Monday, May 21, 2012

Men in Black 3 ★ ★ ★★


Release Dates
24th May
, 2012 UK 25th May, 2012 USA 25th May, 2012
Other Countries Release Dates

                As the song goes, ‘Here Comes the Men in Black…’ I wondered before the preview why they went back again, when they had pretty much done everything they could do with one and two. Yet, as I proudly wore my ‘Men in Black 3’ T-shirt on a Grade Six school excursion the next day, it all became clear to me as all the kids asked, “What is ‘Men in Black’”?
               It’s been fifteen years folks since the first one—yep, fifteen years, and ten since the second. So, there is a whole generation just waiting to be charmed by the idea that aliens live amongst us and the Men in Black (MIB) organization are Earth’s secret protectors. So why would they go back? Because there was one secret never revealed: Who really is Agent K?
                 “The Men in Black movies are about the relationship between Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones)?”says Will Smith. “This movie brings that home – it’s about the power and origin of their relationship. It’s actually an idea we’ve had for years – we had the concept before the second movie – but it needed time to mature. What we had to do was elevate the story, and the only way to do that is to go deeper, deeper into the characters, deeper into the revelations that the movie would reveal.
               In Men In Black™ 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are still together but ten years on J is still puzzling over his partner’s irascible and secretive personality. Suddenly after the death of MIB commander, replaced by O (Emma Thompson), K disappears and nobody at MIB remembers him. Time has been altered and K now murdered in 1969 by Boris The Animal. K and J deduce that Boris must have time jumped back and killed K, before Boris loses his arm in a fight with K, and then installs an Earth protection system to stop Boris’s race, the Boglodites from invading.
               J time jumps back to 1969, where he meets a younger version of K (Josh Brolin) and thus begins the fun and games of rediscovering a very different K to the 2012 version. Although, he is still an unruffled character, gone is the cranky, worn exterior revealing a more open and sanguine K. “What happened to you?”asks young J constantly.
               But 1969 is not about reunions or solving personal secrets, as J announces to a stony faced K, “We’re running out of time, we’re running out of clues and there’s an invasion coming. So, we need to go right now.” And go they do, following a trail of murders hoping they will lead to Boris. Along the way, there is much alien and secret-uncovering fun and you will spend this part of the movie, wondering how Josh Brolin pulled off the young K character so convincingly.
                “I’ve seen the first film 45 or 50 times – I’m not exaggerating,” says Brolin. “I’m a huge fan of the chemistry between Tommy and Will. Tommy’s voice has a cadence to it that’s very specific to Men In Black – it’s very different from the way he speaks in life. I just listened to it and listened to it until I started dreaming about it. My friends would tell me that I sounded like him. I’d go out to dinner, and I’d hear, ‘You’re ordering like Tommy.’”
               Comments Director of all three MIB’s, Barry Sonnenfeld, “We shot the acts sequentially – we had Tommy playing K in the first act, then Josh came in playing K for the second act and almost all of the third act, and then in the last week of shooting we got Tommy back,” “What I found amazing was that I kept thinking I was directing one actor; the performances were so consistent that it was hard for me to tell where Tommy Lee Jones ended and Josh Brolin began. For me, it’s not about Tommy playing K or Josh playing K. It’s just K.”
               The 1969 story line answers all questions and in the closing scenes is a satisfying reveal of the real secret of the black suited partners’ relationship. Along the way, there is much sliming, much slick banter, a fabulous scene with Andy Warhol, and a truly fascinating, sweet alien, Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) who sees all timeline possibilities (and could be, in fact, a 1969 version of Robin Williams).
               There is sincere homage paid here to the MIB franchise and fans will not be disappointed with what truly feels like a fitting final chapter to a very cool idea. So many times when studios mine an empty franchise, filmgoers walk away knowing they’ve just been had for a quick buck. Even though some of the jokes are repeats from the previous two, and we miss Frank the Pug, do take the kids and prepare for some fun, because this time “They do make this look good”.


Here are the trailers for the first two Men in Black films.  Will Smith has not aged. Perhaps he is an alien?