuckle. Finally, Michael Stuhlbarg plays a delightfully awkward individual who possesses the ability to see all time simultaneously, and he is the, for lack of a better term, “Damsel in Distress” in this movie. While the movie begins and ends in present day, that is simply a framework to transition into the 1969 story line, where the deeper themes are expressed towards the end of the film. I’m not going to spoil anything about those themes, but they bring to light some facts that are important to the series as a whole, and if you are a big MiB fan, it’s certainly worth watching just for these few tidbits.
Visually, Men in Black has always been ultra cheesy, and it always had a way of making things pop out of the screen even without the 3D. Now that they have it in their possession, they, to the disappointment of many, do not quite live up. While there are a few scenes (a laser show and a giant fish showdown) that really utilize the technology, the majority of the film was rather void of 3D. Although the two stunning 3D scenes really showcase the entire style of MiB, it’s not worth the extra to get something that has, more or less, always been there.
Ultimately, my suggestion is to go see it, but don’t splurge for 3D, and don’t expect too much out of a movie revolving around alien bashing. If you want a thought provoking movie, try something else. If you want a dark and deeply involved movie, wait for The Dark Knight Rises. If you want sappy and emotional, I think they’re still running the re-release of Titanic. But if you’re in the mood for a fun action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and knows how to throw in just the right amount of cheesiness, please go see Men in Black 3. You won’t be sorry.
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