gtgof-logo

Loading...

Skip Navigation

Video Reviews

Plugged In Rating
MPAA Rating
Credits
Genre
Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Comedy
Cast
Will Smith as Agent J; Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K; Josh Brolin as Young Agent K; Emma Thompson as Agent O; Alice Eve as Young Agent O; Michael Stuhlbarg as Griffin
Director
Barry Sonnenfeld (RV, Men in Black II, Big Trouble, Wild Wild West, Men in Black)
Distributor
Columbia Pictures
In Theaters
May 25, 2012
On Video
November 30, 2012
Reviewer
Bob Hoose
Men in Black 3

Men in Black 3

Attention, mutant aliens! If you're green, blue, striped, syrupy, gelatinous, mucus-covered, bulbous and/or oozing in any way, DO NOT attempt to vacation on/camp out at/invade Earth without first devising a suitable humanoid disguise.

If you do, you're gonna get pinched by the Men in Black. It's as simple as that. Don't believe us? Ask Boris the Animal.

Alien Level 2 File Note: Boris has a snaggletoothed horror of a face, a room-vibrating growl, the temper of a raging ox and can instantly sprout mouth-like body cavities where a symbiotic space spider dwells and spits out organic death barbs. But that does not make him a bad person, er, monster, er, space beastie.

Well, OK, maybe it does. But according to our records it's not yet an intergalactic crime to want to propagate your Boglodite species and/or take over Earth. Not that that legal technicality stopped a certain human, known as Agent K, from arresting him, "accidentally" blasting his arm off and leaving him to cool his razor-clawed heels in an orbiting Lunar-Max prison.

Alien Level 6 Top Secret File Note: After 40 years of imprisonment, Boris the Animal devised a plan to escape. With the help of a foolish human woman, he killed everyone in the super-security facility, blew the place apart and made his way back to Earth. Our internal records further indicate that he's now trying to jump back in time to 1969, where he intends to kill Agent K when he is younger and more naive, destroy the Earth-protecting ArcNet, and take over from there.

Alien Level 1 Record Keeper's Addendum: Boris should have dreamed this up decades ago. It'll be so easy. Who could possibly stop him?

Positive Elements

The answer to that last misguided and misinformed alien question would be K's longtime partner, Agent J. When K suddenly fades out of existence in their modern era, J uses his own time machine to jump back to 1969, where he teams with the younger K in hopes of finding and defeating Boris. What those aliens don't count on and don't even understand is a human being's capacity for loyalty and self-sacrifice. And J risks everything to make sure K's younger version survives. He also works diligently to help K avoid an emotionally scarring event.

It's obvious that the two agents highly value their friendship and partnership, and it's clear they've become something of a family over the years. For K's part, he also makes some self-sacrificial choices on J's behalf that open the younger man's eyes to the deepness of their bond. Back in the future, J expresses his thanks, and K responds with, "It's been my pleasure."

The film's other big theme is telling the truth. Never mind that one of the franchise's biggest shticks is wrapped up in its truth-obliterating nueralyzer guns, scriptwriters here seem to go out of their way to make the point that, as one character states, "The bitterest truth is always better than the sweetest lies." Scripture tells us that the truth will set us free; MIB3 tells us that you can't save the world with a lie.

One more nugget: We hear K say, "The most destructive force in the universe [is] regret."

Spiritual Content

During a deceased agent's eulogy, aliens sing a snippet of "Amazing Grace."

Sexual Content

Boris' stiletto-heeled human "girlfriend" comes to visit him in prison wearing a formfitting, low-cut dress. She carries a Jell-O-like cake close to her chest, and the camera makes sure to compare the confection's jiggles to the girl's. When she comes face-to-face with Boris, he sticks out his massive tongue and runs it around inside her mouth till the guards (who have already joked about how "dirty" the girl is) remind him it's not a conjugal visit.

Runway strutting male and female models are covered by what looks like curled strips of sheet metal, revealing bare backs, thighs and stomachs. One of the male models cross-dresses. Elsewhere, women wear short skirts and midriff-baring outfits.

It's stated that Mick Jagger is actually an alien sent to breed with Earth women. J slyly turns the phrase "low-hanging fruit" into a double entendre. We hear quick quips about Viagra, "balls" and conception.

Violent Content

With his symbiotic, spike-spitting spider creature, a mouthful of ragged fangs, and human-flinging, hyper-alien strength, Boris the Animal is fearsome indeed. We see him manhandle quite a few people, driving spikes into their bodies and heads. He also blows out the wall of a space station to let the decompression suck people out into space (including his girlfriend helper).

J and K get in on quite a bit of messy violence too. For instance, K interrogates one alien by repeatedly pounding him in the face with a smaller spiky alien. He flattens another creature's head with repeated blows from a frying pan. The two agents obliterate aliens into pulsating pools of goo with their MIB pistols. During an interrogation, J bowls with an alien's head, slamming down pins and thumping it to-and-fro. He barely escapes being swallowed by a giant alien fish by grabbing and ripping out several of its internal organs.

Instead of arresting a surrendering criminal alien, K decides to take the law into his own hands and kill the villain.

The agents also fall off the roof of a building, thumping down to the street below. An alien is vaporized by the exhaust flames of a rocket ship. Another loses his arm in the blast of a ray gun. A human falls from a high place, splatting to the ground. And the time jumps involve just that: jumps. Several times we see J leaping off the top of a skyscraper. A young K zaps J with an electrical charge and punches him in the face (twice).

Crude or Profane Language

Five or six s-words; 10 or 12 uses each of "h‑‑‑," "d‑‑n" and "a‑‑." There's a single use of "b‑‑tard." Someone uses the Yiddish pejorative "schmuck." God's and Jesus' names are misused once or twice each; God's is combined with "d‑‑n."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Mixed drinks and champagne show up at a party. In order to time jump, J is told he needs to "get high." (When he balks at the idea, it's explained that he actually has to climb to the top of the Chrysler Building.)

Other Negative Elements

After he jumps back to 1969, a bit of a joke is made of J getting pulled over for "driving while black."

Conclusion

Let's face it, just seeing a Men in Black sequel up on the big screen in 2012 feels like something of a time warp experience. It's been 10 years since MIB II and a full 15 since MIB. So, in a weird way, making this franchise capper a time travel pic makes complete sense.

Josh Brolin is spot-on in his impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K. Some of the '60s character spoofs are fun and laugh-worthy. The direction is crisp (this being one of the few movie series out there that's been solely supervised by the same person, Barry Sonnenfeld in this case). And there's a very satisfying moment at the end of the film that harkens back, with a nice emotional wraparound, to the original movie—making the three MIBs almost seem like an intended trilogy. Add to that valuable messages about the strength of friendship and the way friends can sometimes even become family. K is shown to care more about J than we ever knew before. J is shown to be quite grateful for all the hidden things K has done for him over the years. Then top it all off with a surprisingly strong anti-neuralyzer truth serum.

On the other fang-enhanced alien hand, this newest movie can't seem to plot a decent space course around the same old problems that have always plagued MIB.

Alien Level 9 Movie Reviewer's Postscript: Sucking the kid-friendliness right out of the room are vigilante-approved firefights, a heavy-hitting prison break, organic spikes to the forehead, profanity-peppered dialogue and gushing alien goo.

More