My expectations for this film weren't that high, if I'm honest, and the trailer didn't particularly excite me after that very forgettable and unfunny first sequel from ten years ago. However, with a much better script and, thankfully, no talking dog this time around, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw in Men In Black III.
It's by no means a brilliant film, but it is an entertaining feel-good one with a near-tear-inducing climax. In fact, MIBIII rounds the series off very nicely, and is a pretty solid action/sci-fi/comedy effort on the whole.
By introducing us to the most interesting bad guy of the franchise we've seen -- "Boris the Animal" (portrayed very well by Jemaine Clement) -- things are immediately set up intriguingly for "J" (Will Smith) and "K" (Tommy Lee Jones) to protect the Earth from the alien scum.
There's an added twist to the familiar battle, though, that sees Smith's character requiring to travel back in time and convince a younger "K" that they must work together to overcome the threat of Boris. Set primarily in the 1960s, MIBIII opens us up to an exciting world of peace-and-love cultural trends and political race issues that were true to that era.
As well as excelling with its production design, the character development is much greater than that of the film before, and Smith appears as confident and funny as the Will Smith of old. The decision to have Jones take a backseat here proves to be a good one with newcomer-to-the-franchise Josh Brolin making a worthy partner and nailing the Tommy Lee impersonation so much so that it's very easy to get roped into believing he actually is a younger version of "K".
A few of the jokes fall flat but, generally, MIBIII is an enjoyable ride filled with plenty of character banter, an interesting back-story and, of course, a number of cool special effects. Do us a favour, Sony, and end the series on this high note, please.
(C) Andy Carrington, 2012.