Time travel in films just does not make sense on so many levels because it is a very complex concept and you have to be very careful in making sure that the viewers are not pondering on this too much. When it is presented like a setting for a good story like it did in “Frequency” though not time travel but a rift in that space-time continuum, it worked well and mostly rooting for this father-son relationship both of them trying to save each other. “Men in Black 3” though would please a regular movie goer looking for action with weird creatures and Will Smith trying really hard to crack a joke, it passes as a mediocre presentation.
I barely remember the previous installations but the first one had a good impact on me because of the way Will Smith’s character Agent J gets recruited and him as actor taking us through this unbelievable world hiding right in front of our face. The job that is assigned to these people requires out of the box thinking and a behaviour which brings the man to that spot. Tommy Lee Jones is Agent K, the old man who seem to be sucked out of any form of enjoyment and emotions. With a yapping man like J, he had to be really dry of anything to have seek for something resembling fun. This of course bothers J which forms an underline to the extent in which he would go for rescuing K and a mild basis to the film in the end.
Anyhow, there is yet another alien trying to destroy Earth for universal domination and this time the tool is time travel. Do not get me started on that but the prisoner is dangerous to a next level like all the aliens. What kind of justice system they use to determine punishment for intergalactic crime because a capital punishment in Boris’ case would have saved many lives and a movie. Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from a prison situated in Moon! He or It has an insect within his hand that would spit claw nails at super fast speed. The zest for world domination is another thing to ponder but let us put that aside and see this film for what it is.
Agent K apprehended this man in 1969 and for whatever reason they decided to jail him wherein he got to be outside of Earth and put in a prison that is severely guarded and chained for no movement whatsoever. Might as well have executed him. Did not I say that already? Ok, I will back off on this. He decides to travel back in time and kill Agent K so that the security system K put on Earth would not happen there by Boris’ clan of folks can annihilate Earth 40 years later. He does it which results in change in the future but J is the only who has his memory intact otherwise this would not make sense. He does the crazy thing to travel back and hence the movie.
Will Smith tries either too hard or very little to bring his trademark comedy and punch lines to the film. I was seeing “I, Robot” the other day which was a mediocre film of its own but his lines were delivered with such a serious comedic value. And I remember gracing through the first “Men in Black” and there was such an energy in him to give everything he has. Somehow Smith seems to have been content with himself in delivering Agent J. Tommy Lee Jones has not so much screen time other than staring emotionless for most times. Josh Brolin comes as younger J in 1969 and provide some good laughs in the process. Yet the better character in the film is Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg), an alien who could see multidimensional space-time and has some profound insight. I would have love to see more of him.
“Men in Black 3” is not devoid of entertainment for action scenes and jaw dropping stunts but I am getting tired of it unless there is a good foundation for those or at least have some intelligence. The film has one such in the end where Smith’s J uses the time travel to tackle one of the Boris. Aside from that it becomes an exercise and we know how it is going to end.
Barry Sonnenfield who directed the first installment comes back as the director and there is not much to work with. The story is nothing original and the idea of numerous aliens in the Earth has become old news. The characters are which that would bring any film home and here despite the established duos and having Brolin come in to provide an extra run does not work completely well.