THE SETUP: It’s been 12 years since last we met Men in Black agents J and K. Suprisingly, not much has changed as J (Will Smith) is still a wiseass and K (Tommy Lee Jones) is still a curmudgeon (he must be because that word doesn’t get used much) but that all goes for a loop with an enemy from the past returns to rewrite the timeline to eliminate K. Rewind to the 60s where J and a much younger K (Josh Brolin) battle to put thing right.
THE THOUGHTS: Did we need another Men in Black movie? Was the world clamoring for another round of J and K? I’m going with no but that doesn’t mean the movie isn’t entertaining. It’s not great but it is entertaining. The special effects are good, just not as ground-breaking as they were back in the day, and it’s still fun to catch up with familiar characters. There are some fun moments here but the best has to be Brolin’s impression of Tommy Lee Jones. Creepily spot-on. The story of going back in time is pretty much just a vehicle to show off the retro look for the Men in Black agency and the aliens it works with. It went so far as to make me smile, when I’m sure the movie was aiming for actual laughter. And that pretty much sums up the movie: a familiar return to a franchise no one really cared about anymore just to help fill up the summer blockbuster dance card. Think of it as “filler”, but one that you won’t hate yourself for spending money on.
2 stars – it’s a renter. Bottom line. Unless you are clamouring for the further adventures of J and K, you can probably hold off. The story, special effects and action aren’t worth the big bucks but they are worth a night at home.
Aliens (1986) – Cute and cuddly aliens looking to co-exist with humans, with just a few causing comedic trouble? Nope, this is the other alien franchise. Ridley Scott recently reminded us (with Prometheus) that he made pretty bad ass and scary movies with his follow up to the original Alien. Still a great story of woman (Sigourney Weaver) vs. a species that wan’t to lay eggs in your stomach while shooting bodily, acidy fluids in your personal space.
Men in Black (1997) It was different. It was original. It was fun. And it’s only been diluted by sequels ever since. Do yourself a favour and get back to the first day when K met J and we learned aliens were very much with us. And don’t worry, it still holds up pretty well.