It’s been a busy summer and this past week was fraught with misadventure as my computer crashed and I had to try and recover all of that nonsense, but it’s a new week and a new day and I’m still no closer to any level of organization but of course that has nothing to do with the computer.
It’s kind of my thing. To wit, I couldn’t remember if I had reviewed Men In Black III so absent of any proof to the contrary, here’s this week’s column.
Will Smith used to own Memorial Day in the states but his box office star has a bit of tarnish on it and after M I B II so did this franchise.
I thought the first was great and the second bogged down in excessive story line, too weird aliens and an enigmatic villain in Lara Flynn Boyle who needed a few of the sandwiches her namesake Susan didn’t. Ya I should talk. Me doing weight jokes is like the pit calling the kettle a mediocre appliance.
I sometimes wonder how these casting decisions get made and then I started reading Top Of The Rock Warren Littelfield’s book about building NBC into a powerhouse in the 80s and you start to see that there’s not much thinking that goes into anything in show business.
But I digress.
This year’s model is a lot of fun and while it swims with the sharks in terms of potential trouble spots it really does capture the audience and provide a lot of fun in a short period of time.
Our story so far.
K and J are having trouble in their relationship. K seems troubled and J wants more in terms of dialogue and emotion. J needs to stop watching the Oprah channel.
After a particularly tumultuous night J comes into HQ to find out from O (Emma Thompson) that K is DOA and has been for 40 years.
So J goes back in time to try and stop history from being rewritten because the very nasty very menacing Boris the Animal has already gone back in time and killed K.
So we get to see Smith and the young K played remarkably well by Josh Brolin and the very sexy young O (Alice Eve).
It works and it’s great fun.
Brolin makes fun of Tommy Lee Jones’ characterizations as he embodies them, and it’s a convincing performance. His clipped speech and Jack Webb emotional scale are perfect pitch and it’s fun to watch Smith play off the younger agent who can’t intimidate him as easily as old gun K can. The plot is implausible but so what. So are aliens and secret government agencies that protect us but that’s part of the fun.
There are a lot of laughs in this film. Bill Hader as undercover agent Andy Warhol is particularly brilliant.
It’s just good fun and never bogs down in its own science. I like that. I hate having to remember stuff. The sci fi and special effects are kept to a minimum. Boris young and old is evil a little scary and convincing. I was amazed when I checked IMDB and saw it was Jemaine Clement, the big glassed guy from Flight of the Conchords. He’s good and unrecognizable.
The film works on a lot of levels and it’s nice to have the wisecracking back and that interplay between K and J.
I have to admit that I thought Tommy Lee Jones was wearing a bad mask at the end and I was expecting him to pull it off and be some kind of alien surprise, but the surprise was mine. It really was his face. Who said men age well? All that aside, Men In Black 3 is a ton of fun and a great summer movie.
I wish I had a ratings system so I could give this a 4 out of 5 but I don’t so I’ll just flail about intellectually and then cut to the tag line. As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here Paul
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