This movie is in some ways a “we’re sorry for MIB2”. This new MIB movie is everything we loved about the first movie in terms of tone and humor. Gone are the hundreds of product placements shots and lame animal jokes. We’re back to the focus of the partnership between Agents K and J. Plus, you can throw in some interesting time travel and alt-timeline elements that I found very fun to watch and unfold. The movie certainly pulled back from the silliness of the second movie and that’s a good thing. The movie is very fun this time around with some serious elements thrown in at the end.
This time around they added the wrinkle of time travel to the world of MIB. Despite some missteps with time travel plot holes; they do a really good job with the time elements.
Some bad things happen to Agent K and he is wiped from the timeline. J is the only one to discover this and has to change it or literally the entire world will be wiped out. J has to convince young K he is from the future.
The movie is a direct sequel to the first movie and almost completely ignores the second movie altogether. Watching MIB3 will help you admire the first movie even more, especially K’s involvement with J’s recruitment. It all comes back around to their first meeting in the first movie with this story and this movie gives that meeting a whole different spin after watching this new movie.
Boris the Animal is the main villain this time around. (Actually, there are two Boris-es.) Jemaine (Conchords) Clement plays Boris fairly well and is clearly a throwback to Vincent D'Onofrio’s Edgar character. Boris is just as disgusting as Edgar because he has mini-bug parts of himself that detach and kill people. I just wish there was more of him in the story. I think there are a lot of scenes on the cutting room floor. And, that’s only a minor gripe.
The main focus of the movie is squarely on the relationship between J and K. I love the notion that friendships can last and begin through different time periods. The young K, played masterfully by Josh Brolin, really does bond with J even on a different level than the one from the present. It is the interaction between Brolin and Smith that make this movie shine.
Much of the praise has to go to the director Barry Sonnenfeld. Where as he screwed up the second movie, Barry shows restraint without making the movie feel boring this time around. Because it isn’t as goofy and flashy, I think the movie won’t be a box office hit like the first two movies. Plus, the budget for this movie went out of control with some saying it is as high as 300 million dollars.
There are some funny Sonnenfeld moments throughout. Yet, there are some nice emotional scenes sprinkled in here and there that makes this more than a silly summer action movie.
On the negative side, Danny Elfman’s score is rather boring and bland. I truly hated the lazy rock version of the MIB theme at the beginning and it takes me out of the movie. Elfman is really phoning it in for this one. He knows how to make some good scores like the Spiderman series, but he recently doesn’t seem to care as much. And, don’t get me started with the Pitbull song, which is down right shitty.
-They really went out of their way not to have many of the silly side characters from the second movie.
-The talking wall art character from the trailer is not in the movie. Can we say deleted scene?
End of Part 1…