Marvel Movie Madness! Part 38: Men in Black III

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Enter Marvel Movie Madness, wherein Rotten Tomatoes watches all of the significant Marvel movies ever made. Full Marvel Movie Madness list here. Tune in! We give you our thoughts, and you give us yours.

Part 38: Men in Black III (2012, 70% @ 226 reviews)
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement


Grae: It wouldn't be too hard to top the disappointment that was Men In Black II (sorry, Lara Flynn Boyle, I know you tried). But even though my crushed spirits had finally rebounded, watching Pitbull sing the MIBIII theme didn't make me dance as much as it made me consider Botox to iron out my furrowed, worried brow. But lo and behold, Barry Sonnenfeld apparently had spent the last ten years brewing up a new pot of awesome that was ready to be served to modern audiences.

This installment of MIB is a heckuva lot closer to the first one than the second, thanks in part to Josh Brolin as the young Agent K. His take on 60s-era Tommy Lee Jones was so dead-on, it's like watching Eyes of Laura Mars with more aliens than just Faye Dunaway. It makes the series fun again. On top of more amazing makeup work from Rick Baker and much-improved effects, the time-travel tale made me completely forget its sophomore slump. In fact, I'm excited about the next one. Maybe we can fast-forward in time and get Morgan Freeman as an older Will Smith?

Ryan: Let me begin by saying I don't have a very clear recollection of this movie. I remember Jemaine Clement being Jemaine Clement, but with scary teeth and a missing arm, and I remember Josh Brolin's kind of beautiful Tommy Lee Jones impersonation, which is probably the first thing anyone mentions when talking about this movie. Wait, are there people out there who "talk about this movie?" Oh, and I remember Bill Hader as an exasperated, inspiration-starved undercover Andy Warhol, which is great in the way that Bill Hader randomly showing up in movies is usually great. And something about time travel, alternate realities, and an alien invasion. Does that about cover it?

Alright, I'll admit, MIB 3 wasn't a terrible way to return to the franchise. I don't know if it was particularly memorable, but I can think of worse ways to spend a couple of hours. I mean, the anachronistic humor was kind of fun in spots, despite the fact I kept thinking to myself, "Would Agent J really feel so carefree roaming the streets of 1960s America?" Otherwise, this is all pretty familiar stuff, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I could have done without the somewhat groanworthy twist at the end, but all in all it was a sufficiently diverting, pleasantly surprising adventure. Ultimately forgettable, methinks, but an enjoyable popcorn rental.

Cat: I attempted to watch Men in Black III twice while on a plane. Both times I fell asleep after the first 5-10 minutes. All I remember is Pussycat Doll chick, Nicole Scherzinger, bringing an incarcerated alien a pink birthday cake. Another alien who was inside the cake jumped out and helped the super bad alien escape, and gone was Miss Pussycat Doll into outer space. Don't cha wish this movie was less bor-ing?


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