Monday, May 28, 2012

Men in Black III

Men In Black III
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Emma Thompson
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and brief suggestive content

Agent J (Will Smith) has to go back in time to prevent the murder of his partner Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones in 2012; Josh Brolin in 1969) at the hands of a time travelling alien.

Men in Black pretty much made the comic action movie genre. And they haven’t beaten us to death with sequels and reboots regardless of how much the public asked for them. They had a great idea and they stuck with it, not playing with the formula too much. Men in Black was great, MiB2 was flawed, MiB3 is, in my opinion, the best of the bunch.

It is good for kids? This is a true PG13 movie, in my opinion. The beginning is the most packed with 12 and under inappropriateness. There is a woman in a skimpy, tight outfit; some sexually suggestive dialogue and some really over-the-top kissing (the tongues start outside the mouths). You would avoid that if you don’t take your child in until the first five minutes are over. That sadly prevents you from the setup for the whole movie though.

The main concern for the 12 and unders is the violence. There is a lot more violence in this MiB than in the two previous. I don’t want to give anything about the bad guy but his ‘power’ yields a much more conventional style of alien and human death.

And, of course, as his goal is murdering Agent K before K has a chance to catch and imprison him there is the stressor of a beloved human character dying.

I won’t get into the moral implications of aliens dying being okay and human dying being not okay. I don’t need to for this movie. The screenwriter (Etan Cohen) manages the stunning feat of making this an exciting action movie with several morals tied in that make you think. Nothing is heavy handed and he even manages the whole time travel paradox issue nicely.

You really need to decide for yourself if this is okay for your 12 and under. It is a fine line, I think. I definitely would not recommend this movie for any child under 8 no matter how sophisticated. There are moments that would be scary for children as the bad guy is different than the previous bad guys in the MiB franchise. I guess the 14 year time span between the first movie and this latest offering has changed the scope of what moviegoers expect from their villains. Plus when you’re taking about assassinating the best MiB agent ever it needs to be worthy foe.

For movie goers aged 13 and older, I highly recommend this movie. The theater was packed at the 4:30 showing we attended. We were there 20 minutes before the show started and had to sit in the second row. Second row, people. With 20 minutes to show time. The second row shouldn’t even exist. I needed a neck rub when we were done. But that’s our fault. The one quibble that I can blame the studio for … 30 minutes of previews. That is way too many. By the time they were over we were out of popcorn and I had vowed not to go see any of the movies, I was so annoyed. All that said, this is officially my favorite Men in Black. It was funny, it was exciting, it was entertaining, the plot kept you thinking, and it was touching. Yeah, I said touching. Oh and Josh Brolin needs to win several awards for his dead on portrayal of the younger Agent K. Like a Nobel prize and the World Series. He’s THAT good.

Reviewed by Aimee Hix

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  1. I saw a preview on one of the morning shows, and you're right: he hit that nail on the head!

  2. Thanks for the review. Now I'm looking forward to seeing it.