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MEN IN BLACK 3 Is An Entertaining Blast To The Past For Raven McCoy!!


For a film plagued with so many production issues – shooting without a finished script, the months long hiatus in-between filming and the rewrites  – MEN IN BLACK 3 didn’t turn out half bad. Considering how awful and over-the-top the second one was and then all these issues, I wasn't expecting much from MIB3. But deep down inside I was hoping it'd be less like the second one and more like the first film.  That first MEN IN BLACK was filled with excitement, adventure, interesting creatures and characters. It was fun learning about and trying to digest the world of the Men In Black with Will Smith and his attitude and wise cracks.  It was cool to see the way aliens integrated into our society and interesting to watch Tommy Lee Jones’ old school, calm and surly demeanor clash with Smith’s new school attitude.  And it looks like Sony’s learned their lesson with MIB3 and gone back to what made the first so enjoyable. Instead of concentrating so much on the jokes and sci-fi, it focuses on the human element behind the franchise, the relationship between Agents J and K.

This time around an alien K (Jones) arrested, named Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), has escaped his lunar prison and travels back in time to 1969. Boris plans to kill K on the day he was arrested so that his people can take over Earth in the present.  J (Smith) goes back in time in hopes of stopping Boris, saving the younger version of his partner (Josh Brolin) and the planet.

I think it was a smart choice to focus on the emotional connection between J and K because they're so integral to the franchise. You don't have a MIB film without those two. Sure J’s had partners besides K but it’s that playful back and forth of their opposing personalities, mixing both teasing and respect, that makes their relationship special and fun to watch. It is J's job to protect the planet from alien aggressors but in MIB3 he has a personal investment in the matter so he isn't all about being a smartass and making jokes as he carries on his mission. Now we get to look behind that wall of snark and see how much K means to him. He’s very concerned about saving his partner and Smith brings out the serious, emotional side of J while still being charismatic.

With J travelling back in time we get to delve into K’s backstory a bit, giving us a look at him before he was a grizzled veteran agent and Brolin does a fantastic job at bringing a new life to K. His K is youthful, funny, charming and still has a positive look on life, mirroring J’s general attitude, and more importantly his impersonation of Jones is spot-on. It was those few seconds at the end of the first trailer where we got our first peek at Brolin’s K when he says, “how do you my name?” that drew me to the movie. I had to see how good his impersonation was and he nails Jones’ drawl and vocal inflections while creating his own image of the character. Brolin’s take on K makes the character so likeable and it’s just as fun to see these two interact, as it is to see Smith and Jones. Part of me hopes that if this franchise continues that they find a way to incorporate Brolin into it because of his great performance.

Unfortunately with the personal nature of the film there aren’t many aliens featured in the film. Those that are featured are mostly CGI but the few that were costumes weren’t as impressive or as ornate as it was in the last two, particularly the last one. Boris was hella creepy and borderline disgusting with his strange millipede type body and the tiny servant alien bug that came out of his palm but beyond Boris there were hardly any other aliens showcased that were worth admiring.  


However, as J and K track down Boris in ’69 they do meet a really interesting alien named Griffin, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, who looks a lot younger and much happier than he did in A SERIOUS MAN.  Although there isn’t much to his costuming, it’s Griffin’s character that makes him so intriguing. Griffin is an otherworldly being with the ability to see every possible outcome of an instance in time and proves to be very valuable to K and Boris. Just imagine the possibility of knowing everything that could ever happen ever.  I might go insane will all that knowledge but Stuhlbarg plays Griffin with a perpetual sense of happiness and enthusiasm that it gives the story a sense of hope and he helps create some of the more poignant moments in the film. 

While no one really asked for it, MEN IN BLACK 3 was a surprisingly entertaining sequel.  It is a definite improvement from the last one with its heartfelt story and the great addition of Brolin to the cast. Plus it was a nice reminder of how much fun the first one was and what drew you into the franchise in the first place.


-Raven McCoy

Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • May 25, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Which Means...?

    by Read and Shut Up

    I mean, you could've filmed tinfoil for an hour and it would've been more entertaining than MIB 2.

  • May 25, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Raven Knowles

    by Joe Momma

    This is a GD repeat of what Harry wrote...who gave this tween write access???

  • Equals.... $60 million opening?

  • May 25, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    shia and flannery.

    by DarthBlart

  • May 25, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    ...what drew you into the franchise in the first place...

    by Simpsonian

    hype? well-edited advertisements?

  • jesus christ. real professional

  • May 25, 2012, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Needs more Channing Tatum.

    by Chris

  • May 25, 2012, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Let's be honest - Griffin is a McGuffin... and I think that hurts the concept.

    by impossibledreamers

  • May 25, 2012, 3:11 p.m. CST

    actually none of the MIB tb's have had spoiler alerts


    and we've been told every single intricacy of the plot. great job fellas.

  • May 25, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Raven = Harry's niece from Fanboys

    by Tikidonkeypunch


  • May 25, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST


    by Joe Momma

    You're probably not far off. NEPOTIZZZZZ

  • May 25, 2012, 3:59 p.m. CST

    I miss Will Smith in film. I am glad he is back.

    by Gus

  • May 25, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    what the fuck has happened to today?

    by rakesh patel

    seriously weird reviews, weird comments. I'm obviously spending too much time here, gotta throttle back a bit methinks.

  • May 25, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    minor spoiler

    by joseph dennis

    I went to the 2d could what scene were "eye poppers" for the 3 d. Im a big nasa fan how was the 3 d in the apollo launch scenes?

  • May 25, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    So...this is what my dad felt like when I told him...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    'Superman III is AWESOME!' after seeing it on our trans-Atlantic flight back to American from Germany. To me, earnest kid that I was, it WAS awesome. Anything with Superman was de facto AWESOME. You could not convince me otherwise. To hear such stuff coming from a kid he tried to train -- my first moviegoing experience with my old man was at 5 -- a double feature of Used Cars and The Shining was supposed to prevent me from liking bullshit like Superman III. But there I was -- liking bullshit like Superman III. I now know that Superman III (and IV) were bullshit, but as a kid -- MY GOD! I believed a man could fly, and Richard Pryor was seriously interested in being in a serious Superman flick. I was clearly naive. This review is earnest. They've bought into the mythos this film projects, and explain it from the earnest love of the mythos of that filmic universe. It's one opinion, and it says a lot -- that this film is going to have fans and detractors. Jaded fucks like myself are going to see it as a cash grab. Kids and people who LOVE Will Smith flicks are just going to go see it. Luckily -- The Avengers exists. Damned pissed that GI Joe got moved, but hey, this doesn't look like a bad effort for a matinee flick, so -- why not give it a chance. If it's half as funny as the Biz Markie as a beat-boxing alien scene from MiB 2, then what the hey, I'll probably see it in the theater.

  • May 25, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST


    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    How in the hell is this review like Harry's? I hadn't read Harry's review before I went to Raven's (I rarely read Harry's reviews anymore; they're usually so terrible), but when I saw your post, I went back and read Harry's review. I expected to find a host of similarities, but I found almost none. Aside from the obvious difference in writing quality (reading Harry's writing is like reading James Joyce as a third-grader), let's look at their opinions: Raven is a long-time fan; Harry is not. Raven liked the villain; Harry didn't. Harry loved the aliens; Raven didn't see any. Just about the only things they agreed on were the great chemistry between J & K (and Brolin's pitch-perfect TLJ imitation) and the quality of Griffin's character/performance. That's it. Sounds like you've got an axe to grind with this "tween" writer, but Jesus, if you're going to complain about her writing, at least have a complaint that makes some sense.

  • May 25, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Please find a better reviewer.

    by Raymond_Q_Smuckles

    I'm going to sacrifice baby lambs to the ghosts of Gene Siskel, Pauline Kael and Lester Bangs in the hopes that AICN ditches this reviewer. Seriously, every time I read one of this authors reviews I feel like I'm reading a story on the 3rd page of a High School Newspaper. I totally understand that AICN eschews a lot of what people consider to be "criticism" but you at least need a strong enough opinion on the work to make your reviews interesting to read. Everything I've read by this reviewer is a passionless synopsis that tries to use words they think sound "reviewery". Yawn.

  • May 25, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Raven McCoy - Soap Opera Character, Maybe?

    by Read and Shut Up

    Because a film reviewer you ain't, kiddo.

  • May 25, 2012, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Oh come on. The second one was alot more enjoyable than the first.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    The second one had a sort of silly self awareness that the first one lacked. The comedy aspect really seemed to mesh together quite well.

  • May 25, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST



  • May 25, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST


    by Mark

    Griffin with K & J was awesome. He added such a cool vibe to the film. I really didn't expect much going in, but after doing so I really am impressed with this film. I am really glad they focused on the characters because of the story they focused on we really needed to be drawn in. Made me want to watch the 1st one again, not to mention wouldn't mind seeing this a 2nd time. Mark

  • May 25, 2012, 9:10 p.m. CST

    saw this at the 330 showing

    by macheesmo3

    I saw it in 2D ... I really thought it was a fun little summer film. Great performances by Brolin and Clement. Will Smith seemed to take the film seriously and didn't rely on his old schtick, decent writing. I think it was the best MIB yet. Is it a "great" summer film? Nope, but it was so much better than MIB2, that MIB 3 should be embarrassed to even be in similar company. Worth a matinee at worst and a blu-ray pickup after the price goes down, IMO.

  • May 25, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    ty micturatingbenjamin

    by jubaljam

    very good analogy. my 12 year old is getting into dubstep.... i don't like it but i understand. dr. dres the chronic came out when i was in 8th grade. my parents fucking hated that i could enjoy it. i grew up on bob dylan and johnny cash et al. they didn't understand the attraction. what is funny is that now my mom listens to black eyed peas and rhianna now and that my dad ends up asking me to play music by rappers he has seen in movies just so he can know what they sound like. THEIR IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SOMEBODY ENJOYING SOMETHING YOU DON"T UNDERSTAND OR AGREE WITH.

  • May 26, 2012, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Nobody on this site proofs their work, do they?

    by Apocalypse_Pooh

    From the high school newspaper review above: "Those that are featured are mostly CGI but the few that were costumes weren’t as impressive or as ornate as it was in the last two, particularly the last one." Seriously? "Those that are featured" (plural) "few that were costumes" (plural) "it" (singular). FFS already. Would it kill you guys to at least read your own work out loud, the easiest way to catch such basic errors?

  • and played it off as it really IS an alien LOL

  • May 26, 2012, 6:49 a.m. CST

    This review reads like it was written by a preteen.

    by gabbygall

    Seriously - its like something I`d expect handed by someone in year 7..

  • May 26, 2012, 6:51 a.m. CST


    by gabbygall

    I hadn't read your post when I posted the one above - you said exactly what I meant.

  • May 26, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    here is my fiddlestix

    by Micah fendley

    this is one of those movies where you eat a handful of magic mushrooms and enjoy the ride..... focus on the trip, cause this train is going to Brazil.... :)

  • May 26, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST


    by jameskpolk

    When any of the sites writers writes an amateurish and worthless review, everyone posts "that's so raven" in the comments.

  • May 26, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    I saw it last night and loved it!

    by Paul

  • May 26, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    cellarrat- great car analogies!


  • May 26, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    I wonder if Will Smith's slap to the reporters face will

    by hopeless

    Hurt the box office take over seas? Will is a douche!!!!

  • May 26, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Thank god I took hormones and became a shemale

    by John

    Locking my little flaccid little clit up in a cb5000 and becoming a transexual cockslut spared me from a fate worse than death in having some vapid, mainstream-addicted shit-for-brains girlfriend drag me along to watch this horrible piece of shit. I loathe Will Smith.

  • May 26, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Love Smith slapping that reporter

    by Hipshot

    Who basically assaulted him. Should have knocked him the fuck out instead of that little backhand.

  • Talk about padding out the site with content!!!

  • Will has a big picture above his bed of him, and when he goes back to 1969 and is pulled over by the cops there is a circus billboard advertising a talking pug, but he is never mentioned in the movie. I kinda knew who the colonel was as soon as he hit the screen, and Brolin and the guy that played Griffin were really welcome additions imo. I was kinda confused, was what happened to the colonel the event that made K the way he is today? Anyway it was en enjoyable 90 or so minutes

  • May 27, 2012, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Hopeless: I'm sure you would have given the guy tongue.

    by UltraTron

  • exhibiting strength beyond spiderman. I think Seline would kill spiderman. She swats a van moving at high speed and sends it flying. Sunlight doesn't affect her AND she has the superpower to make me love her every moment she's on screen. The way she walks in those heels. She's always been the cutest little vampire


  • May 29, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    MiB II is still the best of the three.

    by TheFifthCylon

    But this one was good.