Better than the second film….not even in the galaxy of the first!
One of my early articles on this blog was counting down the top ten worse sequels to great films (which you can see HERE) and no…I am not making a revised copy of that article to add MiB3, but after being made to watch MiB2 during the weekend, I feel like I should place it higher up than 6. No…Men In Black 2 was miles apart Men in Black in such a way that it was strange that the same actors and director were behind both films.
In Men in Black, we open up on a bug…fitting given our villain of that film, we watch as this bug flies around the backwoods of a road, weaving and fluttering about, before becoming windshield roadkill. How we do we open up with the second film? On a retro-amateur film of what the main plot is suppose to be and after that we open up in the vast galaxy of space, watching a ship fly by. Men in Black 3? We open up in prison…on the moon. The first Men In Black film felt grounded, but at no time ever took away from the mystery of aliens, space, and what the MiB do to police this world we live in. Agent Kay got angry at Agent Jay for using his weapon in public, visually red in the face angry.
That is the last time anyone gave a shit about the mystery of Men in Black in the public eye, since in the first 15 minutes, we see Jay get smacked around by a giant subway lizard and weapons going off like its no big deal in public. What’s the point of getting angry at Jay if you had a Statue of Liberty neuralizerin your back pocket, anyway? And speaking of that fuckin thing…I loved the idea of the neuralizer, a great film object that you wish you had in real life like a light saber or a hover-board. The first film it was used for some laughs, but served a purpose, make sure those who saw…did not see. In the two following films its just used as a gag. A quick and cheap throwaway joke for whenever the script didn’t have a laugh per page.
What I am trying to say is that in the first film it was a perfect cosmos’s of planets aligning for a great sci-fi film to be made and be enjoyed and pretty much loved my most people. There was no reason to make another…well except money. Money drives Hollywood agents. Money drives Hollywood execs. And in some ways Money drives the mentality that if something does well, we need more of it. No we don’t. How did the whole it did good and now we need more work out for films like Jaws? Men in Black was a comic book originally…so you might think that means there should be oodles of stories to tell, maybe there are…but doesn’t mean we need to see them. Men In Black was a great movie. Funny. Action packed. Story. Characterization. And a satisfying and well deserved ending.
MiB 2 shit all over that and MiB 3 left a skidmark in the boxers of the franchise.
So where is the review of Men in Black 3 you say…well lets go into the story. Agent Jay is feeling sad that Agent Kay isn’t happy. A pretty awesome looking villain (Rick Baker is the unsung hero of this franchise) named Boris borke out of Moon prison and wants to go back in time to kill Agent Kay. He does. Agent Jay goes back in time as well to stop this and kill Boris. Then we spend 95% of the movie with Young Agent Kay, played by the great Josh Brolin. From there…we just go along for the very boring ride. Where as MiB 2 sucked and ruined the franchise from the get go…Men in Black 3 is just boring. Its better in terms of story and delivery then the second film, but comparing it to the fun and lively first film, you sit sadden by all this time between sequels and this is the turn out. It doesn’t hurt that while Brolin is great, the dynamic of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones was what was original so much fun, and while its obvious a very older Jones didn’t want any part of this movie, he gives all he can for the maybe 10 minutes he is on screen.
I give it a FIVE out of a TEN, on the merit of film quality and sci-fi action.
But I also give it a Neuralizerout of TEN, on the scale of how badly I wish to forget both this and the second film.