Missing cosmic energy

00:00, May 31 2012

Men in Black III (2-D)
Reviewed by Katy Breheny.

The quirky aliens are there, Will Smith's devil-may-care humour is there and the fight to save the planet is there. What Men in Black III lacks is some of the cosmic energy of the earlier movies.

After more than a decade in partnership with agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), agent J (Will Smith) knows him as well as he now knows the alien mysteries of the universe.

When legendary chief of Men in Black agent Zed dies after 40 years and is replaced by agent O (Emma Thompson), J begins to realise there are still secrets denied to him. Following his nose, he uncovers K's past heroism where he imprisoned inter-galactic criminal Boris The Animal (Jemaine Clement) and installed the protective net around the Earth.

Everything is under threat with the escape of Boris from LunarMax prison on Earth's moon. With the aid of illegal time-travel technology he seeks to take himself and K back to 1969 and rewrite history. His new version will see Earth in peril again.

J teams up with his stodgy old partner's younger self (Josh Brolin) and discovers that the answers he seeks will change everything and not just the fate of humanity.


One of the really fun things about the Men in Black movies are the aliens and this movie is no exception with the imaginative creatures disguised in human form.

Will Smith is his usual lively self against a somewhat dampened Tommy Lee Jones. Josh Brolin is magnetic in his impression of K's younger self, more Tommy Lee Jones than the man himself.

While this is a solidly enjoyable movie, it seemed a bit wooden at times, especially in the opening scenes with Emma Thompson.

Anything to do with a time travel plot is often on the predictable side and Men in Black III did suffer a bit from this.

Overall, there was some heaviness about this movie that was not so apparent in the first and second instalments. Possibly because the underlying theme is a touch more serious; there's even the opportunity to shed a couple of tears.

Flight of the Conchords actor Jemaine Clement as Boris gave the super-villain a touch of humour.

While this movie gives you what you expect, the universe may need to be more extensively searched to come up with new material for further MIB movies.

Manawatu Standard