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Men in Black 3


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Sometimes you have to just let things be as they are. In movies, this means ignoring the temptation to stretch a wonderful story into a sequel or trilogy. For example, critics and the public were clamoring for a sequel to Love Actually, but writer/director Richard Curtis felt it would be best to leave the story as it was in all its sappy brilliance. Coming soon we have a group giving into the temptation with Anchorman 2—it better be good. But sometimes, the sequel, or in Men in Black’s case the third installment, ends up being totally worth it and only adds to the lore, instead of diminishing the shine.

Grade:

B+

Men in Black 3 has Agent J (Will Smith) going back in time to prevent Agent K (old: Tommy Lee Jones; young: Josh Brolin) from making a grave, albeit merciful, mistake.

You know in the tv commercials for movies they’ll often include adjectives from reviews in heralded magazines like the NY Times or Washington Post? Well, for MIB3, I imagine the easiest phrase to throw in at the end would be “It’s just good fun.”

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The movie is immensely entertaining. I had no real expectations going in and the only real curiosity was to see Brolin as a young Jones—more on this later. The light-hearted nature of the first two installments in the franchise is as fresh as ever here. Maybe the time between the second and third movies allowed a new layer of fun to be attached.

Will Smith is playing the same role in the same manner despite his increasing age. One day he’ll have to succumb to a different style of acting or adapt a different persona to more closely fit his age, but he’s still resisting pretty stubbornly. Meanwhile, Jones is as curmudgeonly as ever to the point where you doubt he’s even acting for the first thirty minutes, but is actually just annoyed he signed on for another film.

The real reason to see MIB3 is Brolin. Honestly, I know it’s a smidge absurd, but I think he should have been considered for an award for his take as a young Agent K. It’s astounding how similarly his voice, mannerisms, facial expressions, and overall gruff nature ooze Tommy Lee Jones. If you close your eyes and listen to MIB3, I am fairly certain it’d be hard to discern between Brolin and Jones. Their personalities are slightly different, but that’s due to a plot point that has something ominous changing K’s general mood.

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The truly amazing thing is that unlike Star Trek: Into Darkness, where plot follies came to light after viewing, MIB3 seems to have much fewer glaring holes in the story. Sure, there are certain things that could’ve changed and made more sense, but that’s to be expected. The biggest complaint was the lack of O—both old (Emma Thompson) and young (Alice Eve). The story mentioned O as an important character many times, but she hardly was present in modern day or 1969.

Regardless, find a way to see it if you haven’t yet. Another great part about MIB3 is that you don’t necessarily need to have seen the first two to understand the story; it’s relatively simple. There are references to its predecessors, but nothing crucial to your comprehension of the tale. Enjoy!

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