Action Movie Friday: Men in Black 3

It is time for Action Movie Friday, where I treat an action movie like an action movie and not like a drama and stuff. All movie reviews are subjective and while I may like something, you might think it’s shit, and vice versa!

Title: Men in Black 3
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release: 2012
Genre: spy, action, drama, science fiction
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jermaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mike Colter, Alice Eve
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Etan Cohen, Lowell Cunningham (comic)
Distributor: Columbia Tristar
Budget: $225 Million
Box Office: $654 Million

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 68%

Gingersnaps Rating: Three Cookies!

Summary:

After ten years of being partners in the MiB, secrets that Agent K never told Agent J are about to be revealed. Boris the Animal has escaped from Lunar Max mission and his mission to kill Agent K by making sure he never put Boris into jail in the first place by going back in time. Now J has to follow Boris back, save K and the world from a Boglodite invasion and learn the things that K would never tell him.

Review:

Usually I feel that if you have to go back in time to move your story. The story has gone past all saving. I make a few exception for this where the world actually allows for time time travel due to technology or sufficiently explained magic systems and there is more of a reason to go back in time ‘just because.’ Honestly, my preferred approach is the Sly Cooper approach, go back in time, save the ancestors and the Thievius Racoonus. Thus, meeting some of the very interesting Sly Cooper ancestors (none of the girls but I digress even though it annoys me.)

MiB2 didn’t really do that well in theaters. Sure, it made money but not as much as hoped. So, in MiB3 they went in a different direction. Moving away from comedy they headed more to answer the question of “Why is K, well, K?” and added some drama to the franchise. It was a smart move. Of all three movies, this movie is the most emotionally touching, as in, it makes me cry. Okay. It makes me cry!

The writing isn’t as smart as 1, but much smarter than 2. They lay out enough that we know where J is going to have to go when he goes back to 1969 to try and save K. The jokes are more visual sight gags and comparisons between 1969 and 2012. Along with the usual jokes about aliens. One cookie.

There weren’t any big explosions in this movie. No cookie.

There were plenty of fights however. Including a somewhat clever use of time travel in the fight between J and Boris the Animal. (I know. I know. It’s just Boris.) One cookie.

While the movie opens with Boris’ girlfriend, we quickly lose her to space. The only real female character is O, the new head of the MiB and back in 1969, a female agent who is regulated to office work. In the present day, where the movie doesn’t spend much time, O is a woman with power. In 1969, O is a woman who is set up as yet another love interest for K. (This is the third movie and the third love interest for K. Go figure.) Overall, she really had nothing to do other than for K to make goo goo eyes at her. No cookie.

The world building continued to be fabulous especially when they took a step back to late 1960s technology and showed the origins of the equipment that J and K use in the future. And if you don’t bat your eyes at time travel from falling from high buildings, why bat your eyes at gyrocycles or jet packs. These were things that back in the 60s and 70s that they truly felt we would have in the future. To that time period, that was technology ahead of its time. So, it was neat to see. One cookie.

Okay, I know this is super short for a review. I don’t have a lot to say about this story because I don’t want to give anything away just in case anyone reading his review actually hasn’t seen it. Men in Black is still the best movie out of the three MiB movies, but this is my favorite story wise because instead of being superficially funny, they went for something with some heart. This is rare in your run of the mill tent-pole.

It could have been better. O could have been a much stronger character rather than a sexy lamp. (How does Alice Eve keep getting those types of parts?) And it really lacked a distinctive explosion. Though, the O being a better character is much more important than a big explosion. Three Cookies.

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