Among the many movies scheduled for release this summer, “Men in Black 3” was not at the top of my must-see list.
For starters, movie sequels are usually a bust, and “Men in Black II’ was bust-ier than most.
But the latest film felt fresh. It was more than simply stopping an extraterrestrial problem on Earth. I actually liked it!
Was it as good as the original “Men in Black?”
But as sequels go, it was better than most.
The movie opens on the moon, where a one-armed villain named Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) is imprisoned. He devises a clever escape plan and returns to Earth. He then travels back in time to kill Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), who had shot off his arm decades earlier and thwarted an effort by his alien species to take over the earth. As one might imagine, Agent J (Will Smith) is forced to time-travel, too, to save the life of his partner and, ultimately, planet Earth.
This movie had just enough action and comedy, but nothing was over done. It digs deeper than the other movies into Agent K’s character and the young man he used to be (portrayed very well during the time-travel sequence by Josh Brolin). It even saved a pretty good surprise for the end.
Being the third movie in the series, it didn’t adhere entirely to the storyline of the first two. In this sequel, shot 15 years after the original “Men in Black,” Agent K was even more somber and appeared much older.
One of the funniest lines in the movie came during a scene when Agent J encountered a small child and began drinking her chocolate milk. “Mommy, the president is drinking my milk,” the child said, an obvious reference to Smith’s resemblance to President Barack Obama.
There were several things about the movie that I didn’t like — the goo that exploded from aliens when they were shot, an awkward kiss between Boris and his girlfriend (Nicole Scherzinger), and Boris’s raspy voice that reminded me of Christian Bale’s in the “Dark Knight,” which some critics said was overly dramatic. (Okay, maybe I just didn’t like Boris at all!)
Also problematic was the fact that the movie is presented in 3D. Aside from making some scenes look cool and making the alien goo look…goo-ier, the 3D effects seemed pointless. And finally, there is a ridiculous scene at Cape Canaveral where no one in the control room noticed two men and an alien climbing all over a Saturn II rocket that is about to take astronauts to the moon for the first time in 1969.
Overall, “Men in Black 3” probably won’t be the best movie released this summer. But it’s still a fun movie – and a nice recovery after the flop that was “Men in Black ll.”