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men in black 3

Men in Black 3

Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2.5
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
11
May 24, 2012

The alien-busters are back, baby. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones still rock that Reservoir Dogs look as two secret agents in the extraterrestrial waste-disposal business. But, jeez, we haven't seen these dudes in 10 years. My memory is that the first Men in Black, in 1997, hit all its marks as creature-feature farce. Five years later, though, the sequel was a giant yawn. The good news is that director Barry Sonnenfeld has reassembled the troops to mostly gangbusters effect. Yeah, Men in Black 3 (in 3D, yet) suffered production delays, a budget that ballooned to $215 million, and 215 million script revisions (I'm kidding, barely). It was Smith himself who had the idea to send his character, Agent J, back in time to 1969 to stop Boris the Monster (The Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement) from assassinating Jones' Agent K. Don't panic, I've seen the movie and I still don't get it. What works, like comic hellfire, is the casting of Josh Brolin as the young Agent K. Brolin's take on Jones' deadpan delivery (they co-starred in No Country for Old Men) is spot-on and spectacularly funny. Better yet, Brolin brings in a true actor's grace, adding humor and heart that help explain the origins of Agent K's moody blues. Jones disappears for most of the second half, but not before he and Smith trade barbs and slaughter E.T. scum. The effects are cheese-whizzy fun, but it's the unexpected spark between Smith and Brolin that makes MiB3 primo summer fun. Way cool.

Related
At the Movies with Peter Travers: Josh Brolin Is Amazing in 'Men in Black 3'
Peter Travers' Summer Preview: 10 Must-See Movies

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