Plot: A dangerous alien convict has escaped from the lunar prison, with plans to settle the score with Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones). Boris (Jemaine Clement) had a run in with Kay in the past, in which he lost an arm and his home planet had an invasion thwarted by an outer space security system. But Boris has access to time travel and with it, he plots to return to the past, kill Agent Kay and ensure the invasion is a success, meaning the end of the world as we know it. His plan seems to work, as Kay vanishes and that leaves Agent Jay (Will Smith) quite confused, as in the current timeline, his mentor and partner died in the 60s. So now Jay must somehow travel through time, prevent Boris’ antics, and once again, save the world. But when he has to deal with a young Kay (Josh Brolin) in order to make that happen, it won’t be a simple task.
Entertainment Value: The first Men in Black was brisk fun, but the sequel was a total drag and took the series down the drain, so after ten years, could a new sequel get the franchise back on track? I found this movie to be an improvement over the previous sequel, but still not on the same level as the original. As Tommy Lee Jones is relegated to a glorified cameo, a lot of burden is on Will Smith, who tries to force his humor and shouts his way through another movie. His shtick is beyond tired by this point and his “if I am loud enough, anything is funny” approach really dampens the movie, but Josh Brolin is able to balance that out somewhat. Brolin is excellent here, nailing Jones’ cadence and mannerisms, so his performance is an anchor to the movie, even if Smith tries to drag him down. On the plus side, the 60s world is a lot of fun and the movie returns to the cool alien elements of the original, instead of just force feeding us the same aliens as before. This leads to a lot of fun moments, as the new aliens are a wild, varied bunch and the visual effects are a big improvement. If nothing else, this one is passable fun and a vast enhancement over the last one, even if it still can’t capture the sense of wonder of the original.
No nakedness. This is the first movie in the series that doesn’t involve a central romance, unless you count a vague office flirtation. In any event, if you were hoping for some alien nastiness, no such luck. No bloodshed, but as before in this series, some alien goop arises from time to time. Not as much exploding alien matter as the previous movies, but still some of the sci/fi violence pops in. I think the visual effects are a notch better this time around, though not on par with the original. Some of the new aliens look quite cool and it does seem as if a return to some practical elements was made, which helps keep things a little more impressive. The dialogue is in line with the previous movies, but Smith really forces his humor more than ever here. He is painfully ineffective at times, just shouting louder and louder in hopes of landing a laugh. Brolin is fun to watch, but he covers the same ground Jones normally does and sadly, that means not much new, just the usual routine. No real craziness, as the movie keeps things well within the usual popcorn sci/fi boundaries.
Overall Insanity: 0/10