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SALT LAKE CITY — I've loved the Men in Black movies -- the creatures, the weaponry, discovering which notable humans are really aliens. This is good stuff. Now comes "Men in Black 3." Never fear, we still get all of the above plus time travel and a serious look at the relationship between Agents K and J.
A particularly nasty alien, who just about destroyed the Earth back in the ‘60s, opens the movie with his spectacular escape from a prison on the moon.
Jemaine Clement stars as Boris the Animal, who harbors a particular hatred for the person who captured him and relieved him of his left arm, Agent K (again played by Tommy Lee Jones).
When word of the escape reaches the Men in Black, the agency is in a time of transition as Emma Thompson, as Agent O, is stepping into leadership of the top secret organization. This sets the stage for an exploration of the personal relationship between agents K, O, and J that have roots back in the day when good old Boris was rampaging.
Will Smith again stars as Agent J, who is forever frustrated by the stoic, matter-of-fact, lack of emotion in his partner.
Throughout the movie, J repeatedly laments, "What happened to you K?" Well, we sort of find out when, in order to save the Earth again from the newly escaped Boris, it's necessary for J to go back in time, where he finds the younger K and O (respectively played by James Brolin and Alice Eve). Ah, it's a journey of discovery and enlightenment, to say the least, for young J.
Brolin is simply amazing as a younger K; he seems to be channeling Tommy Lee Jones. Will Smith, as usual, delivers a great character but this time, more depth is required as the film gets a little grittier and more poignant.
For those who love these films for the fun, "Men in Black 3" still satisfies, but more plot and relationship development does alter the tone.
For those who love these films for the fun, "Men in Black 3" still satisfies, but the infusion of more plot and relationship development does alter the tone.
Secondary characters have been a key in this series and this time the highlight is Griffin. Michael Stuhlbarg plays a delightful alien with the gift of seeing the future with, let's see, how to describe it? How about, "the future with variables?" It's a great storyline. Oh, and did I mention we get to witness alien head bowling? See, I told you, MiB 3 still delivers.
There are a few troubling loose ends, but I'm giving "Men in Black 3" three stars and it's rated PG-13.