The first thing that hits you is the 15 years or so of this franchise. Unlike many other which were milked to death, these have been given a chance to mature. There is more characterisation than most comedies and indeed one of the main aspects of the story line is Agent J (Will Smith) trying to get the ever so taciturn Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) to open up more. The obituary for Agent Z just about says it all…or not.
The long story short; a really bad bad guy/alien escapes from a maximum security prison on the moon. He knows how to go back in time and rewrite history, and so he does this. Agent J realises something is wrong and persuades people of the alternate timeline. He then has to go back and try prevent the alternate history events from happening.
Along the way we meet the usual assortment of aliens, one that stands out is Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg (Flight of the Conchords, 2007-2009) who can see multiple future events based on probabilities. He brings both character and story to the offering. The main cast Agent J, (Will Smith, Robert Neville, I am Legend 2007), Agent K, the elder (Tommy Lee Jones, Colonel Chester Philips, Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011) and Josh Brolin (True Grit, Tom Chaney, 2010) all give the performances we have come to expect; we have the charged and excitable Agent J trying to force out some human expressionism from the stone faced K, only to come up against the young K. When J joins up with K he quickly realises that the younger man is more positive, optimistic and open that the older K he knows and asks “what happened you?” to no response, as the movie works to the climactic ending we eventually learn just what was that life changing event that transformed Agent K.
It should be pointed out that this is a movie that does exactly what it sets out to do, it entertains well. One piece of the movie which stands out it Josh Brolin’s take-off of a young Agent K, it was great and produced some genuine laughs from the audience. I saw this movie in China – 3D IMAX.
MIB is a rare thing in a franchise set, it works. This might be why the producers felt they could afford to leave so long between offerings. We now have three entertaining movies which will withstand the test of time. Will there be a fourth? I don’t know. Will go see it if there is? Yes. So let’s wait and see, but in the meantime you might do a lot worse with your time than go see this third offering.
There are some side jokes and statements on 1969 America and these largely work well and serve to place the movie in the times.
Rating 7/10 – it is not the type of movie that would be happy with a 9 or 10 out of 10.