Reviews

Men In Black III

2

Suited, rebooted and ill-reputed…

Rumours of script problems, cast changes and shooting delays have circled MIB3 since the cameras started turning. So it’s hardly a surprise to find Barry Sonnenfeld’s belated threequel an average affair that, while improving on MIB2, makes you wonder why he bothered.

Things kick off promisingly with a jailbreak sequence that has hairy villain Boris (Jemaine Clement) sprung from a maximum-security moon prison by a slinky Nicole Scherzinger.

Back on earth the torpor sets in, something hardly alleviated by writer Etan Cohen’s baffling decision to reintroduce Will Smith’s J and Tommy Lee Jones’s K as grieving mourners heading to a memorial for Rip Torn’s Zed.

K’s inadequate eulogy is meant to initiate a story arc predicated on J’s desire to know his taciturn partner better. But all it does is steep the first third in a funereal mood exacerbated by Boris leaping back in time to erase Jones from existence.

A shoot-out in a Chinatown eaterie typifies the tonal uncertainty, the pleasure of watching Rick Baker’s wacky aliens zapped into slime undercut by the off-puttingly sadistic sight of K slapping the manager’s face with an extra-terrestrial crustacean.

Determined to prevent Jones’s obliteration, Will jumps back to 1969 and contacts the younger K (Josh Brolin, amusingly replicating Jones’s minimalist mannerisms).

Weirdly, however, what follows fails to take advantage of the new pairing or the retro setting as J and K Junior chase Clement from Coney Island to Andy Warhol’s Factory to the Cape Canaveral launchpad of the Apollo 11 moon module, there to make a fateful discovery that has the whiff of a last-minute, Smith-instigated rewrite.

With a mouth full of teeth and a quip for all occasions, the Flight Of The Conchords star is the most successful addition. MIB3 could have used more of Clement and less of Michael Stuhlbarg’s Griffin, an alien clairvoyant who can see every parallel ’verse simultaneously – including, presumably, the preferable one in which it wasn’t greenlit.

Verdict:

In a summer hardly starved of comic-book properties, this redundant extension of a series that ran out of gas a decade ago doesn’t need a neuralyzer to be forgettable.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • devilsfoxes

      May 18th 2012, 14:31

      sounds very much like a 2 star review. just sayin

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    • Grinch11

      May 18th 2012, 14:54

      Completely agree with devilsfoxes. Have the courage of your convictions Total Film and award a rating which reflects the review rather than panders to the studios desire to see that you "liked" the film.

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    • FBHPapapanagi

      May 18th 2012, 17:28

      Well, for me it was a quite successful comeback for Men in Black. Way better than the sequel, with many pleasant surprises, great action scenes, maybe the best bad guy of the whole series and I must admit I had a better time watching this, than the latest misfire of Tim Burton, aka Dark Shadows...

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    • mgkoeln

      May 21st 2012, 15:45

      I've seen it today and was actually pleasently surprised. How can you put "fails to take advantage of the retro setting" and "Andy Warhol’s Factory" in the same sentence? I think they made quite good use of the Sixties - even though the time jump was probably just a necessary plot device because Tommy Lee Jones didn't want to be in more than 15 minutes of the movie.

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    • MovieFan25

      May 24th 2012, 17:52

      You know, M.I.B. actually has a different meaning...it means "Mutual in Bed", and it's awesome...try a search for it on youtube!

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    • RachaelNelson

      May 28th 2012, 21:40

      4

      I was able to watch Men in Black 3 at filmswoop.com. It's in good quality and free. Check it out!

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    • GrantB

      Jun 9th 2012, 14:31

      Better that MIB 2. High praise indeed. If it helps, it's slightly better than wikki-Wild Wild West, too. Good to see Smithy back on form. 2-star poop

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    • copycave

      Jun 29th 2012, 15:05

      It is so much better than Wild West which is easily one of the worst films every made not worthy of even one star! I for one thought this was a quite a good film, however, before seeing this I watched Woman in Black which was so poor that any film that I watched after was going to look quite good. I think MIB3 is worthy of a 3 star rating even if it just scrapes it!

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    • jeffamania

      Mar 1st 2013, 22:35

      4

      Sorry totalfilm but u're wrong I didnt see this movie in the cinema coz of ur dumb rating and now that I've watched it at home, U were well off the mark Wats important about this movie 1. has the best villian 2. has the most heart. 3. Grif is a better character than a talking bull dog 4. touching moment when (spoiler alert) Mr Smith Snr dies 5. better effects 6. James Brolin is ace and soo is Will Smith.. I have to say possibly a better movie than the original film. This movie should have got a minimum of 3 stars, possibly 4!

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