Smarter than its predecessors, and better-looking, “Men in Black 3” is an entertaining and (I hope) touching wrap-up to the buddy film science-fiction franchise that began 15 years ago.
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprise their respective roles of agents J and K, and Barry Sonnenfeld directs once again — a trifecta for MIB fans.
The show begins with a jailbreak from a lunar maximum-security prison where Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement, HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords”) makes a well-organized, and violent, escape in an endeavor to return to Earth, which he does, so he can kill J and K, which he does not. Boris then realizes what he must do: Travel back in time to eliminate the younger K on the day of the Apollo 11 liftoff.
J finds one day that K has disappeared and realizes that something is terribly wrong: No one else seems to remember K. But MIB leader O (Emma Thompson) talks with J, who discovers that time travel is possible and that he must go back to safely fetch the younger K from the clutches of Boris.
J does make the “jump” back to 1969, when he meets the skeptical K, now played quite entertainingly by Josh Brolin, who mimics every fiber of Jones’ being, right down to his voice. K isn’t so sure about this new guy who claims to be from the future, but he wants to believe him and begins to work with him to track down both Borises (the one who escaped from the joint and the other one currently living in the 1960s).
To be honest, I had so much fun watching Brolin that I know I missed several nods to the two earlier movies as well as celebrity cameos (although I did spot Howard Stern in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as he was walking through the contemporary MIB offices). Brolin is one of the reasons you might want to take this in, along with a couple of personal additions that explain why J and K became the agents they are.
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Not surprisingly, the show is full of aliens, some familiar and some new. To creature fans, Rick Baker’s creations will bring delight and a few “eww!” moments as well.
It may not be out of this world, but it’s good action-packed fun.