Written by Emily C.Reubush, Digital Department, DFI
Film: Men in Black III
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Stars: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin
“A miracle is something that seems impossible, but happens anyway.”
One of the pearls of wisdom that comes from Griffin, and extraterrestrial “unicorn” that joins the familiar (but unfamiliar) characters of J and K in Men in Black 3.
For the first 20 minutes of the film, a miracle was needed to save this film from being a complete embarrassment to the franchise. The dialogue between the partners was a caricature of that which entertained us so well in the first two films, as if they really had been doing the same shtick for 14 years—like an old married couple with none of the charm. Something had to change drastically, and fast.
Luckily, Boris the Animal is looking to do just that. Escaping from a very specialized prison, he time jumps back to 1969 to gain the upper hand on the junior agent that imprisoned him—Agent K. As soon as he does, the grumpier than usual K vanishes, the world changes ever so slightly, and J is given his purpose for the next few hours of screentime.
This is at least the second movie where Tommy Lee Jones is portrayed in his youth. In Space Cowboys his voice was laid over a young man that looked almost completely nothing like him, MIB3 enrolls Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, W.) to take his place. And the result… is… creepy. From the look to the bearing, Brolin absolutely convinces as a younger K. The voice and accent are so spot-on it sometimes does seem as if Tommy Lee is providing it.
He is joined by a cast of impressive characters, supported by even more impressive actors. Griffin is a 5-dimensional being, meaning he can see every possibility for the future, all the time and is suitably awed. He is portrayed by Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, Hugo) as a meek but engaging character who might remind some of a teddy bear version of Robin Williams. Out to kill Griffin, K, and whomever else strikes his fancy is Boris, so convincing in his role as an otherworldly murderous biker that it seems near impossible that the actor behind him is comedian Jemaine Clement— best known for being half of Flight of the Concords.
Missing, sadly, are a few familiar faces. Zed (Rip Torn) is no longer head of MIB, and Frank the pug makes only a few cameos in pieces of art. The Worms do get a few words in, as well as a bagpipe solo. All in all, the third installment of the franchise is different from the first two, but it ends up working out best that way. As we see in the first scenes, the status quo just no longer works. A new format saves the third movie from going the way most seem to, as bitter disappointments. And a twist at the end, though perhaps not completely sensical, is still sweet.
A worthy weekend watch.