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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Will Smith
Tommy Lee Jones
David Koepp
Jemaine Clement
Josh Brolin.
Directors
Barry Sonnenfeld.
Screenwriters
Etan Coen
Jeff Nathanson
Michael Soccio.
Running Time
105 minutes

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Men In Black 3
Protecting the Earth from the scum of the ’60s


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Plot
When Boris The Animal (Clement) escapes from a supermax prison on the moon, he swears vengeance on Agent K (Jones), the man in black who put him away. Travelling back in time, he erases K from history, forcing his partner, J (Smith), to head into the past in hot pursuit. There, he teams up with a younger K (Brolin)...


Review
Men In Black 3
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In a summer dominated by men in capes, spare a thought for the men in black. Despite the presence of Will Smith, the de facto biggest movie star in the world (albeit headlining a movie for the first time since 2008), the third Men In Black film has struggled for attention. Perhaps it’s because it’s been ten years since we last saw Smith’s Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K strut their stuff, or perhaps it’s because Men In Black II was — a couple of genius gags aside — utter rubbish, but it’s been hard to muster much enthusiasm. The only MIB-related trailer that generated excitement was the multi-storey monster Smith parked on the New York set.

The film’s troubled shoot hasn’t helped. A decade in development, MIB3 still started shooting without a finished script, and had to shut down midway through production so that returning director Barry Sonnenfeld, Smith — who came up with the time-travel idea — and a cadre of high-powered writers could resolve a plot that was threatening to tie itself in knots.

Their time might have been better spent punching up the frankly dreadful opening, in which Jemaine Clement’s Boris The Animal — a snarling, Brit-accented almost-literal Hell’s Angel who kills his victims by firing bits of sharpened bone — escapes from his lunar prison with the help of, of all people, Lewis Hamilton’s girlfriend. There are a few stabs here at the mordant humour that defined the first two films, but clearly Sonnenfeld felt that a credible threat to J, K and the rest of the alphabet gang was required — and the truly menacing Boris ticks that box. However, the casting of Flight Of The Conchords’ Clement — virtually unrecognisable under Rick Baker’s goop — is a curious one, given that Boris isn’t required to be funny. One Clement ad-lib, during an exchange with two tourists, aside, you quickly yearn for the shuffling weirdness of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Edgar-bug from the original.

As the first 15 minutes wears on, D’Onofrio is not the only thing you’ll miss. Following his much-publicised off-screen travails, Rip Torn’s Zed is dead, baby, given an early eulogy which allows Emma Thompson, replacing him as Agent O, a cracking comedic moment, but what’s mostly gone AWOL is the chemistry between Smith and Jones. At first glance, when the film’s plot was made public, it seemed an act of madness to scrunch up the golden ticket and separate the Men In Black, but it’s actually a boon for the film. Jones, whose screen time amounts to around 15 minutes, looks tired, and while the film plays nicely on that, there’s no excuse for Smith looking sleepy too, or their banter feeling so forced and drained of life.

K’s disappearance without a trace — only J remembers he ever existed, which is the first don’t-go-there plot development — forces Smith back in time in pursuit of Boris, and there the film kicks into gear. Not just because we get to meet Josh Brolin, giving the film’s best turn with a spot-on impression of Jones, but because Will Smith gets to be Will Smith again. Gone is the mopester of the first act, back is the smooth-talking wisecracker with a nice line in incredulous reaction shots when confronted with oversized ’60s MIB technology (a neuralizer the size of a small bus). A scene between him and a pair of knuckleheaded cops is the best thing in the film.

But it’s still something of a too-many-cooks muddle. Sonnenfeld’s insistence on keeping his movies short and sweet (he misses his usual self-imposed 90-minute mark here by a few minutes) is admirable, but means that certain characters are given short shrift (spare a thought for Alice Eve as the young Emma Thompson, who winds up as nothing more than an impressive hairdo that occasionally speaks). And an ill-conceived third act shift from the epic cosmic jokes of the first two movies, which repeatedly rammed home the point that not only are we not alone in the universe, but we’re infinitesimally insignificant, to a cack-handed attempt at wringing pathos and genuine emotion from a franchise which was founded on cynicism, just doesn’t work. In fact, there’s a disheartening lack of wit throughout — thankfully there’s just enough zest in certain scenes (a sequence at Andy Warhol’s Factory is excellent) to make the possibility of a MIB4 (perhaps with Brolin coming to the future to team with Smith and Jones) relatively palatable. In about 20 years’ time, obviously.


Verdict
Despite some good moments, Agents J, O and K are missing an E.


Reviewed by William Thomas

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Men In Black 3
Empire Star Rating

Empire, u were way off the mark!!!

Sorry empire but u're wrong I didnt see this movie in the cinema coz of ur dumb rating and now that I've watched it at home, U were well off the mark Wats important about this movie 1. has the best villian 2. has the most heart. 3. Grif is a better character than a talking bull dog 4. touching moment when (spoiler alert) Mr Smith Snr dies 5. better effects especially on Boris the animal's make up and casting Clements was spot on (Boris was funny) 6. James Brolin is ace and soo is Will Smith..... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jeffamania at 22:48, 01 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: GREAT IMPRESSION.........

I would rate it two and a half stars. It started off well and slowly went downhill. Worth a watch, not one to own. ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 19:50, 09 January 2013 | Report This Post


GREAT IMPRESSION.........

JOSH BROLIN PULLS OFF THE TOMMY LEE JONES GIG TO GREAT EFFECT.......MIB3 - DEFINITELY BETTER THAN 2... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 12:07, 14 December 2012 | Report This Post


GREAT IMPRESSION.........

JOSH BROLIN PULLS OFF THE TOMMY LEE JONES GIG TO GREAT EFFECT.......MIB3 - DEFINITELY BETTER THAN 2... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 12:07, 14 December 2012 | Report This Post


Better than I thought

... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rcrofty7 at 18:04, 04 December 2012 | Report This Post


Reviews!

Just got back from seeing this, and I must say, I rather enjoyed it! I went in with low expectations and came out with a smile. (I had a tear in my eye at the end too!) I've been reading other peoples reviews, including Empire's review and they are of a mixed bag. Thing is with reviews, they are just someone's opinion of the film. Some 'classics' get 5 stars and when you watch it you think 'I have to enjoy this, Empire gave it 5 stars' but sometimes 5 star films are boring! I would say MIB3 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by timpeel at 21:11, 05 September 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Men In Black 3

I really do wonder about people sometimes. I had heard that this movie was dire and terrible etc. So I went in not expecting much since I thought both the first and second movies were overrated. Guess what? I really enjoyed it. It was funny, witty and had a heroic centre throughout, and even though Will Smith is the big star, both Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin steal the movie from him, which is good as I am sure he is big enough to let that happen. In fact he pokes fun at himse... More

Posted by Private Hudson at 20:42, 25 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Men In Black 3

L: DJ Rob C: Mark II! ... and I really dug this, yet another hugely enjoyable blockbuster this year.... one heck of a good ending which made me almost shed one or two tears.... really surprising stuff, I'm going for a 4/5 pot on and agree with you on this one. I rather enjoyed this one more than the first and way more than the 2nd MIB. Brolin and Stuhlbarg were brilliant and the ending really surprised me. Was a good fun movie with a touching ending. The film was far better... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Atomhammer at 15:39, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Atomhammer at 15:37, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Atomhammer at 15:36, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Atomhammer at 15:36, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Men In Black 3

] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Atomhammer at 15:35, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Men In Black 3

L: TheMightyBlackout ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Atomhammer at 15:33, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Men In Black 3

Men in Black 3 I liked the original MIB film for its pure originality, imagination, quirky effects and the fact Sonnenfeld directed. This gave the film a nice kooky fun feeling just like he achieved with 'The Addams Family'. The second film didn't really seem up to much, more of a rehash of the first, bit of a sell out. I was worried this third film would just be another rehash but in a nice huge surprise its pretty neat. The plot revolves around time travel which can be problematic f... More

Posted by Phubbs at 06:19, 18 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: TIRED LOOKING, UNINSPIRED FARE....

This is not a bad film but that does not make it a good film. It is more a diverting film. Will smith offers his same old schtick and just about carries the film although it is getting a little old now. The plot is full of cliches and plot holes however this does not necessarily make it a bad thing as in no way is it trying to present itself as being a serious or decent film. Tommy Lee Jones is almost pointless having virtually nothing to do, being in it for only a very short time and diali... More

Posted by sanchia at 11:55, 16 June 2012 | Report This Post


TIRED LOOKING, UNINSPIRED FARE....

Tommy Lee Jones' pay cheque must have been pretty substantial to lure him back to this. The last dregs of a franchise that was rapidly going down the pan anyway. And Will Smith needs to retire as well - or at least get a new act. Josh Brolin is the standout and saves the film from being a complete washout. I wish they had just made the one film and left it at that. Much like the Star Wars films - the MIB series is getting worse the longer it goes on. Please God don't let there be another - unle... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 14:12, 12 June 2012 | Report This Post


TIRED LOOKING, UNINSPIRED FARE....

Tommy Lee Jones' pay cheque must have been pretty substantial to lure him back to this. The last dregs of a franchise that was rapidly going down the pan anyway. And Will Smith needs to retire as well - or at least get a new act. Josh Brolin is the standout and saves the film from being a complete washout. I wish they had just made the one film and left it at that. Much like the Star Wars films - the MIB series is getting worse the longer it goes on. Please God don't let there be another - unle... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 14:11, 12 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: there was a high point

Saw it this evening and its decent enough throwaway fun like the first two films.Josh Brolin was the real standout here with his ace TLJ impersonation.Some good fx and action but rather lacking in the comedy front.Could have done with a better script. I'l be generous and give it 3/5. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cool Breeze at 19:33, 10 June 2012 | Report This Post


there was a high point

At least Lewis Hamilton's ghastly girlfriend got spaced. I almost cheered. ... More

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Posted by bretty at 15:40, 10 June 2012 | Report This Post


A must see....

You know me, and know how little i liked Will Smith's few last films, if you read my reviews; i was annoyed by Happiness, didn't like much of anything else he did since, especially the serious stuff. On the other hand i quite like Tommy Lee Jones, though i wouldn't classify him as a "first grade actor"; also, i found MIB 2 quite lacking compared to the first, which wasn't perfect, but it was OK as a funny, spoofy movie and a good watch for Saturday night.. but MIB3 is excellent. No, i'm no... More

Posted by s4dm4n at 09:34, 09 June 2012 | Report This Post


love is strange

Men in black 3 happens to be an unexpected masterpiece that it seems to go underrated almost everywhere, most probably because critics everywhere couldn't get what it was all about.Combining elements from the <jetee>(if not the 12 monkeys) and a genious idea of going back in time that is not just an anecdote but goes down deep to the things we've loved the most, it proves that there are still real creative directors and screenwriters in the entertainment bussiness, meaning that they feel a... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by temrok at 00:04, 09 June 2012 | Report This Post


Spot on..

I must agree with Thomas' review. MIB 3 seemed to be hyped up too much and made me quite excited for its release. However upon watching it I felt it's a HUGE let down, especially for fans of the original MIB. While watching the trailers I kept thinking that "hopefully they haven't gave away too much and they have more in store". When in reality, most the punch lines were given away in the trailers leaving me quite disappointed with the final piece. However the ending did feel like it t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by diishy at 21:10, 07 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Men In Black 3

4 / 5 for me. Normally Im a bitter cynic but have to admit that I enjoyed this outing. Feel im in the minority but I really liked this sequel to MIB. I thought it was far more entertaining then the 2nd MIB and on par with the first. I thought it was good fun, plot holes a plenty but it entertained me nontheless with an ending that really worked well. The perfromance from Josh Brolin as the younger K was ace and worth special mention. Hopefully there are others that... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Atomhammer at 11:31, 07 June 2012 | Report This Post


MIB. Mediocre, Infact Boring!

I went into a screening of this with very low expectations having seen some dire reviews. Although not a complete disaster, the whole film does feel as stuffy and corporate as the suits the Men In Black themselves wear. A few medicore set pieces (time jumping, the fight on the crane) and interesting looking aliens save this from utter oblivion but this is undoubtedly one of the poorer blockbuster films out this Summer. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by filmsunlimited at 10:37, 07 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE:

Men in Black III (2012) was good and I loved the movie very much ... More

Posted by a2zmoviez at 08:01, 07 June 2012 | Report This Post


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