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February 19, 2024

Men In Black 3: Movie Review

By Bernie and Sand Pilarski

Bernie said:

Those of you who are casual readers of the Piker Press may not be familiar with my particular inclinations in movie preferences, but for all the movie review clubs out there where you guys read my reviews and then get together for coffee and pecan pie to dissect and analyze my approach to the movie, here's a suggestion for your next meeting -- scrapple and pineapple hors d'oeuvre. Intellectual stimulation has never tasted so good.

Of course, intellectual stimulation is not always the reason you go to the movies. Sometimes you go purely to be entertained. I read a review of Men in Black 3 that criticized the story as being implausible. Duh. This is a story about a secret government agency that is in charge of keeping the peace in the expatriate community of space aliens living on Earth, and we pick up the story when an imprisoned alien criminal breaks out of jail and time travels back to 1969 in order to kill the agent that arrested him. When he is successful, history is changed, the world now faces a hostile alien invasion, and Agent J (Will Smith) finds himself without his now long-dead partner Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), and J must make his own way back to 1969, save K, and in the process, save the world.

Of course! This is a story ripped from the pages of any small town newspaper. Happens all the time.

Admittedly MIB3 is not hard core science fiction along the lines of Contagion, last year's thriller about what might happen during a pandemic outbreak of a deadly viral infection. With the help of the Center for Disease Control, there was a lot of good science presented in that movie and care was taken to be accurate. MIB3 is a lot more like the Star Trek franchise that plays fast and loose with reality in favor of entertainment. So just a word of advice when viewing this movie: don't work too hard at trying to understand it. Think of it as more of a joke along the lines of "Linda Fiorentino, an Arguillian and a cockroach walk into a bar ..."

Will Smith is a likeable actor. He's not brilliant, but he is versatile. He was not good enough to salvage the disastrous 1999 Wild Wild West debacle; however I've enjoyed everything else I've seen him in, including this movie. Tommy Lee Jones, while not as versatile as Smith, is a compelling presence on screen. He is always Tommy Lee Jones, just like Bruce Willis is always Bruce Willis, but he is always what the character needs to be, and I have enjoyed everything else I've seen him in, too. The surprise in this movie is Josh Brolin who plays the part of the young, 1969 version of Agent K. I have to admit that I can not remember ever having seen Josh Brolin in anything. That may well be my loss. Brolin does an incredible job capturing the essence of Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of Agent K. Indeed, it was such a good job that I think it deserves at least a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at this year's Oscars. Probably won't happen because the Academy tends to only watch dramas. Still, it really was an excellent performance.

Men in Black 3 is a fun movie, a quintessential summer popcorn movie. It's like dating a friend -- as long as neither side is looking for a long term relationship, it can be an entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sand said:

Bernie is exactly right, about the movie, that is, not the scrapple, although "crispy scrapple with caramelized pineapple" might be a good line in some Awesome Crappy Poetry ...

Men in Black 3 didn't break any new ground in its franchise universe, but it was delightful to see the familiar characters again. I didn't even care if the story was a stinkeroo -- I mean seriously, I just saw Battleship the week before, and the worst Will Smith movie would be 'way above that, of that I had no doubt.

Beyond agreeing with Bernie on all points of the movie, I will add that when the credits rolled, I wished I could see the first two MIB movies again, especially since I have almost no recollection of MIB 2 whatsoever, even when I looked through the photo gallery on IMDb. By all accounts, that movie was pretty bad, but family plans are in the works to watch both of them soon, courtesy of Netflix.

Hey, wait -- could someone have used a neuralyzer on me after the second movie?

Article © Bernie and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2012-05-28
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