Fifteen years since the terrific original (and a decade since the missable sequel), those Men In Black return to save the world from the extra terrestrials most of us didn’t even know existed. This time around, nasty alien Boris (Jemaine Clement) has escaped from a secret prison on the moon and is determined to kill Agent K (Jones) by going back in time to 1969 and murdering him before K has the chance to capture him, thus changing the course of history. To stop his partner from being erased forever, Agent J (Smith) has to go back in time, too, and it’s there the action begins as J teams up with the younger version of K (Brolin, doing a cracking Tommy Lee Jones impersonation) to track down the baddie.
As with the first two films, this all looks fantastic, from the moment J has to literally time jump (off a New York high-rise) to the climactic scenes in Cape Canaveral. The alien effects are superb, as are the gadgets that men in black of the 1960s use, including jet packs and a first-generation neuralizer (those memory-wiping gadgets) that needs to be charged before you can point it at anyone.
Unfortunately, there’s one important thing missing – humour. While there are a couple of moments that will make you smile (J’s 60s encounter with a couple of highway cops, Emma Thompson’s wry comments as Agent O, the present day MIB boss, and a revelation at Andy Warhol’s Factory), there’s none of the laugh-out-loud fun of the first movie, and the cast, Smith especially, are never given the chance to show how funny they can be. Plot-wise, this is still miles better than Men In Black II, and even without the laughs it’s nice to see Jones and Smith (and newcomer Brolin) don those black suits and sunglasses one more time.
Is Men In Black III suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger children (under 8) may find Boris scary to look at, especially as he has a scorpion-like creature that disappears into a mouth-ish like hole in his hand. Yuck.
Parents of young children should also note there’s quite a lot of bad language in the movie.
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