Men in Black III: If You’re Not Mad, You’re Not Paying Attention

Men in Black III: If You’re Not Mad, You’re Not Paying Attention

MEN IN BLACK III Made of number two.

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This is a clear-cut case of taking a joke way too far. The first Men in Black was a fun little diversion, a sci-fi-action-comedy that didn't make you feel lousy about spending 90 minutes in a dark, air-conditioned theater on a summer day. The conceit—a young man (Will Smith) is partnered with a hardened old expert (Tommy Lee Jones) in a secret law-enforcement agency protecting Earth from extraterrestrial miscreants—felt clever and fresh. But the second Men in Black was a tired rehash of the first, a once-funny punch line repeated ad nauseam. And the third, entirely-unasked-for new Men in Black movie doesn't just inspire nausea in its audience; this is such a bad, passionless exercise in rote moviemaking that if you have any sense in your head, it'll make you mad.

The premise of this one involves an evil alien (Jemaine Clement, growling and staggering about) who goes back in time to kill Agent K (Jones) before he becomes the storied old soldier of the Men in Black. Agent J (Smith, a middle-aged man playing at a young man's game) goes back to 1967 to foil the plot with the help of a youthful Agent K (Josh Brolin, squandering an excellent Tommy Lee Jones impersonation). There are a surprisingly large number of torture scenes. Jokes leap out of Smith's mouth only to plummet to their deaths. Idiotic "secrets" are "revealed" about 40 minutes after the audience figures them out.

This is such a waste. Clement's comedic gifts are wasted in a generic bad-guy role, Emma Thompson's subtlety is wasted in a minor role as the head of MiB, Rick Baker's splendid makeup special effects are wasted on background scenes. The few visual treats—the method of time travel involves falling from a great height, and it's a delight to watch—only remind you how bad everything else is. At this time in Seattle, in the middle of summer blockbuster season and SIFF, there are so many better ways to waste your time in a theater. recommended


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I disagree about MIB III; I think it is a fun, entertaining romp in moving the saga of MIB forward and tying up loose ends from the past. I do, however, agree that the second movie was very blah.
Posted by Mzone on May 30, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
biju 2
Posted by biju on May 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
Buxtehude 3
I don't think there is a person on the planet who has seen this film who agrees with you in any way possible. Were you angry at your wife the day you saw this film? Did you actually see it? You didn't even mention the best portrayal of all, Griffen, who is able to detect every future scenario at once, and who portrays the kindest, strongest, and most intelligent character I've seen in many a day. Have a cookie before you see your next movie, and maybe you be able to see what the rest of us see.
Posted by Buxtehude on June 4, 2012 at 5:03 AM · Report this
Uh, 1969 not 1967. To coincide with the Apollo 11 launch.

I just saw this at the Crest, and totally disagree with this reviewer. True, being the third installment it is saddled with the conceits (or story framework) of the first, but there was plenty new to laugh at and a quickly paced plot. I look forward to when I have a pause button for the film, to see the jokes crammed into its corners.
Posted by nickdanger3deye on August 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM · Report this

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