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    June 1, 2012

    MOVIE REVIEW: MEN IN BLACK III

    MEN IN BLACK III (PG13)

    Genre: Action/Adventure/Science Fiction/Comedy
    Release Date: 24 May 2012
    Running Time: 105 minutes
    Distributor: Sony Pictures
    Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
    Screenplay: Etan Cohen, Lowell Cunningham
    Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jermaine Clement, Alice Eve, Emma Thompson

    Plot:In Men in Black 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back...in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K's life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him -- secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.REVIEWS AFTER THE JUMP

    Review: Two minutes before the movie was about to start, I was still thinking that this movie will no doubt ended a bomb just like how they did it handsomely back in 2002. You have to admit, what we get from 1997’s first movie did not echo well in the second one for certain reasons. After a comfortable 100 minutes of running time, I had a different opinion. I was immensely disappointed because the movie did not bomb as the way I first thought. However, instead of feeling too remorseful down-beating; I am actually pretty excited as this movie did pretty well for itself despite the movie was having troubles during production. If there were things worth mentioning about this movie, I am sure there are a few for which I can mentioned it here. Does it mean “Men in Black 3” marks a return to form for the franchise? Or did it just passed the difficult test merely and solely to live up on its promise of enjoyable movie of the summer? As usual, these answers will come after the jump.

    In “Men in Black 3”, an intergalactic extremist by the name of Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escaped the highly-guarded LunarMax prison on the Earth’s moon. On his escape to the earth, he devised a plan that will allows him to time travel back in time, killing Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) who on the primary timeline shot one of his arm and captured him on July 16, 1969. So it happened, Boris has changed the timeline that effectively erased Agent K from the history book – forever. With Agent K been killed for more than 40 years ago and it seems that no one in this new timeline remembered him, only Agent J (Will Smith) is the one who still have memories about his partner. Due to the change in course of events in this new timeline, the earth was now invaded by the fierce alien race known as the Boglodites, with Boris leading the invasion. Determined that a fracture has occurred in the space-time continuum, J decided to time-jumps back to July 15, 1969 with only a limited 24 hours left to stop Boris’ evil plan and to prevent the death of K back then. Along the journey, J will see through the past that will effectively change the future.

    The movie goes pretty bumpy right even during the production days when it reported that the set was shut down for weeks to allow the script to be rewritten. With the rewritings, the ultimate product suffers from malaise story-telling and uneven screenplay. This is practically true as you can see from the first 30 minutes where the movie struggles to find its own pace and identity. The opening does not have the exact feel from the franchise we know because it seems pretty obvious that the old K seems tired and J is not trying his best to re-invent and unleashes his funny touch on the neuralyzer jokes. With all that installed, it looks like the movie will be heading towards MIB 2’s direction where so much concepts to be thrown wasted. It drags to non-sensual at times with some forgettable and pointless scenes scattered throughout the opening, and notably on its sloppy pace too.

    However, once our hero, Agent J jumps back into the year 1969, everything just become better and better! Roughly 30 minutes into the movie, the story suddenly springs to life; no thanks with the sudden decent return of form for Smith’s character. Yes, the first pure laughable scene only clocks in after the arrival to the unfamiliar era. His jokes hit and his journey back to the late 60s gave a little throwback of the life back then. With a surge in energetic performance for Smith, his counterparts in the 1969 are perfectly matched too. If the old K seems tiring in the beginning, once the young K played his hand on the story, in the form of Josh Brolin, his jobs are to give palpable and youthful vibes into the whole experience. On an extra note, they bond instantly and their chemistry resurrects as if it is the one which Smith-Jones used to have during their prime day in the predecessors. I like Josh Brolin’s impersonation of K which is clearly not a strictly ‘copy-and-paste’, as he throws in several unique distinctions to transform the character into something we cared about.

    Then, to add in more dimensions to the story, comes a character I did not expect to be so serviceable to the movie’s major plot – in the form of Michael Stuhlbarg’s Griffin. Stuhlbarg is the actor who does several well-acclaimed productions like “A Serious Man”, “Hugo” and television’s “Broadwalk Empire”. For this role as a nerdy alien, he virtually cemented himself as the one whose force should be more reckoning in the years to come. His presence ultimately gives the movie a great third act and a satisfying final showdown. It is great to see him goes into a more mainstream journey with this movie that he is seen to be both weird but wonderful at the same time.


    If you are expecting this movie to be funny and silly, yes you do get one although it is not the one that could have dethrones the original one. At least, they learned some of their mistakes in the past by not allowing too much of plot been recycled again. Etan Cohen and others’ treatment on the script is not original nor highly standardized but it effectively gives this movie a reasonable enjoyable and watchable excuse on some random day.

    In the end, “Men in Black 3” starts at the wrong side of the bed due to the inconsistency, sloppy pacing and poor plot direction; but it goes stronger as it advances into the story of the yesteryears by giving a reasonable joke, rectifying plot and an array of strong characters to follow.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 3.0
    Casts: 4.0
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 13.7/20.0

    "Men in Black III" is showing in cinemas nationwide
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