Over the past few years countless “summer blockbusters” have left me jaded. Sure their special effects improve over the years but the quality of storytelling seems to be going down with every movie. At the end of it all, we’re left with all bang and no substance. Men in Black 3 tries real hard to avoid those pitfalls but ultimately is burdened down by the usual culprits – a clichéd plot and average acting.
Now before you label me a pompous ass, know that I’m not one of the Citizen Kane loving types. I love me a nice brainless action flick but it definitely has to have some sort of hook to it. Even Will Smith, someone who I’m a huge fan of looked like he was sleepwalking throughout the movie. He essentially plays the same character you’ve seen in most of his movies; a proud black man with enough heart to back his mouth but he really looked highly disinterested in this movie. Most of his one-liners just felt flat drawing nothing but silence from the entire theater. If this was a play, it would have been real awkward for him as an actor.
So are we really a couple now?
Josh Brolin on the other hand seems to really enjoy his part as a younger Agent K and is a perfect embodiment of what K was like before he became a grumpy old Tommy Lee Jones. The reason why you see a young K in the movie is because Will Smith has to travel back in time to save Agent K from being assassinated by a rather cranky alien with one hand. The time travelling element was a nice change of pace from the usual "let’s save the galaxy against this crazy alien race bit" but it wasn’t original nor did it feel fully utilized. There’s this huge twist or revelation if you will at the end which you can see coming a mile away and even the reason why K become such a grumpy old dude didn’t feel as shocking or as necessary as it could have. Will Smith's chemistry with Brolin is not bad but at the same time, it's not very convincing. I remember cracking up at Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of K in the first movie and totally digging the way he and Smith played off each other's character. That's completely absent this time around because Tommy Lee Jones himself is in the movie for all of ten miutes. Jemaine Clement, best known for his role in The Flight of the Conchords is just annoying as the movie's antagonist, Boris The animal spending most of his screen time snarling and roaring at stuff.
The movie is also a bit low on action but the sequences are serviceable. Like most blockbusters today, Men in Black III utilizes 3D and to my surprise, it was quite decent. For a movie that deals with extraterrestrial life force on Earth, there was a definitely a dearth of imaginative aliens in this movie. I wouldn’t have had problems with less action as long as there was witty banter or some funny stuff going on but nearly every gag in this movie just felt short. It was like watching this awkward kid make a fool of himself trying real hard to entertain people but sadly, no one’s laughing.
Sorry Will, no one's laughing
At a price point of nearly Rs. 300 (which is probably the average price of a movie ticket in most metros), I do not recommend wasting your hard earned money to go watch this movie. It has a few decent visual effects and you may smile at a few jokes but other than that, it’s nothing more than a rental. In fact, you’ll be better off watching the first movie all over again.