IMDb Link:Agent J travels in time to MIB’s early years in the 1960s, to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history
I was always a big fan of the Men In Black series when I was a kid, the first film was already on auto-repeat before the second film came out and then that swiftly joined the rotation. It’s been a while now and revisiting them recently shows how they reach a much bigger scale than they are clearly shot on, which is impressive, but they are nostalgic. This belated sequel is definitely just as entertaining, even if it’s hit and miss and sometimes on the fence. The hits are definitely Josh Brolin, who’s predictably fantastic as a young Tommy Lee Jones and a surprise character of which they really should’ve marketed it more heavily on as it’s rare on a blockbuster this scale that I care for a character based on cute reasons (and by care, I mean, don’t want him to die yet). This character being an ageless alien played by Michael Stuhlberg called Griffin, who's reminiscent of Robin Williams particularly his eccentric role in The Fisher King, who sees the future in two possible timelines. It wasn’t exactly original, but it was approached in exactly the right way to give the film some heart. As always, the score by Danny Elfman brings it together in a truly cinematic package and the visuals are mostly good, the makeup being better the special effects. I’m glad I saw it in 2D as the 3D trailers did not convince me at all. A definite visual improvement on the second film too, which can’t patch up its cheapness.
The things that missed for me, although it did work eventually as a role reversal, now both Agents J and K are equally disgruntled, which reminded me of the agression in mainstream “R rated” comedies since The Hangover, in which all the characters are needlessly vicious and not intended for character development. It was hard to watch their relationship until Griffin came in, filling in the role J used to fill, but in a completely different way. The villain was also incredibly unconvincing. Boris The Animal, played by Jemaine Clement, which was unnecessary casting, is a mesh of all these horrific ideas that refuse to gel together coming off awkward and excessive, with his features severely lacking purpose to bring it together. Many of the scenes themselves were hit and miss themselves, with some great sequences of very efficient jokes but also cringe-worthy misses, particularly a scene featuring Bill Hader as Andy Warhol. The time travel comes off as very contrived, and there’s a ridiculous amount of plot holes here there and everywhere, but it’s not worth thinking about too hard, but it’s the sentimental twist ending that I’m truly on the fence about. While it did trigger something emotionally with me, it just didn’t ring as true, perhaps I’ll have to see if it’s part of the canon or just tacked on. They really should establish that. Either way, it was an entertaining film and that’s all it needed to be.