As we are wont to do, we have high aspirations about putting together well-informed, in-depth, enormously clever movie reviews. But because we are tremendously lazy, the product either never comes to fruition or it’s thrown out as a half-assed effort. Since you are reading this, you know that the latter has happened this time.
So, here goes.
What’s the film about? Since it’s a sequel, let’s just say it’s the same thing as the last two. Secret agency run by people in suits. Good aliens. Bad aliens. Goofy guns with immense power of destruction. A cool retro vibe. Tommy Lee Jones as a curmudgeon with a soft heart buried waaaaaay beneath an exterior of gristle. Will Smith as the funny and capable agent that always seems to find himself in conundrums that imply the world will end imminently.
What’s interesting about it? Wow, has it really been 10 years since the last outing? Will Smith still looks really good, but his fresh, boyish face is finally starting to appear older. Tommy Lee Jones on the other hand has always looked old and wrinkled but now he looks like Brad Pitt at the beginning in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. His face looks like he had plastic surgery to make him look worse. Well, we’re sure he doesn’t give a damn. Josh Brolin as a young Agent K is fantastic. We really like Josh, we’ve discovered. A rather likable and talented dude.
What’s good about it? The jokes and the aliens. It’s a seriously funny film. The bad guy is MIB-nasty (hey, that’s Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords!). Also, kudos again to the costuming and special effects teams for creating really good aliens that pose as humans. And Emma Thompson looks marvelous in her 50s (although in a “what the hell?” moment, you have to wonder why Alice “Perfect Teeth” Eve was cast as a young Emma “British teeth” Thompson; What? Now the Brits are flaunting their dental horrors by reversing good oral configurations?!). If you liked the first one, this is a good sequel (unlike #2 which was a mess).
What’s bad about it? Well, given that it is what it is — a lighthearted film that doesn’t take itself seriously — then nothing really except our disappointment in the time travel thing. We love time travel movies, especially when the jump lands someone in the early to mid twentieth century. Just close enough to make the out-of-place situation really interesting. But time travel movies can die on the vine if they’re poorly done (think Timecop or Star Trek Generations (let the arguing begin) or Black Knight or Freejack). This one was OK but we would have liked to see more out-of-place scenarios.
So as Agent J says: “Damn!” (That would be a Comics A-Go-Go! endorsement).