Friday, 1 June 2012

Men in Black 3

Very rarely does a big movie block buster live up to it's over-hyped press. Sequels are hard to pull off and even more threequels, but occasionally they get it right. The first hint with Men in Black is the third instalment of the franchise didn't come immediately on the back of the second. That augers well for a story of substance rather than a money grab or a film structured by the numbers for this outing by Will and Tommy outsmarting aliens for a third time around.

Warning - Medium Plot Spoilers follow.

The master criminal Boris the Animal played perfectly by Jermaine Clement of Flight of the Concords fame has discovered a cell mate in jail who was locked away for discovering time travel. Boris escapes and heads to use the time travel device to go back in time and stop Agent K, Tommy Lee's character, before he arrests Boris all those years ago and puts him in jail. In the process Boris intends to stop Agent K shooting off Boris's arm - a 'handy' way of telling the past Boris from the future 'armless' Boris.

Future Boris expunges Agent K and rewrites the past and only future Agent J, Will Smith, has a memory of the long dead K. With a stunning performance, as always, from Emma Thompson playing the new chief of agents and playing her as a chief harbouring a long time frission between herself and K, J travels back in time and foils Boris while discovering the secret and reason he was chosen and taken under K's wing all those years later, in our present day timeline, years later means when we first saw Will and Tommy team up three films ago.

The reveal is tender, surprising and worth waiting for and gives MIB 3 the depth that so many formulaic sequels of successful films fail to capture.

But the star of MIB 3 is not Tommy, Will, Jermaine or Emma. They're all good, but to make this work an actor needed to convince us he was a 40 years younger version of Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin manages this with room to spare.

 It's a remarkable performance, or maybe it should be classed as an impersonation and I would guess it paves the way for an ongoing MIB franchise with many more outings in the offing where Will, using his new time travel technology, heads back to team up with Brolin's younger version of K and re-write many famous moments in our history over the last 40 years. There's great scope for humour and intrigue in this as we enjoy watching great historical moments that will no doubt be explained as the fault of Alien misadventure and the reason we were saved and survive to this day? Because those Alien threats were thwarted by the MIB team of the past - AKA Will Smith and Josh Brolin. If they can find a story that matches the escapades of Boris 'The animal' Celements, I'll be buying a ticket.

And you should also watch out for a host of ugly, weird and dangerous aliens in MIB 3. 

Some we see and some we just hear about, but when these unseen aliens are revealed as dangerous Alien's running amuck on earth - it's not really such a surprise.

MIB 3 - Out of 5 - Almost a four!

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