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"Men in Black III" Movie Review

This film is thoroughly disappointing. I know it’s kind of abrupt to start with what should be a conclusion, but the problem is that it’s hard to put a finger on what it is that makes Men in Black III disappointing, so I’m going to give the few positive points far more attention than they deserve, and I just want everybody to know that this film is crap and you shouldn’t see it.

I also feel it to be worth noting that I enjoyed the second Men in Black film, unlike the majority of those that saw it, so I came to this film seeing a continuation of one of my favourite franchises, rather than the continued beating of a dead horse. Frankly, a literal dead horse might have been better entertainment value. The whole film smacks of desperation, a vapid attempt to make some money from a forgotten series. I don’t share the same hatred of sequels that a lot of people do, but I still think that after 10 years you should really just let it go (take note, George Lucas).

The jokes, of which there are curiously little of, are obvious, hollow and delivered without enthusiasm, the performances stilted, the ending bland, and worst of all is the story. While it at least has the decency to make sense, the time-travel plot is cliche beyond belief, as are the villains motivations, and while the attempt at a sentimental ending is vaguely new, it’s so terrible that it already feels cheesy. It (for me, anyway) ruins the whole franchise, is so devoid of emotion that it’s infuriating, and just leaves dozens of unanswered questions. OK, maybe I lied when I said it was hard to focus on the negatives for this one. What’s truly depressing is that the two stars, Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, that made the original films worth watching, give the two worst, saddest performances of the whole facade.

There are a few upsides. One scene in which racist cops try to arrest Agent J is just damn funny and the only piece of the film worthy of being in the originals, and they kicked out the worms and Frank the Pug, thank God. The former are seen oh-so-briefly at MiB headquarters, while the latter only appears in the background, so that’s one step in the right direction. Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Concords, Rio) and Josh Brolin (True Grit, No Country for Old Men) act well, although neither are particularly amusing, which is a shame, as Clement’s previous outing as a villain in kid’s avian caper Rio made the entire movie worth watching, and Brolin’s just a top actor. Plus, two great comedy actors do make appearances - Will Arnet adds a brief spark of humour, as he is prone to (the only reason you should ever watch Blades of Glory) and, even better, Bill Hader (Paul, Superbad) as the 60’s artist Andy Warhol.

All in all, this film is terrible. While the franchise was never smart, at least it was always fun, whereas this is just like walking around after an apocalypse - worrisome, utterly unamusing, and makes you wish things were the way they use to be.

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