A huge trailer to match a huge ego. Last minute script changes to accomodate the same ego. Filming beginning before the script had been completed. All this was not sounding good for the third film based on the Men In Black comic book series. Then the film’s trailer was released. Interesting idea, popping back in time to the 1960s to save Kay in the past (although this did remind me a lot of the second Austin Powers film). The second trailer also made the film look fun. It displayed all the fun and quirky elements which made the first film so good, and had many great creature designs from the talented Rick Baker on display. So I was unsure of what to expect, whether it’s the fun of 1997, or the turd of 2002.
The film opens with the prison break from the lunar colony by Nicole Sherz… Scherz… shlershh.. (Lewis Hamilton’s Pussycat Doll). A collective Eww from the audience when they see Boris the Animal’s hand open up to incorporate the spider-like part of him. Many guards receive darts to the head, and Boris is a creepy bad guy. Nicole Pussycat Doll also looks very nice in the get up she has on for her cameo.
Shortly after, Jay and Kay are doing their usual policing of aliens who are hiding out as odd-looking humans, who in this case happen to be aiding Boris, and they all explode in multi-coloured goo when shot by an MIB weapon. A quick neuraliser later (courtesy of a clip seen many times in the trailer) and Agent Kay is suddenly erased from history, with only Smith’s Agent Jay aware that this has happened. Then Jay goes back in time to save his partner.
The film recreates the 60s very well. There are some very funny moments with Andy Warhol, and a neuraliser from the 60s which fills an entire room. The special effects are good too. The scene with an alien with a removable head (which the MIB use for ten-pin bowling until the alien in question talks) is funny. There is also the usual monitoring board, with all the aliens they are keeping an eye on. Amongst these aliens are David Beckham, Tim Burton, and Lady Gaga.
The film also recreates the Apollo 11 mission very well. The climactic scenes on top of the rocket before its take off look good (not perfect, but good), and the moment at the end where some of Agent Jay’s history is revealed is touching and fits well into the film trilogy’s back story.
The best thing about this film for me, however, was Josh Brolin. His performance as a young Tommy Lee Jones was brilliant. He got the voice, the facial experiment, even the body language and movement down to a tee. He was a joy to watch. I hope that if they decide to do a fourth (probably in 20 years time if the gap between the first and second films was 5 years, and the gap between the second and third film was 10 years, etc) that they find some plausible reason to feature Brolin’s agent Kay.
It was just a shame that Tommy Lee Jones wasn’t in it more too. He helped make the first film great with his dead-pan take on the craziness around him.
So where does this film fit with the two that have come before it? Right smack in the middle. It is not as good as the first, but it’s an improvement on the second.