Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Entertainment

February 20, 2013

Movie Wolf: MIB 3 a stylish, amusing CGI clone

Greensburg — FROM THE DEN — It was impossible not to approach “Men in Black 3” without a certain bias.

Although I enjoyed the series’ first two films (with the first being markedly stronger than the second), neither blew me away. Both films played like glorified, sci-fi, digital-cartoon adventures blended with live action, and both happened to feature two of Hollywood’s biggest stars in Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

With Director Barry Sonnenfeld returning for “MIB 3,” as well as Smith (Agent J) and Jones (Agent K), I suspected that the series’ third entry would be more of the same — not a bad thing, but certainly not an artistic revelation, nor reason to recommend viewers trip over their feet rushing to rent the DVD.

I knew, too, going in, that “MIB 3” features a time-travel story wherein Agent J is sent back to 1969 to prevent his partner from being murdered in the past by a vengeful, creepy alien named Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement).

Back in 1969, K prevented Boris from unleashing an alien attack upon the Earth. In the process, K also cut off Boris’ arm, leading to the Animal’s arrest and imprisonment.

If Boris succeeds, K will never have existed beyond 1969, making it impossible for J and K to ever meet. To boot, K’s death will also leave Earth wide open to alien invasion.

Indeed, early in the film, Boris succeeds in killing 1969 K, leaving J the only MIB agent in the present to remember K’s existence. That’s lucky for K, MIB and the Earth, as J travels back through time to save the day.

Will Smith is as charming as ever here. His chemistry with Jones is as “Odd Couple” compelling and watchable as ever (is there ANYONE with whom Smith doesn’t have chemistry?), too.

“MIB’s” true scene-stealer, though, is Josh Brolin, playing 1969 K. It’s tempting to characterize Brolin’s performance as a “revelation,” but that wouldn’t be the case. Anyone who’s seen his outstanding channeling of Former President George W. Bush in 2008’s “W” won’t be surprised to see him do the same with Jones in this film.

 “MIB 3” offers plenty to laugh at, and Brolin’s presence ups the payoff in that department compared to the first two films.

Some might call it sacrilege, but I found the chemistry between Smith and Brolin even more entertaining and amusing than between Smith and Jones.

At times, Brolin seems to be aping not only at Jones’ character, but also Jones himself. Smith seems to be in on the joke, too, making their banter and interplay all the more fun.

Of course, “MIB 3” also includes plenty of digitally-animated space creatures and other, assorted CGI magic upon which to feast the senses.

So did “MIB 3” manage to surprise me? Does it transcend the first two films?

Not really. In the end, it’s about as weighty and topical as an episode of Paris Hilton’s next reality TV show. But this film IS fun and, as a bonus, it’s fairly family friendly, lending it a cross-generational appeal many big Hollywood releases lack.

It’s certainly worth the price of a rental.

Rating: Bark-and-a-half

Score: 75/100

Runtime: 106 minutes

Rated PG-13 for cartoonish, sci-fi/fantasy violence and gore, some of which could be disturbing to young pups.

Rating System Explained: Rabies = 0; Yip = *; Bark = **; Howl = ***; Lone-wolf howl = ****; Leader of the pack = *****

Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.

1
Text Only
Entertainment
  • 'Transcendence' big on concept, poor on execution Wally Pfister's directorial debut is the cybernetic thriller "Transcendence" (PG-13). Johnny Depp stars as Dr. Will Castor, a leading authority in the realm of artificial intelligence. When Depp's well-being is threatened, his wife (Rebecca Hall) and

    April 24, 2014

  • 'Oculus' offers competent storytelling, but not many scares FROM THE DEN AT WOLF THEATRES -- I'm not a big fan of horror films, but occasionally a scary movie comes along that manages to do something new or, in the least, interesting in the genre. Movies like 2007's "1408," 1976's "Carrie," 2009's "Paranormal

    April 24, 2014

  • "Transcendence" movie poster Movie preview: “Transcendence”

    Plot: A brilliant innovator in the field of Artificial Intelligence becomes the bridge between man and machine in this sci-fi thriller.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Bears" movie poster Movie preview: “Bears”

    Plot: Disney Nature’s 2014 entry chronicles a year up in the life of a family of Alaskan brown bears who call the state’s stunning coastal mountains and shores their home.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Haunted House 2" movie poster Movie preview: “A Haunted House 2”

    Plot: Malcolm, who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. But, upon moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is distinctively director Anderson With the summer movie season right around the corner, we looked back at an under-the-radar film released this spring - director Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (R). A highly recognizable ensemble cast is headed up by Ralph Feinnes, who star

    April 17, 2014

  • New arrivals at Library New items at the Greensburg-Decatur County Library can be found and reserved at http://www.greensburglibrary.org/books. Non Fiction Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte The Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Papagianni Inheritance by Sharon Moalem The Spe

    April 17, 2014

  • Get down and muddy on Mother's Day INDIANAPOLIS - The Hollis Adams Foundation (HAF) will be hosting its first Mudder’s Day Run on Saturday, May 10, at the Sertoma Club of East Indianapolis. The run will feature more than 15 obstacles over a three mile long course, with mud to spare. H

    April 17, 2014

  • Most won't care about 'Winter Soldier's' 'message' FROM THE DEN AT WOLF THEATRES -- "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a comic-book film with fairly lofty aspirations. But while this second go-round of retro-hero Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America - he of "the greatest generation" - falls sho

    April 17, 2014

  • "Heaven Is For Real" movie poster Movie preview: “Heaven Is For Real”

    Plot: When a little boy has a near death experience neither his friends or family believe him until he talks about those who died years before.
     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
SmugMug Photo Galleries


Share your photos with us!

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.