May. 30, 2012 - Issue #867: Nextfest 2012
Men in Black 3
If all that sounds rather out-there, well, that's the franchise (based on the 1990 comic-book series). But MiB3 mainly rollicks along, keeping a nice balance between grotesque-alien playfulness and badass secret-agent seriousness. There's a certain bouncy, light tone to the material that's a nice change from a lot of grimly serious comic-book adaptations these days. J's wisecracking schtick can get a bit annoying, the 3D's unremarkable and the story can be too talky at times, but two character actors step in to save much of the way to the inventive ending. Clement's a deep-throated, snarling delight as the murderous Boglodite and Michael Stuhlbarg wrenches his nebbishy, fretful persona in a lightly comic direction as Griffin, an alien who can see thousands of possible futures at once.
The agency's British chief, the car chases, and a space-launch are all James Bond-boilerplate, though there's an inventive shootout with unappetizing critters at a Chinese restaurant early on. The story doesn't have as much fun with the near-alien weirdnesses of 1969 as it could have (other than a clever sequence at The Factory with Andy Warhol, who isn't what he seems). The ending, though, comes with a nice twist on time-travel and a sharp, stinging revelation that explains a lot—why K's so taciturn and untalkative, how J's happiness came from blissful ignorance—even as it tightens the bond between the black-suited partners in fighting-ET-crime.
Directed by Brad Parker
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