Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
It’s been an age (well, 10 years, which is an eternity on Hollywood time) since the last “Men in Black” movie. It’s a testament to the popularity of the previous two films that the latest in the franchise doesn’t feel the need to spend a large part of its run time re-establishing its premise and the characters of J and K. But even though it hits the ground running, has age started to slow down this sci-fi series?
After the escape of alien Boris The Animal (Jermaine Clement, who does a mighty fine job chewing the scenery – sometimes literally) from a prison on the moon, alien hunters Agent J and K (Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, who slip back into the characters like a pair of comfortable old slippers) must try and escape his wrath. But after some time travel shenanigans, K is erased from history. Cue J who must travel back to 1969, team up with the younger K (Josh Brolin, who is eerily uncanny as a young Tommy Lee Jones) and put history right.
As mentioned, the film has an incredible energy to it as it manages to be pacy – especially at the start with a well-staged (and, for what is ostensibly a kids film, quite brutal) prison break. Whilst the later scenes rely more on the novelty of the ’60s setting – though it avoids lazy referencing, aside from a nice gag about Andy Warhol – the pace still manages to be impressive. The special effects are, as always, spectaculary, though the 3D seems rather perfunctory. There are some fine moments of humor – in what is basically an extended cameo, Emma Thomson has a nice line in Venusian whilst a little child mistaking Smith for Obama is also well observed.
The film doesn’t bear much scrutiny but as a solid and rollocking adventure it fills in the gap between “Prometheus” and “The Dark Knight Rises” quite nicely.
“Prometheus” - May have suffered from overhype, but still an effective and scary slice of modern sci-fi that acts a prequel to “Alien.”
“Madagascar 3” – Kiddie friendly animated sequel which should keep the youngsters quiet even if it feels slightly wearing for adults.
“Iron Sky” – Nazis live on the dark side of the Moon. It’s silly, cheesy and ridiculous but this low budget Finnish movie is also rather fun
“Snow White and the Huntsman” – A dark take on the Snow White legend. Tries to strive for the profound but it feels uneven never knowing if it wants to be horror or fairy tale.