Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) stopped Boris “The Animal” (Jermaine Clement) from setting up an invasion that would allow Boris’ alien race from overtaking Earth. Boris is sent to Luna Max prison. As one might surmise from the name, it is a maximum security prison, with a cell built specifically to contain Boris, on the moon. Of course, he breaks out.
Boris travels back to July 16, 1969, to kill K before he can be sent to prison. Agent J (Will Smith), knowing what happens in the “future,” travels back to July 15 1969 save K and recapture Boris. The trick, as we all know from learning about the time-space continuum, is that J but isn’t supposed to tell K what is going on. In fact, he is supposed to stay away from K. J’s plan is to kill Boris, restoring the proper timeline and saving Earth.
It wouldn’t be much of a movie if J avoided K and quietly did away with Boris. Young K (Josh Brolin) captures J during his attempt to kill Boris. The two then partner up to stop Boris before things go south.
The movie starts off on a sour note. Unless you’re doing Back to the Future, time travel is just a gimmick. Also, the film starts out with 3D that comes right out you. Things jumping out of the screen. Laser light shows that are literally “in your face.” Also, very gimmicky. However, once they abandon all that nonsense, the effects, and even the story, itself, gets noticeably better.
The comedy and acting are exactly on par for what you expect from the Men in Black franchise. Nothing stellar. But that’s not to say it’s bad (again, once you get past the first third, or so, of the movie). Will Arnett, who plays Will Smith’s partner in the alternate “future” timeline would have been a nice touch. Except, he was grossly under-utilized. A comedic genius such like Arnett deserves to be played up to his full potential. Bill Hader, another of the brilliant comedic minds from the current SNL lineup, makes an appearance as Andy Warhol. He gets a little more screen time. But not enough. I feel these two were basically wasted in the film.
The one stand-out in the film, believe it or not, is Josh Brolin. They couldn’t have cast someone more perfect to play Agent K. He steps in as a young Tommy Lee Jones seamlessly. He has the voice and mannerisms down. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was Tommy Lee Jones in extremely done “young” makeup.
Again, the story is typical aliens hidden in society, carrying out their plans, some good, some bad. There’s an underdeveloped, not really explained love connection in the film. I found this unnecessary. But this, along with a scene I found a little more touching and dramatic than I expected from the franchise, help explain how and why Agent K is as withdrawn and stoic as he is.
Don’t expect anything award-winning here. I mean, it is a Men in Black film. But it’s decent enough to sit down and watch for just under two hours. It’s good, don’t-have-to-think-too-much fun. If you like that gimmicky 3D, see it in the theater. Otherwise, wait for the RedBox.