Hey FOOLS! Our main man Meinheer has given us his thoughts about Men In Black 3. I still want to see it thought. Enjoy.
Well it looked like a surefire winner didn't it? Putting the band back together for one last show of this great, unique and original comedy sci-fi series. Unfortunately the combined talent, who could do no wrong in the gleaming, infectiously good-natured and super-successful original, are phoning it in all the way through this lacklustre, wholly uninspired, idealess and uninvolving formulaic plod through.
The opening sequence is kick-ass, with every promise that this comeback threequel is going to get everything right. A hot looking secretary chick is escorted through some futuristic maximum security prison by enormous and fearsome sci-fi guards, until they arrive at the cell of a seriously badass-looking one-armed inmate - Kiwiland's own Jemaine Clement of ‘Flight of the Conchords’ fame - Awesome!! Who is decked out with weird cyber shades and scary, hardnut dreads. She smuggles him something secretly and of course he opens up a mean can of whupass on his jailors and is soon bouncing out of the prison which a massive camera pull-back reveals is on the moon!! Sick!
But once we get back to earth with Agents J & K, that originality evaporates pretty much immediately. Tired, clapped-out, second-hand, lame jokes and play-it-safe, seen-it-all-before plot development become the order of the day.
Worse still it takes itself way too seriously, replacing comedy and the trademark precocious and infectious charisma with sentimentality.
Men in Black to the future
I know this movie is supposed to be more about style and comedy (though largely absent) but a word has to be said about the shameless and wholesale rip-offage of the plot from everyone's favourite time travel trilogy. It's total! Jemaine's space baddie Boris the Animal goes back in time to kill the younger Agent K (a funny Josh Brolin dubbed with TLJ's voice). Of course Will Smith has to go back after him to stop him succeeding. Its all there, Right down to meeting the parents, sports event betting, the bully trying to advise his earlier self, the works.
As with the time travel, so with every other element of this magpie-like movie. A space criminal escaping prison - Demolition Man. An old cop retiring from the force - Lethal Weapon. The sentimental value of Dad's watch - Pulp Fiction. The Arcnet 'planetary shield' which Jemaine wants to prevent the young K from putting up so as to invade earth with his hordes of ugly aliens - Return of the Jedi. The unassuming spacetime expert - Hitchikers Guide.
Will Smith famously sat down with his business manager at the beginning of his career and worked out the types of movies that audiences most turned out to see. Aliens, comedy, sci-fi, rom-coms, superheroes? Check. They slavishly stuck to that formula for fifteen years and it paid off bigstyle. Smith became the most successful film star of the 2000s with an amazing string of 100m dollar hits unequalled by anyone else on the planet. Everything he touched turned to gold. But the last one was 5 years ago. Ask Tom Cruise, the biggest star of the eighties, if audiences like to see actors playing the same kinds of roles in their forties that they did in their twenties and thirties (they don't).
Will has chunked up and looks like a Middle-aged man now. The gormless boy routine from Fresh Prince doesn't cut it anymore. We expect more substance now, and to be fair to the phenomenally talented WS he seems to know it too. On autopilot most of the way through the movie, you can tell he's thinking 'what am I still doing this stuff for?'
The rest of the Dream Team doesn't fare any better. Director Barry Sonnenfeld (who started off as the Coen brothers' cinematographer, fact fans) is a far cry from his mid nineties heyday as a Midas touched, light-hearted irreverent comedy hit-maker ('The Addams Family', 'Get Shorty', 'RV'). And the great Tommy Lee Jones just looks understandably grumpy to be having to pay his bills this way.
The 3D layers are too shallow, Jemaine's excellent but never allowed to really do his thing (lest the film actually be FUNNY!) Which BOY could it have used. Emma T reminds why they gave her all those Oscars, managing to inject sparkle and subtlety into her cardboard cutout role.
Will Smith looks bored and, honestly, like really he's way past this kids stuff. Both he and TLJ seem like they are doing their best to pretend they're enjoying themselves at an awkward high school reunion.
There is one great thing about this movie though. The time travel itself is handled awesomely. Both in effects and conception. The sequence where WS has to jump off the Chrysler building to go back in time is epic and essential ("it's called a time JUMP?"). As he falls through space, time accelerates through from prehistory. At one point he passes the 1929 Wall Street crash and meets bankers also jumping off the building! This oasis of genius however is an anomaly in an otherwise over-stretched, warmed-over re-hash of other peoples' ideas. The Andy Warhol bit is amusing, and there's a couple of other chuckles, but that's about it.
There's just not much of anything NEW in MIB3. Recycled plot and by-numbers, seen that before, standard sci-fi ideas. Most unforgivably though, it's just not that funny. The incredibly cool, effortlessly fresh and sassy chemistry that made the original so stylish and fun is well and truly past its sell-by date. There's entertainment of course from seeing the characters back together again and big MIB fans will get a kick out of that at least. But it feels like the cast members and director Sonnenfeld are just going through the motions and already have their minds on the next project. MIB3 is an instantly forgettable and disposable, producer-driven confection. Watch once and forget. And memory eraser tools will not be required.
The bottom line is that the completely ordinary and unoriginal script, half-heartedly and lazily ripped from other, better movies, is unworthy of the talent on display here. And I feel that despite Will Smith's massive comeback presence, this phoned in, play it safe, risk-averse and committee-designed okay-athon is probably going to get submerged in this Summer of Summers by the gargantuan tidal waves caused by 'The Avengers', 'Batman' et al.
Look, it's not THAT bad. It's mildly enjoyable to watch the slick, predictable plot amble through its formulaic machinations. There's the odd touch of class here and there, the odd witticism that raises a chuckle. You're not EXACTLY gonna feel like it was 2 hours of your life you won't get back again. Maybe just an hour and a half.