Here Come the "Men in Black"...Again

Here Come the "Men in Black"...Again


Genre: Sci-Fi Action Comedy

Premise: When Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes maximum security prison and jumps back in time to kill Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), Agent J must travel back to 1969 and work with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to stop Boris and save the future.

Behind-the-Scenes: Reportedly cost more than $250 to produce.  Production was shut down for several weeks in the middle to tinker with the script.  It's been 10 years since Men in Black II disappointed audiences and critics alike.  Barry Sonnenfeld is back as director.

The Good: Surprisingly modest and low-key given its gigantic budget.  It's nice to have Will Smith back on screen after a four-year absence.  Josh Brolin does an uncanny job of capturing the essence of a younger Tommy Lee Jones.  He gives a great performance - eschewing mere impression by fully inhabiting the role.  A new character called Griffin (a wonderful Michael Stuhlbarg) is a creative success and harkens back to the spirit of the first Men in Black.  Time travel (by jumping off a building) is imaginatively rendered and especially fun to see in 3D.  The villainous Boris has a cool creature design - tiny creatures enter and exit from the palm of his hand.

The Bad:  The time travel logic is a bit screwy.  Some of the CGI effects are less than impressive - this cost HOW much again?  The screenplay is pleasant enough but lacks jokes.  This should have been much funnier.  Is a Men in Black 3 really all that necessary?   Tommy Lee Jones is almost relegated to a cameo and seems like he'd rather be anywhere but here.  Pitbull does the movie's theme song.  What - is Will Smith too good for that now?

Should You See It?:  Yes, if you like Will Smith or the Men in Black franchise.  Better than 2, but not as good as Part 1.

Rating: *** out of 5 stars.

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