If you are looking to spend a couple of hours in the company of humans, aliens and lady Gaga, Men in Black 3 might be the film for you. Ok lady Gaga only makes a brief cameo but there are plenty of the other two categories. Aliens living amongst us humans has lost a bit of the shock value since the first two films but is given a bit of a twist in this instalment through time travel.
The reason for this time travelling twist is that the truly evil Boris, no not that one although he does have a bike, is rather ticked off with being the last of his race and spending the last 40 years in prison. Now Boris the Animal (an unexpected appearance by Jermaine Clement of flight of the Conchords fame), to give him his full name, has decided to change all this and enlists a pussycat (Nicole Sherzinger seems as reasonable choice as the next) to help him escape. Now he hasn’t entirely wasted his 40 years in prison and has at least learnt of a mechanism which will allow him to travel in time. This is bad news for agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) as he is responsible for all of the generally awful things that have happened to Boris, including the removal of a limb, and he intends on killing K before any of this happens.
K is partnered by the ever boyish agent J (Will Smith, who originally came up with the concept for this third film) and they continue their chalk and cheese relationship. Sadly not around this time is Z, having passed away, and he is replaced by O (Emma Thompson). Now although she comes across as a perfectly good leader of the MIB she lacks the bite and character that Z provided. After a bit of a ding dong with Boris, J is shocked to discover that K has disappeared. With the help of O and chocolate based drinks they piece together that Boris must have gone back in time and committed the double whammy of killing K and saving his nasty race. The only possible recourse is for J to head back to the 60s to try and restore order.
This is where the film becomes more interesting with it able to explore many of the themes of the era including race inequality, art, fashion and the space race to name just a few. The colours are vibrant and the scene is varied with both makeup and set design having a blast. If anything the alien inhabitants seem to fit in much better in this time period that the present day. J soon finds a young K (Josh Brolin) who really could be a young Tommy Lee Jones. Both the voice and the mannerisms are spot on but as he represents a happier, less jaded K he is much more pleasant to follow than his older self.
The light relief continues as they follow the trail to Boris and although the film is never laugh out loud funny there are a few chuckles along the way. The script which was rewritten so many times that they started shooting without it is quick and light, more in line with the first film than the terrible sequel. Some nice 60s style MIB gadgets are introduced which are good fun and make good, if fairly subtle at times, use of the 3D.
There is a nice final set piece at the shuttle launch which provides a good mix of action, comedy and some unexpected emotion as well. Men in Black III is pretty much what you would expect of it but if you are looking for a sci-fi comedy to escape into it could be just the ticket.
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Stars:Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin
Runtime: 103 min