CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If there's one word I'd like to most relate to my summer, it's "fun." It's a time for me to relax and enjoy myself without worry. Maybe this is why I have such a fondness for summer flicks; they tend never to be too plot heavy and are packed with mindless action sequences.
However, much like "The Avengers," "Men in Black 3" keeps with the new trend of summer movies that entertain while maintaining a strong plot and character development.
A decade after "Men in Black II," "MIB3" continues the exploits of Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith), agents of the eponymous group that seeks to protect Earth from and hide the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Jay is growing tired of Kay's cynical outlook on life and is interested in what made his partner so bitter. Kay, meanwhile, is struggling with the events of his life and the mistakes he's made, including not killing the film's antagonist, Boris (Jemaine Clement, "Flight of the Conchords").
Boris travels back in time to kill Kay, and it's up to Jay to go back, save his partner and stop a temporal paradox from destroying the world. It's here that the focus of the film switches to Jay and his now younger partner, expertly played by Josh Brolin. As Jay and young Kay try to track down Boris, the father-son relationship established in the first two films grows, though with a role reversal.
While I appreciate and applaud the film's decision to focus on character development, I do have one small complaint: Boris tends to feel more like a plot device than an actual villain. He's used when the duo needs to get to the next scene. He's not a bad character, nor is he useless; he's simply not utilized as much as he should be.
The acting is top notch, and the film has a stellar cast. (Emma Thompson is wonderful as the new Men in Black chief, Agent Oh, especially in her opening scene). Thankfully, unlike so many other recent movies, their skills aren't wasted.
The script has classic rapid-fire "MIB" quips. It also manages to be emotionally engaging while having steady action.
"MIB3" is one of the few films I'd recommend seeing in 3D if you have the option. The unique combination of CGI, puppets, and makeup keeps the film from being too computer heavy, and the effects tend to look more realistic. There's a shot in the prologue in which Boris opens up an orifice in his palm that really shows how 3D technology can be used when the director wants it to be more than just a gimmick.Though I'm confused as to why this movie was needed and feel it's ultimately useless (this coming from a fan of the series), it's still a very enjoyable film. I liked it more than the original, and it's more of a sequel than "MIB2." The long gap in release dates has provided a progression for the universe and its characters that makes it seem like more than just an attempt to revitalize a dead franchise.