Movie review: ‘MIB III’ brings adventure and laughs

By Michael Hennessey

The Hoya, Georgetown U. via UWIRE

Men In Black III is a fantastic final installment in the quintessentially ’90s science fiction series. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones do justice to the original movies by delivering yet another action-packed and hilarious performance. In addition to the familiar characters of Agents J (Smith) and K (Jones), we meet several new agents as well as some from the past.

The storyline follows the escape of brutal alien assassin Boris the Animal from the Lunar Max prison. He comes back to Earth and travels back in time to kill Agent K — as revenge for a previous escapade in which K took Boris’ arm — and let Earth be destroyed by his alien counterparts. Boris alters the course of history by killing K in July 1969; in turn, Earth faces imminent destruction. To rectify the situation, Agent J journeys back to the late ’60s to try and prevent the assassination of Agent K.

In the course of his mission, J gets the chance to meet young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and uncover secrets that shed light on both J and K’s lives in the present. These discoveries occur throughout the characters’ efforts to save Earth from future destruction by an evil alien race.

This film does several things right. First, it stays true to the series’ characteristic blend of comedy and sci-fi action. Though in the beginning it seemed like another cheesy sequel, the fresh twist on J and K’s partnership hit the bullseye on genre blending. The classic quotes from Smith came out in the very first scene and the audience loved his quick quips. In addition to its comedic nature, the plot was well balanced. It did not go over the top or try to outdo the previous two films, and it provided a case that was easy for the audience to understand.

Some crucial questions were left unanswered in the wake of the first two movies. This film tied up those loose ends nicely by letting the audience delve into the past of both Agents J and K. It solved the mysteries of Agent K’s stubborn attitude and Agent J’s entrance into the Men in Black while providing a satisfying conclusion. And after the long hiatus this series took, the plot took off right from where they left off in the second film in a smooth transition, something that many reboots or sequels fail to do.

The cast members’ excellent performances further enhanced the movie. Smith inhabits the classic role of Agent J perfectly, provoking plenty of laughter and bringing additional character to the film. In addition, Brolin does an incredible job playing the young Agent K, emulating Jones to perfection. Finally, Jones himself continues to play a fantastic Agent K, blunt humor and all. Overall, the acting in this film has stepped up since Men in Black II.

One thing to note is that this film deals with time travel. Time travel, even in movies, is complex, and pulling it off with a satisfactory explanation requires finesse and caution or the audience is lost in disbelief. MIB III does it very well by using the concept of the fifth dimension, where all possible futures, pasts and presents simultaneously occur.  The butterfly effect also plays a crucial role in justifying the film’s fictional time travel.

All in all, MIB III delivers on all fronts. It is well worth your time and money to go see this comedic sci-fi film that incorporates its prequels seamlessly. It provides a fresh perspective on the traditional storyline with quality acting to boot. Most importantly, MIB III is a stellar capstone to a series that everyone has and will love well into the future.

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