Men in Black III
When I heard rumor of a third Men in Black I let out a deep sigh of the ages. How could they possibly screw up the series more than they did?
What made me feel old though was the fact that MIB II came out a whopping ten years ago – and since, director Barry Sonnenfeld had learned a lesson and took some time with the script for this one. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised.
All you need to know about MIB III is that a space-baddy named Boris, played by Jemaine Clement, is released and then there’s a lot of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. It just so happens that K royally pissed Boris off, so he goes back in time to prevent K from screwing everything up – now it’s up to J to set things right again.
What’s impressive about this movie is that it keeps the conventions of the series while presenting something new. For example, there’s still the cutesy banter between J and K, but now we get to see these two more as people instead of talking heads. Then with the help of the time jump, J learns more about K (aptly played by the incredible Josh Brolin), and in turn learns to be less of a wisecracking smartass and more about the consequences of his actions. Unfortunately, little time was spent on fleshing out the villain, so it was really hard to understand what his motivations were other than revenge.
What was unusual about the film was that though it seems like a fitting end to the series (at least I hope it is), this was that though Zed was given a proper sendoff, Jeebs and Frank were nowhere to be found. I appreciated the hints about Frank’s existence, but what happened? They overkilled him in the second movie so they just stopped using him all together? And then Jeebs was nowhere to be seen.
Here’s my big problem: The stuff about K and O (Emma Thompson) is absolutely adorable, but what happened to K’s wife from the first two movies? After all, she was the reason he was so crotchety to begin with, and then he was still miserable because she left him in the second one. What’s going on here? K does not seem like the guy to have cordial relations with more than one woman at once. I guess like anything else, I’ll just go with it because the plot says so.
Overall, MIB III did a good job cleaning up MIB II‘s mess. The story was fairly decent and it wasn’t like the cast was trying too hard. If it wasn’t for that massive plot-hole and a bit more character development, I’d say this movie was as good as, if not better than, the first one. Alas, it wasn’t.
Final Grade: B–