Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return in another tepid Men in Black sequel. I will say it's better than the second film, but not by much. Maybe we know what to expect in this series, so the characters and alien effects have become boring. Tommy Lee Jones deadpan stoicism and Will Smith's quasi-hip parlance doesn't add up to much in this film. There's also a serious drag in the runtime that makes no sense at all. It's almost as if they didn't have enough kooky scenes and decided to add some filler to make it more MIB-like. Whatever the case, I had hoped for more and certainly didn't get it.
The film begins with the escape of an alien criminal called Boris the Animal (Jermaine Clement). He's got a grudge against Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and goes back in time to 1969 to kill him. Agent J (Will Smith) is unaffected by the change in the time continuum. He also goes back in time to save K and kill Boris, but inadvertently gets caught by the younger K (Josh Brolin). They team up to stop Boris, save the earth, and finally, find out what happened to K to make him so damn grumpy.
There's a new character introduced to the MIB team that had me scratching my head. Emma Thompson is the new leader of MIB, Agent O. She replaced the recently deceased Zed, Rip Torn in the previous films. There's also a younger Agent O in 1969, played by the smoking hot Alice Eve. There's a slight flirtation between the younger K and O that goes absolutely nowhere. It's too bad because this was something that I actually wanted to see. I don't understand why they even refer to this romance if they don't go anywhere with it. Maybe they're laying down a framework for another sequel, but it's kind of a letdown here.
I didn't find any of the new aliens, good and bad, that interesting. The alien effects are well done, but that's to be expected in a film with this kind of star power and budget. Jermaine Clement's character of Boris isn't that cool. He's got this throwing spikes weapon that gets old fast. I was expecting him to be really bad assed and clever, but that's not the case. He's a blasé baddie when he could have been much more. It seems that Vincent D'Onofrio still reigns as the best MIB villain from the first film.
The film does have its moments. Director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer David Koepp have a few physical gags and dry humor scenes that illicit a few chuckles. I just wish they had more of those to make the film as quirky as the original. I have no doubt Men in Black 3 will be a hit at the box office. Kids in particular, who probably aren't as familiar with the first film, will be more entertained. I just can't help comparing this film to the first and being somewhat disappointed by the progression of the series.