We pick up a decade after last seeing Agent K(Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J(Will Smith) kicking alien butt. The first film is frankly and action/comedy classic. The second movie is well… Not anything really. Every beat of that film was wrong. It was too short. The villain was terrible and they played everything for jokes. A funny villain is one you don’t remember. Well I’m happy to report that they have fixed a lot of those problems the third time around. The movie is funny and will surprise you a couple times, especially towards the end.
The plot starts with Agent K and J doing their normal job, stopping aliens and their zany antics. Something bad happens when an alien named Boris the Animal escapes a moon prison. When we see Boris he is missing an arm and is the last of his warrior species. The tricky beast gets a device that allows him to travel through time and not only kill a young Tommy Lee Jones but helps his people invade and destroy Earth. Agent J must go back in time to the 1960’s and stop Boris. He is told to avoid young Agent K(Josh Brolin) but of course almost the second he is there he teams up with young K to stop future and past Boris’s.
Now sure time travel is kind of “been there done that” but it flows here. A lot has to be said about how great Will Smith is, it’s been a while now since we’ve seen Agent J but the second he’s on screen it feels like no time has passed at all. His goofy and charming ways are hard to ignore. You simply like him. It helps too that he and Brolin create a fantastic chemistry, so you find yourself just enjoying the ride. Brolin’s impression of Tommy Lee Jones is so spot on, and most actors when doing an impression try to go over the top, to show off mannerisms, Brolin’s impression is actually very low key and allows you to enjoy what is going on, instead of just focusing on it.
The graphics here are pretty fantastic, a nice blend of CGI and practical effects. The film’s only problem is that even with time travel and aliens being involved, the film feels very grounded, there is never really a stand out action moment. Which is fine, this franchise was never about huge action set pieces. It does underuse some side characters, like Alice Eve and Emma Thompson both feel like they get a total of two minutes.
What really works for the movie is that it actually has a villain that stands out. Boris the Animal is pretty gross and isn’t afraid to kill someone. The second film had a villain that walked around in her underwear and beat up Johnny Knoxville. A villain can really help a movie feel better. Boris never gets to be a great villain with any stand out dialogue or big moments(like Loki in Avengers) but you never like him. You straight up want the Men in Black to defeat him, that really helps, especially towards the end of the movie.
In the end the film is pretty strong, a huge step up from the second one. It’s not too heavy, it should be okay to take children to, not small kids but there is nothing too scary going on. It’s cute and funny and not a waste of time. There is a moment towards the end that is decently surprising and rather heart warming. So I’d check it out if you get the chance.