‘Men in Black 3’ Back Again: Movie Review [Video]

‘Men in Black’ are back again, starring Will Smith, as good as ever, and Josh Brolin, who makes a marvelous match.

Fifteen years since the original and a decade since the sub-par sequel, a third “Men in Black” movie was released which no one seems to have been clamoring for except maybe Barry Sonnenfeld, the director of all three.

Written by a bunch more people than actually get credited, the latest film shows the glossy style and vague, sporadic glimmers of the kind of energy that made this franchise such an enormous international hit, writes The Associated Press.

Men in Black 3 is in the list of those franchises that lost all creative life in the first sequel but still keep drawing breath anyway, thanks to an iron lung powered by a half-billion dollars in worldwide grosses.

The concept of a secret agency devoted to controlling Earth’s undercover alien population can only seem novel once, and the Odd Couple dynamic between Will Smith’s chatty, effervescent newcomer and Tommy Lee Jones’ irascible veteran has a shelf life, too.

As NPR noted, to merely rinse and repeat for the third entry, adding only new creatures and the obligatory 3-D effects, would have buried it deeper into the ground.

Smith and Jones don’t seem to be enjoying themselves, either, in returning to their roles as bickering secret government agents. But when the most charismatic actor on the planet can’t fake excitement, the movie is in trouble.

The puppy-doggish enthusiasm is gone, and now his Agent J is just weirdly obsessed, after all these years, with determining why it is that K is so surly. K, meanwhile, remains surly and reveals nothing.

However, speaking of the estimates by critics, about 66 per cent of people liked the movie, claims Rotten Tomatoes.

“If you’re looking for cinema verite, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a fun, fizzy sequel in a franchise left for dead 10 years ago, have at it,” suggests Amy Biancolli of San Francisco Chronicle.

“Brolin is such a perfect match for Jones, and Smith so confidently charismatic, that everything else seems like a distraction,” says Elizabeth Weitzman of The New York Daily News.

Mary F.Pols disagrees: “Its opening sequences are a near marvel of confusion, mayhem and embarrassments for its actors. If it was a person, you’d worry it had dementia.”

Still, Smith and Brolin connect as partners, rather than celebrities cashing a giant paycheck. And the satisfyingly grand finale is brought back to human scale with a genuinely emotional revelation.

It seems wise not to oversell the movie’s popcorn ambitions. Despite the jokes are comical, they are rarely hilarious, while the 3D action is more energetic than truly rousing. And not all of the casting is impeccable.

But that’s okay: when compared to its bloated predecessor, these are minor complaints. Although the new movie is not quite as fresh as 1997’s “Men in Black,” it’s a lot better than 2002’s “Men in Black II,” which failed to replicate its predecessor’s hipness, humor and sticky alien charm.

A solidly entertaining summer movie is always welcome, even if it can’t quite claim to be out of this world.

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