Like it or not, I now know how that reporter Will Smith smacked on the red carpet felt, because this movie, to me, was about as enjoyable as a big slap in the face.

Men in Black probably would have been better off just ending after the first movie and the animated series. It’s a cool concept, but I can only imagine how many audience members just tune out after waiting five years for a sequel (or remake, depending on who you ask) and then ten more years for a part three. Yet somehow, these movies are prime examples of how more time in between doesn’t equate to more effort put in.

It’s not that often that I’ve got an active complaint from every single level of a movie’s production, but Men in Black 3 is of those. So, congratulations, I guess. Where to begin?

There were headlines around this time last year regarding the halting of production on MIB3. Apparently, Will Smith was having issues with the story and wanted re-writes.  I don’t know how much was altered or what Smith contributed, but I’m under the assumption they either took it from passable to bad or from abysmal to mediocre. The story is weak-sauce and really not that fun or engaging, and that’s ultimately what opens up all these other problems for scrutiny.

Likewise, the script is blah. Nine out of ten attempts at humor fizzle with some being absolutely face-palm worthy (Emma Thompson has one of the saddest “humorous” moments I’ve ever seen).The movie thinks it’s funnier than it really is, and it doesn’t take long for that to become aggravating.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: When was the last time someone you know said “Shiznit” in a sentence?

I’m assuming they’re both aiming at their agents.

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith look like they’d rather be asphyxiating on the surface of the moon than spend another minute being involved with this movie. There had to be some kind of clause in Jones’ contract that prevented him from being in the movie more than fifteen minutes, because boy did he bolt early on. Meanwhile, Smith is doing the same song and dance that’s made him millions, albeit older and less jubilant.

The villain is also forgettable. Not highlighted at all in the trailers for good reason, Boris “It’s just this cliched line I’m going to repeat over and over Boris” the Animal mostly just lurches around without any real personality.

The visual effects, for the most part, are absolutely horrendous. Some of the time the aliens look ok, other times you can see the boxing around the edges, so to speak. The real failure is all the green screen backgrounds and the time-jump scene where Smith’s body is redone in rubbery CG.

The editing is choppy in the way that says there was a lot left on the cutting room floor.

Danny Elfman’s score is sometimes too out of place and overbearing. The guitar work in the opening scene is a special kind of awful that started the movie on the majorly wrong foot.

To its credit, the movie isn’t completely bereft of worth. The supporting cast, mainly Josh Brolin and Michael Stuhlbarg, actually appear to be having some fun with their roles. Brolin does a dead on, amusing impression of Jones and Stuhlbarg has this infectious joy to him that you can’t help but play along, albeit for a short time before we’re back to business as usual.

The scene at Andy Warhol’s factory is the only genuinely funny moment, helped mostly by Bill Hader’s cameo.

Needless to say, I was not impressed. Which is sad, because I wasn’t looking to be impressed, just have some fun. But there just isn’t much fun to be had here. There isn’t a story worth telling and everyone knows it and makes no effort to hide it.


One thought on “MEN IN BLACK 3 REVIEW

  1. Good review J.S. Had a lot of fun with this flick, but definitely wasn't as good as the first. Still, a lot better than the second and that's all that matters.


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