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From the Past

Films on the to-do list

  • Armageddon Time
  • Black Widow
  • Chimes at Midnight
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • Last Christmas
  • Remember Sunday
  • Shazam! 2
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Spy Guys

Men in Black III (2012)

Film review: Men in Black III (2012), directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

It’s been a while, but the Men in Black are back. An alien criminal called Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) breaks out of a high-security prison on the moon, and goes to seek revenge on the guy who put him in there forty years ago: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones).

Meanwhile on Planet Earth, Agent K and Agent J (Will Smith) are busy trying to protect the Earth from the scum of the universe. The organisation they work for has a new boss, Agent O (Emma Thompson), and things are as they normally are. Agents J and K have some partnership issues, but the news that Boris has broken out means they have to put differences aside.

Except the next morning, Agent K is gone. He died forty years ago, battling Boris, who has now returned with the rest of his destructive race to conquer the Earth. Being the only one who can still remember how things should be, Agent J has to travel back in time and set things right.

Will he save the day, and save the 1969 version of Agent K (Josh Brolin)? What’s with the temporally challenged guy (Michael Stuhlbarg) with the obvious contact lenses? Why is Nicole Sherzinger cameoing in this film? And what’s Andy Warhol (Bill Hader) really up to?

If you like aliens of all shapes and sizes, slime, time travel, and the 1960s, you’re in for a treat. Men in Black III is fun – and, to my surprise, written by Etan Coen, which the film’s two predecessors (released in 1997 and 2002 respectively) were not. I don’t know if that’s what makes the film work, but work it does. Well, at least if you like the style of the two previous films, in which case there’s not a lot that’s new under the sun, but it’s still highly entertaining.

Both Smith and Jones are great, and Thompson as their boss is hilarious. She does comedy so incredibly well, and I love her for it! Her paraphrasing of an alien’s kind words about her predecessor is laugh-out-loud funny. She also has that level of gravitas that you’d expect from the head of the Men in Black organisation, so she’s not just funny, she can be serious too.

The biggest “wow, that’s amazing!” acting comes from Brolin as the younger Agent K. You forget he and Tommy Lee Jones are two different actors, because they look very similar (age aside) and they talk exactly the same and have the same mannerisms. Apparently, the two have worked on films together before, and they grew up not very far from each other too, meaning their natural dialects are the same. You don’t normally get this kind of accuracy when two actors are portraying the same character from two different time periods, so hats off to these guys who pull it off beautifully!

Men in Black III is a film that they push heavily for people to see in 3D, but as we saw it in 2D I can’t say anything about the quality of the 3D. It was perfectly fine in 2D, though, and I even managed to forget how close to the screen we were (cinema was kinda rammed). Never a dull moment, and the Griffin character was a hoot.

4 out of 5 apple pies with cheddar.


An easily distracted and over-excited introvert who never learns to go to bed at a reasonable time. Enjoys traveling (when there's not a plague on), and taking photos of European architecture. Cares for cats, good coffee and Boardwalk Empire. A child of her time, she did media studies in school and still can't decide what she wants to be when she grows up.

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