Swanner: Men in Black 1 & 2 have made over a billion dollars combined in box office, so it’s no surprise that when the lead actors weren’t pulling in the big movies anymore that Men in Black 3 was destined to be made. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are back as “J” & “K” to save the world one more time. An alien criminal kills the young Agent K in 1969, altering the timeline, changing the Agency and placing the Earth in danger. Veteran Agent J must travel back in time to 1969 to before the murder and work with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save him, the Agency, the Earth and humanity itself.
Judd: Having never seen the Men in Black films, and being the dedicated and professional critic I am, I watched the first two MiB films the day before seeing number three. The first movie was great. Goofy, but not childish, with some great alien characters. The second movie was terrible, with the humor going heavy on the Will Smith “He So Cray-zee” type humor and insufferable slapstick. In number three, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction, taking out almost all the humor and with it the great kooky alien creatures, leaving us with only the alien bad guy.
Swanner: I’ll admit that this one wasn’t as funny as the previous two but I still liked the script. It’s more sentimental (which Brian hates) and it has a lot of heart. The script was written by two veterans and two noob-ish writers. David Koepp and Jeff Nathanson both have been writing big movies for years where Etan Cohen and Michael Soccio are newer to the big box office types. Barry Sonnenfeld once again directs which helps keep the consistency in tact from the first two. As I mentioned earlier Josh Brolin plays a young Agent K, Emma Thompson plays Agent O and Michael Stuhlburg plays Boris the Animal. Stuhlburg plays the bad guy this time around and he might be a bit too mean for these movies.
Judd: Not only was the movie more sentimental and more serious, it was less entertaining. As you know, Tom, I fell asleep during the third act. I couldn’t fight to keep my eyes open any longer. And to tell the truth I had zoned out way before that. The last thing that I clearly remember is the Warhol party, everything after that is a vague haze. Wait … did I get neurolyzed?
Swanner: It was after 8 o’clock so you probably should have taken your Disco Nap before a big night out on the town. Your snoring was quite obvious. The film did have a different feel to it in the sense it was more serious but I never felt sleepy. I thought it was paced well and the action was continual. The real stand out was Josh Brolin. His young Tommy Lee Jones was on the spot perfect. Fans of the first time will certainly enjoy this film that brings everything back full circle.
Judd: Josh Brolin was great, but you can’t make a movie out of one actor’s impression of another. Others have tried, no one has succeeded. Number three is longer than the first two and without the humor to carry it along it, it feels slow and plodding. Will Smith is getting too old to play the sassy black dude to Jones’ stoic, straight man – which may be the reason for placing the movie in the past and breaking the formula. MiB 3 may resonate with fans, but everyone else is well-advised to avoid.