We took advantage of the long weekend by heading to the drive-in Sunday night to see Men in Black 3. We were afraid it would be too hot, but then a storm came right over us 15 min before the movie started. Ghost Rider 2 was playing after MIB3, but we passed on that in favor of sleep.
MIB3 is not a must-see, but it is a pretty fun summer movie. I really did want to go see it, because I grew up with MIB. I recall seeing the first movie multiple times, which means we must have had it on VHS, and I watched the cartoon show on KidsWB all the time. I didn’t have high expectations, so I wasn’t disappointed; honestly, I liked it better than that second one, with Lara Flynn Boyle parading around in lingerie. Bizarre.
Anyway, the movie begins with a prison breakout by Boris the Animal (or, as he insists, just Boris). He wants to get revenge on Agent K for putting him in prison (and shooting off his arm in the process), so he tracks down the son of an old prison buddy who developed a time travel device. His plan: go back in time and kill K before he has a chance to arrest him and take his arm. When K disappears from the present, Agent J must also go back in time to correct the timeline.
The logic behind the time travel is a little sketchy. Why is J the only one who remembers K and the original timeline? Really, no one (except Boris) should remember it. Not even the guy with the time travel device (guess that’s why he keeps a log book–sadly, the entries in that should have changed also). In fact, J probably shouldn’t even be an MIB agent, since K is the one who recruited him.
Also, as my husband pointed out, the time travel device appears to be capable to TWO different kinds of time travel; not sure if this was intentional, or merely glossed over so that J could look cool dodging bullets. In the first method that’s introduced, which is used by both Boris and J separately, the device works like the DeLorean. Boris goes back in time, and now in 1969 there are two Borises, one with an arm and one without. Then, towards the end of the movie, they introduce a different method, where the device works like the dagger from Prince of Persia. Time unwinds only a minute so that J (still only one of him) can basically replay that time again and not get hit by bullets this time around.
Technical issues aside, this movie was sorely missing the quirky humor that characterized the other two. The Worms barely appeared, and Jeebs was missing. The only mention of Frank is a Coney Island billboard advertising “The Incredible Talking Pug.” J’s neuralyzer explanations were fairly boring. There were really no romantic interests in the movie, either (and don’t say Agent O, because I was upset at how dowdy they made Emma Thompson look). When your best one-liners involve Viagra and Lady Gaga being an alien, you know you’re in trouble.
A few bright spots that really held up the movie for me: Boris the Animal…I mean, just Boris. Although not as good as Vincent D’Onofrio’s Edgar, still a way better villain than Boyle’s Serleena. Also, Josh Brolin as the young Agent K. It had seemed silly to me to make a movie where one of your main actors isn’t even on the screen most of the time, but honestly I never even questioned that young and old K were the same person. Lastly, Griffin the Arcadian, who can see all possible futures. His wide-eyed giddiness in extrapolating what timeline they were in based on whether K left a tip was just what the movie needed.