“Men in Black 3” notably knocked “The Avengers” out of its position at the top of the box office charts. But does it deserve to do so? In a word, no.
While you could do much worse, “Men in Black 3” rides mostly on the successes of the first “Men in Black” film and adds little to the winning formula. Almost too little to justify another movie.
While there’s not much in the way of new innovations, at least it stays away from much of the over-the-top silliness that made “Men in Black 2” a disappointment.
Will Smith is charming as ever and although Tommy Lee Jones looks half asleep for most of his scenes in the film, Josh Brolin knocks his performance as a younger Jones cleanly out of the park. Brolin’s work is a real pleasure to behold, as he has almost perfectly captured Jones’ look and tone, even down to the little mannerisms.
The plot is pretty standard time-traveling fare, with a few nicely executed twists toward the end of the film.
Some moments are sure to leave viewers scratching their heads: Smith’s character inexplicably has a giant picture of the dog Frank hanging above his bed. And the romantic interest for Jones’ character is introduced and everyone acts as though she’s always been around even though she has never been mentioned before, after dismissing Jones’ character’s previous love interest in a single line of dialogue.
While not as good as the first installment in the series, “Men in Black 3” is still better than most movies currently showing, and you could do a lot worse, even if it is trapped tonally somewhere between the mostly deadpan first film and the over the top second film.