I have not necessarily been a big fan of the MEN IN BLACK franchise thus far. I've always like Will and Tommy - but they've never had a villain that particularly worked for me. The effects have always been a bit on the cartoonish side - and frankly there's nothing particularly wrong with that - these are family sci-fi comedies and as light weight fun, they've always tried to pack some really awesome fun sci-fi conceits into what is otherwise a very jokey series.
The jokes keep coming - with Will's J and Tommy's K are a wonderful charismatic team - and when young K is played by Brolin... I was just dumbstruck by that performance. Brolin was WOW. I think pretty much the entire time he was on screen I was just smiling like a jackass.
The various Rick Baker creatures and aliens in this feature are wonderful. Big duh, but I just love his work. In particular - what I'm pretty sure was a Homeless Metaluna Mutant just wandering amidst the clutter of a modern day New York street - well... IT KILLED ME, but I was alone laughing at it. The film plays like that, rewarding folks that pick up on the very layered shots.
The 3D in the first half of the film felt very cool, in the second half - it seems the action was sped up and with the blur - the 3D flattened and it wasn't nearly as impactful as that last act in theory would have presented itself as being.
In particular, I really loved the emotional heft of the final act, I wasn't really expecting that from a MEN IN BLACK film. They've always played so light and fluffy - that when they do what they do... I was geniunely caught up in it.
What this isn't is a mega-homerun for me. There's just something about Bo Welch's design that feels a tad tired for me. I've always thought it was overly influenced by 60's Pop-Art shapes and lines - and for this film, going back into the Sixties - it finally started to work for me.
The biggest disappointment is the villain for me. I love Jemaine Clement of FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS - but he was never particularly threatening to me. There was always something just incompetent about BORIS THE ANIMAL, that never allowed me to quite take him seriously. And yes, I know this is a Sci Fi Family Comedy - but so was GALAXY QUEST and their bad guy, when push came to shove... was proven to be something to be feared. Something to want to run away from. BORIS' vengeful one armed alien... I just thought Crispin Glover did a better job with that type of role in HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, a sci fi comedy that I enjoyed completely.
MEN IN BLACK III is not a bad film - in fact I would absolutely watch it again, just for the work between Will & Tommy and Will & Brolin. That's what really connected with me on this episode - and Josh Brolin
I like that there's something mysterious that happened to K on this long ago mission that changed him forever. When it is revealed, it actually makes complete character sense and it made me forgive the short comings of the villain.
Most of all though - I want to play WHERE'S WALDO with this film on Blu - when I can stop scenes and marvel at all the marvels that are glimpsed fleetingly. In the end though - I think I might have liked this film over both of the two previous incarnations. Definitely more than the second film, which just didn't seem to have a terrible lot going for it. Still fun, but just not what I wanted.
My favorite character is Griffin, played by Michael Stuhlbarg and he's someone that exists along infinite Earths and timelines. A bit like The Watcher from Marvel, but much more blue collar. I won't go into the particular whimsies of this character just so you can discover them on your own, but Stuhlbarg really nails a character that otherwise would have just been so annoying. He gives Griffin a sense of awe and of appreciation for the infinite possibilities that he witnesses.
OH! And Emma Thompson and Alice Eve playing older and younger Agent O's... AWESOME SAUCE. Really liked them.
If you feel like taking a break from watching THE AVENGERS, give this a look. It's way better than most of us folks were thinking. The film has a good soul. At least to me.