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Men In Black III

Men in Black III

Released 25 May 2012
Director Barry Sonnenfeld

Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, Nicole Sherzinger, Emma Thompson

Etan Cohen, David Koepp, Jeff Nathanson, Michael Soccio

Steven Spielberg, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald
Origin United States
Running Time 106 minutes
Genre Sci-fi, action, comedy
Rating PG

Delivers time, and again.

I think it's safe to say that everyone reacted to the announcement of a third MIB instalment with an air of trepidation. The original was amusing, entertaining and a genuine summer blockbuster that everyone could enjoy. The sequel was none of these things. And a decade later, it was only human – or alien – nature to have reservations about which of the two we were going to receive. Thankfully, after a terribly dodgy start, it ended up being the former.

It's been fifteen years since Agent J, played by Will Smith, was recruited by Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K and the pair remain partners to this day. That is until an old adversary of K's escapes from a specially designed lunar prison and travels back in time to alter the course of history. Despite a perplexing chemistry, J can't stand the thought of an alternate reality without his suited comrade and follows Boris the Animal back to 1969 to ultimately try to save K, and indeed planet Earth.

To put it bluntly, though, the first twenty minutes of this movie were just about as diabolical as you are likely to come across as one awkward scene after another was followed by a complementary cringeworthy gag. At times, you were beginning to wonder if this was going to turn into one of the biggest flops of all time but the on-screen leap back in time simultaneously mirrored a return to form for the franchise that brought so many laughs during its first outing in 1997.

Josh Brolin's performance as a young, energetic and contradictorily soulful Agent K reignited the buddy-buddy spark that is evidently needed for a picture like this to work. Smith did his thing while brief appearances from Bill Hader and Michael Stuhlbarg kept the comedy ticking over at a nice pace alongside the regular action. It isn't constant laugh-out-loud hilarity but there's enough in there to keep you happy.

Masqueraded in their quest is the underlying and constant threat of a profound, meaningful moment and, while inevitable, it doesn't disappoint – leading to a more than satisfactory and surprisingly not all that cheesy conclusion. Laced with flaws and nowhere near as a good as the original, MIB3 achieves the opposite of most Hollywood films. It recovers from a slow start and continues to deliver the more it progresses. You got away with it, so please just don't make a fourth!

- David Caulfield