PG-13, 1 hr. 45 min. Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld. Release Date: May 25, 2012.
There are times when I can give a movie a decent review for a single positive facet: a brand, spankin’ new director, an actor doing something that they’ve never done before, or a movie that shot for something lofty and failed, but still had some merit.
None of these apply to Men In Black 3, although it’s clear that they tried real, real hard to knock something out of the park. What they delivered was barely up to the standards of just above mediocrity that they delivered with the original film of their franchise. In the places you’d expect an MIB to be good, this movie has those strengths: the alien effects and technology effects are pretty sweet, especially if you happen to dig the glowy lights and gross-out effects which kind of made this franchise famous.
There was a single strength to this movie, and it was Josh Brolin. That the man could pull of a reasonable impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones over such an extended period is a testament to his skill as an actor (something we haven’t seen much of in the last few years. The man needs to do more movies). If I ran the zoo, Brolin would get a nod come Oscar time under that same umbrella that Robert Downey Jr/Tropic Thunder kind of way. The performance was stellar, it was the movie that sucked. You don’t see that combination of circumstances so often.
I get that time travel flicks are hard to do. Star Trek movies have managed to do it reasonably well twice, and I have high hopes for Looper in September, but there is a remarkable dearth of really good time travel movies… and probably with reason. At the very least they managed to dodge the whole “I’m you,” phenomenon, but only just.
Basically, this is a movie you go to because your kids are dragging you to it. There’s a bit of extra swearing this time around, although it’s still not exactly profuse, so use your own best judgment there. The bad guy might be a little scary for the very little guys. Everyone else can take a pass on this, or at least wait until video. There aren’t enough affects that make seeing this in IMAX or 3D worthwhile, although it’s clear that they gave 3D thought in at least two different scenes.