This is a film with plenty of splash – perfect for an imagination wilted by supermarket aisles or the daily commute.
The first MIB (Men in Black) film was made in 1997, the second in 2002 and the third in 2012.
Men in Black³ (MIB³) is by director Barry Sonnenfeld, with screenplay by Etan Cohen. It is about human agents in an America filled with aliens and the ordinary.
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones star as Agent J and Agent K – they always have done – and Josh Brolin appears as the younger Agent K, brought into action for the sequences of this film set in 1969.
We meet our suited heroes, the two originals, in New York keeping the streets safe. They are opposite characters. Smith (Agent J) is like a child over-loaded with E-numbers trying to provoke his weary friend into conversation. It does not work as Agent K has long since mastered the art of blanking the younger fidget.
Boris the Animal, played by Jemaine Clement, is there from the start of the film. He is filthy, frightening, growls through a gape of teeth and is prone to feature-changing tantrums. He escapes from a high security jail on the moon and sets about achieving his one ambition, to destroy the planet and with it the man who locked him up – Agent K.
At first the agents have no idea that Boris is on the loose. They have been directed to carry out a food standards inspection at a Chinese restaurant. The whole place is an eye-popping mix of gloop and wobble, that suddenly thrashes into acutely imagined menace. From there on the plot explodes into a fantastic struggle.
Agent J, despite the best efforts of a large fish, lives to discover that Boris will have to be stopped for a second time. The agent has no option but to race back through the decades to save his partner and the world.
It might sound weird but that’s the point – it is…as well as being strangely plausible. Smith is there all the way through – the chatty human in a mad world that, however full of slime, is still dependent on loyalty and heroism.
Sci-fi purists might be wincing, but MIB³ is funny and fast, brilliant in 3D and has an ending that is heart-squeezingly human.
Hold on to your popcorn!
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2019