Men in Black III (2012)

Men in Black III
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Etan Cohen
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Sequel to: Men in Black, Men in Black II
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Hader, Emma Thompson, Will Arnett, Michael Chernus, Alice Eve, David Rasche

Plot:
Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), one of the most dangerous criminals in the universe, manages to escape from Lunar prison, where he was sent by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) many years ago. With his mind set on revenge, he finds a way to travel back in time to 1969, where he kills Agent K before he can arrest Boris. That is not only tragic on a personal level, but puts the entire earth in jeopardy. Fortunately, Agent J (Will Smith) somehow still remembers K and travels back in time, too, to save his then young partner (Josh Brolin).

I did not have very high hopes for this film, but it turns out that it is actually quite nice. While it is not quite as good as the first film, it has its heart in the right place, it’s entertaining and it manages to steer clear of the sexism that ruined the second one. I’d say that’s a win.

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Re-Watch: Men in Black II (2002)

Men in Black II
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Robert Gordon, Barry Fanaro
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Sequel to: Men in Black
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville, Rosario Dawson, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub

Plot:
Many years ago, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) hid the light of Zartha from the Kylothians. But now K is retired, his memory is wiped and the Kylothians, headed by Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle), threaten to destroy the earth if they don’t get the light. So Agent J (Will Smith) gets K back from retirement and together they try to find K’s memory and save the world.

I remembered that the second film wasn’t as good as the first one, but I still liked it. That is, until this re-watch. They sucked the fun out of the premise, replaced it with sexism and hoped that nobody would notice. Unfortunately, I did.

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Re-Watch: Men in Black (1997)

Men in Black
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Ed Solomon
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub

Plot:
James (Will Smith) is a young and very talented police officer who catches the eye of the Men in Black – a secret government organization charged with dealing with alien life on earth – when he almost arrests an alien. One of the Men in Black, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) recruits James, now Agent J. And in just in time, too, so that the two of them can prevent the end of the world.

I don’t even know how many times I have seen this film. I watched it pretty regularly as a kid and then a little more irregularly as an adult. So of course there’s a whole lot of nostalgia and fond memories that I connect with this film. But even without that, it’s just an entertaining, creative and above all fun movie.

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