Second MIB sequel far superior to last
Men in Black 3D (PG)
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Hands up anyone who can actually remember the plot of Men in Black 2? No?
Were we all zapped with a Neuralizer as we exited the cinema after that film? Do we all need to wear metal helmets that deflect the rays of memory loss machines in order to watch number three?
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Well, fear not. It is safe to put on the suit, dig out your black tie, and don the shades — the boys are back, and, thankfully, in a sequel far superior to the instantly forgettable Part 2 four years ago.
Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are reunited with director Barry Sonnenfield in this jaunt through time, as the battle to rid the world of mischievous aliens sends Agent J on a time travelling expedition to 1969, to right a wrong which could cause the end of the world as they know it.
And in 1969, we are treated to a very clever piece of casting, in the form of Josh Brolin, playing a much younger Agent K, and nailing the mannerisms and voice and attitude of Tommy Lee Jones in a cannily astute performance.
What becomes apparent early on in this third instalment is that squidgy aliens and futuristic splatting weapons were never going to be enough to hold an audience 15 years on from the original, so a different tack is employed, allowing us to focus more on the main characters and learning what makes them tick, and delving deeper into the secrets of the universe which have so far remained mostly a mystery to us all.
And it works well, adding a much-needed dimension for something which would otherwise be all too familiar.
Will Smith is always dependable to carry a film, but the chemistry between himself and Brolin is the heart of this movie, sparking life into its sprawling plot, and making it hugely watchable.
Tommy Lee is looking a little tired and haggard to be taken seriously in action movies, which is why replacing him with a younger version of himself is actually a stroke of genius.
Emma Thompson is the newest cast member, replacing Rip Torn as the head of MIB, but is never allowed enough screen time to make a mark.
An abundance of special effects and alien creatures fill the screen on a continual basis, as you would expect from this genre, and in places it is really funny.
The time travel plot allows for lots of gags and no opportunity is missed to squeeze out a laugh.
The retro feel and look that the 1969 setting give it, add an extra level of interest, giving it a vintage feel that sets it apart from its predecessors.
It's not as good as the original, and never could be when the surprise factor of the premise is lost, but this is an entertaining popcorn movie, which is a lot better than most people thought it would be. It starts the countdown to the summer blockbusters with a healthy opening box office take and the promise of a long run.
The 3D is effective in a couple of shots but for those of you who don't entertain the 3D phenomenon, this film is just as enjoyable in 2D and will provide equal amounts of fun.