Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

May 25, 2012

Bring out the Neuralizer!

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:32 pm

May 25, 2012

Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson, Jermaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Men in Black 3 is by no means a terrible film. (No that’s a term I’d use to describe the second film in the series). But it does seem rather pointless, and has very little of that irreverence and goofiness that made the first film so popular.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return as Agents J and K, a pair of secret agents in matching black suits, whose jobs mostly involve running around New York and chasing down grotesque aliens masquerading as humans. Emma Thompson stars as Agent O, their new boss, and Jermaine Clement is Boris The Animal, the film’s one-armed freakish villain, who escapes from a maximum security prison on the Moon and is hell-bent on changing the past. Boris wants to go back to 1969 and kill a young Agent K, before Agent K cuts off his limb. Smith’s character, Agent J, must now travel back in time to keep his partner from being killed.

Aside from the obvious fish-out-of-water jokes that arise out of the time-travel premise, there’s little that’s funny here. Will Smith gets a few laughs from a sequence that involves a stolen car, and there’s also a brief clever bit in which Andy Warhol (played by Bill Hader) makes an appearance. The rest, unfortunately, is just ho-hum.

Josh Brolin, who stars as the younger Agent K, does a bang-up job of impersonating Tommy Lee Jones’ deadpan voice and stone-faced demeanor, but there’s very little of that crackling repartee that Smith and Jones shared in the earlier films.

Men in Black 3 introduces a new character (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) who has the ability to see the future, but that track isn’t exploited for its comic potential, instead it’s used to inject a dose of schmaltz. There’s also a surprisingly touching twist in the end, which makes you wonder if you strolled into the wrong film – the Men in Black movies were meant to be funny, not sentimental, were they?

What the film does offer are some super special effects, and make-up wiz Rick Baker creates a whole pantheon of first-rate aliens. It’s a pity the rest of this film doesn’t have the same inventive streak.

I’m going with two out of five for director Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black 3. Huge chunks of this film are convoluted and confusing, and even Will Smith looks like he’s in it just for the paycheque.

Where’s that memory-erasing Neuralizer when you need it?

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. dude…you can’t do this..2 stars!!!…it is supposed to be like this. you don’t get sci-fi comedy better than this.

    Comment by adnaan — May 26, 2012 @ 1:23 am

  2. Dear Mr. Masand,
    You’ve done it again. I had always been in doubt whenever I read your review on Hollywood movies.

    OK.. I saw MIB3 on Friday, and I liked it like anything. Your review seems to give wrong perception.

    I have a real doubt if you understood the dialogues well. All you Hollywood reviews (atleast most of them), give a dull picture of the movie.
    Who says MIB3 wasn’t funny? Go get a copy of the movie (once the DVD is released) and watch it again with the sub titles. Hope that will help you.

    Here my review.. the movie was great and it has good special effects AND the dialogues are pretty good as well. Your review sucks!

    Please stick to Bollywood movies, as here I see your comments are valid. Please don’t go around giving false images about good Hollywood flicks, especially about MIB. Grrrr….!

    If possible, go watch the movie again & re-review this movie. It surely deserves better rating.


    Comment by Ram — May 28, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  3. Disgusting stuff…waste of aliens & waste of money , Ra.one was better , wish it could have got a similar budget it would have surely made things better , MIB1 was the best remaining 2 sequels have been a big let down !

    Comment by Vinod Menon — June 3, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  4. Perfectly said by Ram in the second comment.

    The movie is great !!

    Your review is stupid.

    Comment by Anand — June 4, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

  5. Ram, thanks for your comments. I went and saw it, based on them. Its terrific, I saw it again.

    Rajeev, I normally go and see movies only after reading your reviews. This time, I agree with Ram and others, that you have missed it …

    Comment by Sanjay — June 12, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

  6. this film is much better than last one (mib2)
    first half is good but second half of the movie spoils the mood ; which is saved by the nd

    Comment by rupanshu — June 16, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

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