From Men in Black veterans Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and director Barry Sonnenfeld, comes the thrilling third and final installment of the alien crime-fighting franchise.
For ’90s kids, this is a rite of passage. For Smith and Jones, it’s just that too. For what is surely the last time, the pair don those sharp black suits and neuralise baffled onlookers- for MIB3 ties up all the loose ends and gives us a final kick of what made the franchise great.
Im talking, of course, about the gags and the gunge- aliens hiding from MIB everywhere in New York. Agents J and K still have a great chemistry, despite being much older now- and Sonnenfeld makes the best of this, by implying an old-married-couple type relationship in the first act. J is frustrated at K’s reluctance to open up, even after their long partnership. But when Boglodite alien Boris the Animal travels back in time to get revenge for K blasting off his arm, J wakes up in an alternate present where new MIB head O (Emma Thompson) informs J that ‘K’s been dead for 40 years.”. The solution? J must go back to the 60s to meet Boris and prevent the tragedy, ultimately saving the world from the Boglodite’s wrath.
What greets him in 1969 is young K (played uncannily by Josh Brolin), who is much warmer than the K of the 21st century. When J convinces him of his situation, the pair set out to find Boris and prevent the future tragedy. There’s more than a hint of Back to the Future here, where their attempts are thwarted by wacky characters, technology issues and a certain young Agent O, K’s sweetheart. Things are further complicated by the alien Griffin, who they meet at Andy Warhol’s Factory and who posesses the ArcNet- the device K uses to create a defence system around the planet that is lost when Boris kills him. Griffin can see and predict any possible past or future event- causing much hilarity.
There are plenty of visual gags and in-jokes (such as Lady Gaga on the ‘wanted aliens’ screen at MIB HQ) and a sharp script- and fifteen years on, the MIB style is still firmly kept up. The finale, which takes place on the day of the first moon landing, is exciting high-stakes and high-storey action that keeps us guessing until the very end what K’s fate will be. There’s surprise closure for J as he discovers something about his past, and the world watches as Apollo 11 launches. Is the equilibrium restored? I’ll leave that for you to find out.