Now Playing: ‘Men in Black’ to the Future

Before seeing ‘Men in Black 3’, I had many concerns. First, Sony originally wasn’t going to screen the movie for press until the Thursday night before it opened. That’s never a good sign. Second, the series doesn’t have the best track record, and the initial trailers sure didn’t make it look like anything special. Fortunately, Sony moved the press screening to Tuesday, which isn’t bad, and the advertisements got better with time. Having now seen ‘MIB3’, I can tell you that my concerns were for naught and that it makes right all of the franchise’s wrongs.

I was a teenager when the original ‘Men in Black‘ opened. Therefore, I loved it. Having watched it again recently, it’s not the great movie that I once saw it as, but it’s still pretty fun and creative. ‘Men in Black II‘, on the other hand, was a cop-out. Everyone involved mailed it in. The story was awful, the script was bland and comedy was nowhere to be found. ‘Men in Black 3’ goes back to the creative, fun storytelling style of the first, adds a lot of comedy, and gives it the most complex and playful story of the bunch. Honestly, I’d go as far as to say that ‘MIB3’ is my favorite of the franchise.

Once again, Agent J (Will Smith) is in trouble due to his partner, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones). A hate-filled alien named Boris (Jemaine Clement from ‘Flight of the Conchords’) has been imprisoned for 40 years because of Agent K. His whole race is now extinct, so Boris is determined to escape prison, travel back in time and kill K before K can thwart his world take-over attempt. As you can tell by the trailers, Boris is successful in doing so and reality is altered. With a memory of how things should be, J must now jump back to 1969, save K and stop two versions of Boris – the one from modern day and the younger ’69 version.

By dealing with alternate realities and time travel, ‘MIB3’ is like the ‘Back to the Future II‘ of the franchise. Along the way, we meet new characters. One of them (played by Michael Stuhlbarg from ‘A Serious Man‘) is the best supporting character of the franchise yet – and he’s not even CG! Cameos abound, all of which I’ll refrain from spoiling. What I will mention is how awesome Josh Brolin is as the young K. Brolin is absolutely perfect. It’s shocking to see how much he resembles Jones, not only in face, but in voice.

If the first ‘Men in Black’ sequel left you as disappointed and let-down as it did me, then you’re going to love what’s done here. The Men in Black are back and they’re funnier and wittier than ever, and definitely just as much fun as they have ever been.
Rating: ★★★★☆


  1. It’s heartwarming to witness Josh Brolin (one of my favourite actors since I saw “The Goonies” for the first time in 1990) and his amazing career renaissance. He was pretty much trapped/locked in B-movies and supporting roles, but then the Coens came along. How grateful he must be. He’s not an A-lister yet (and he might just be a tad too old to become one now), but his curriculum vitae is miles away from the “Into the Blue” crap he had to star in not that very long ago.

  2. Luke, did you screen this one in 2D or 3D? According to, this is a post-converted effort.

    I never much cared for the first Men in Black movie, honestly. Didn’t bother with the second. Trailers for this one haven’t exactly gotten my blood pumping either.

    • Luke Hickman

      I saw it in 3D. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as most – like The Avengers.

      Even if you didn’t care much for the first, I’d give the second a shot if you’ve got time and cash to spare. I’m serious when I say how fun it is – so much so that I’m considering taking the wife and kid to it this weekend. I rarely see a movie more than once in theaters, so that says something.

  3. This is good news Luke…I’ve seen reviews like yours and then others that say MIB 3 is a snooze, so I was unsure who to believe. I loved the first movie, and hated the second one almost as much as I loved the first. The trailers have NOT looked good for this, but I have a $10 movie cash ticket to go, so it’s not costing me anything but my time (and a few more bucks should I chose to go the 3D route).

  4. JM

    Barry Sonnenfeld says MIB 3 is the best 3D film to date.

    He shot on film for a post-convert for three reasons.

    (1) Rick Baker’s alien makeup looks better on film than digital.

    (2) His signature style is very wide angled lenses.

    (3) The 3D goal was to have a lot of content that sits in front of the screen.

  5. The absolute best part of this movie is a character who is said to be a 5th-dimensional being who can see past, present, and future timelines and the infinite possible outcomes of those timelines. It’s a great way to deal with a lot of the time travel paradoxes that arise.

  6. They made a concerted effort to tie the series together with a good STORY of how important K and J are to each other. That’s what made the movie good. The point of the movie wasn’t the gags or special-effects, it was the relationship between K & J and just how much it has weight on K for most of his life.

    An unexpected but awesome little bow to put on the series.