Movie Review: “Men in Black III: Back in Time” – The Suits are Back … Again!

Written by Britt B May 29, 2012

After a 10-year break, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in “Men in Black III: Back in Time”. The third installment in the “Men in Black” film franchise uses some cheap 3D tricks and continues with Will Smith’s attempts at one-liners that will make you role your eyes. This third attempt for the franchise took full advantage of 3D and once again overdid the special effects that were kept at a minimum in the first film. But sticking true to its “The Aliens are Among Us” plot line, “MIB III” brings a surprising twist at the end that brings the films full circle.

“The Last Suit You’ll Ever Wear” 

When Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from his moon prison that Agent K put him in, he seeks revenge on his capturer and travels back 40 years in time to assassinate him. By killing him, Boris erases K and changes history. After just talking to Agent K the night before, Agent J soon realizes that he is the only one who remembers Agent K existed the previous day. In a course of action to save Agent K from being killed in 1969 and to bring him back, Agent J time jumps back to July 15, 1969 to undo what Boris the Animal had done.

Jemaine Clement as Boris the Animal

Bending the Rules of Erasing History

“MIB III” uses the idea of ‘time jump” but there are key time travel rules when changing the course of history that are ignored by director Barry Sonnenfeld, such as if someone is erased from a part of history, everyone that he (or she) encounters or affects the lives of within that time that was erased is also erased from history. Therefore in “MIB III”, if Agent K was assassinated in 1969 by Boris the Animal then he would not have recruited J to be an MIB agent in the 1997 MIB film but “MIB III” keeps J as an MIB agent eventhough the man who was originally recruited him died 40 years prior. Secondly, the film lacks any decent explanation as to why Agent J is the only person in the world who remembers a history in which Agent K was alive the previous night. The only explanation given is by the pawnshop dealer that Agent J gets the time machine from, who says it was because Agent J “was there”. This makes some sense at the end of the movie as to why he would remember Agent K to some point but not as to why he had memories with Agent K after his death in 1969 when his memory should have also been wiped clean.

Agent J (Will Smith) in 1969 with Young Agent K (Josh Brolin)

 Young Agent K

When Agent J goes back to July 15, 1969, he runs into 29-year old Agent K who is played by Josh Brolin. His portrayal of a Younger Agent K is so amazing that you do not realize that it is Josh Brolin acting the part and not a CGI version of Tommy Lee Jones. His facial expressions (or lack there of) and the way he speaks is an exact portrayal of the Agent K that Tommy Lee Jones created. Josh Brolin’s performance gets lost in the shuffle as one just assumes that the Young Agent K is a product of CGI and not an outstanding performance by Brolin that is almost a carbon copy of Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K.

Josh Brolin as Young Agent K

The Celebrities

Just like “MIB” and “MIB II” there are celebrities that appear such as: Nicole Scherzinger, Lady Gaga, Howard Stern, and Andy Warhol (sort of). For fans of Andy Warhol, you may not be too impressed by how he is portrayed in this film and how the film works to make light of his ‘masterpieces’.

The End of the Suits?

 Even considering that the film ignores some of the most important time travel rules and overdoes the 3D special effects, the film does provide what you would expect to see in a “Men in Black” film such as aliens, slime, and Will Smith being goofy. The film is packed with one-liners to make you laugh but also includes a surprising, unexpected twist at the end that ties all three films together. “Men in Black III: Back in Time” is an overall good, light-hearted film that stays true to its fans and all in all is a good tie up to the whole “Men in Black” franchise.

My Rating: 7/10

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