The original Men In Black is pitch perfect blend of science fiction, buddy comedy, and action. Men In Black 2 was a lame attempt to make money. Sadly, Men In Black 3 is barely any better than the previous attempt. The cameras rolled on MIB3 without a completed script, and it shows. The story is rarely cohesive, the dialogue is frequently weak, especially for Jermaine Clement’s lead alien bad guy, Boris the Animal. Occasionally Will Smith manages to make his lines work, but almost everything Tommy Lee Jones says sounds idiotic. I would feel sorry for him, but he signed up for it. Jones clearly doesn’t want to be there, and he is fooling nobody.
The fun energy that was the lifeblood of the original Men In Black does appear in some parts of the movie; delivered by Emma Thomas, the fantastic Josh Brolin, and sometimes Will Smith. Brolin shines as young Agent K, and is the only one who manages to deliver even the most awful lines and make them sound relatively god.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld makes a valiant attempt to recreate the quirky fun atmosphere of the first film, but is defeated by an abhorrent script. Sonnenfeld seems to have trouble pacing the movie, which sometimes drags, and other times moved too fast for me to understand what was happening. Yes, some scenes do display his trademark tongue-in-cheek manner, but large parts of the film are just dead in the water.
There is one person who is on top of his game, and that is monster makeup wizard Rick Baker, displaying the imagination and skill that has won seven Oscars for makeup. The sheer creativity that baker brings to his intricate monsters is just amazing. His designs balance complexity with simplicity, camp with realism, and comedy with scariness. His new creations are really the high point of MIB3.
Overall, MIB3 simply isn’t a film needed to see in theaters, but perhaps renting it on Netflix when it comes out on video might be worth it, at least for Brolin and Baker.
Review By Ryan Fitzmartin