I wasn't expecting greatness from this film. Most third-instalments to franchises aren't great, and sci-fi comedy versions are never going to break the mould, however with the addition of such great actors as Josh Brolin and Emma Thompson I thought that perhaps this could have been a pleasant surprise, and it only was a surprise in that it really wasn't that great. At the end of the film I left the cinema slightly empty and as if the film was really missing something that made the men in black the men in black. Despite the fact it was starring the two leads from the entire series and the same director it felt like it had been done by people who weren't even involved in the other films.
For starters Tommy Lee Jones seemed tired and uninterested. His character was supposed to be like this but he seemed tired and uninterested playing a tired and uninterested guy. He is also confined to limited screen time and the bro-mance of the first movie is completely amiss because of this. The film also lacks any real comedy like the first, and especially, the second had. The second wasn't a great film but the worm guys, Frank the talking Pug and a dry Agent K made up for that and this third instalment omitted all three of these things. The tone seemed to change and the great opening of the first film, with the fly buzzing along the highway, is now missing and instead we get a lame prison escape. It was missing the quirky feel of the franchise so far and was as if the film was directed by someone different. Even the lighting of the film seemed lighter and less seemed to be done at night which is where most of the first one was set.
Smith was also on autopilot and after three and a half years of not being in a film you thought he may have brought something new to the role, but he didn't. He seemed to be trying far too hard to drive this film as if nothing else was going to do it. Thank goodness for Josh Brolin then, who is the sole reason to watch it. He has nailed the mannerisms of Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K, and you actually believe he is playing a younger version of that character. However again it feels like he doesn't really get enough screen time and he is only really around for the middle segment of the film. Emma Thompson is also the same. She steals the opening scene and then kind of fades into the background. The film is completely about Will Smith and it is entirely noticeable as the great cast they have on show isn't really shown off enough. Even the villain has very little to do, he's also not a patch on Edgar the Bug Guy from the first film.
There are a few moments of the film that are pretty good, and the emotional end to it all does pay off well to the themes of the film, unfortunately though the film is not a stand against the first film and only matches up with the second one. It is very noticeable that there were problems with this film right from when it was green lit, which is why it took ten years to be released, but if it wasn't for a great turn from Josh Brolin this film would have been even worse.
Pros: Josh Brolin as a young Agent K.
Cons: The spark of the first film has long gone and Frank the Pug is sadly missing.
5 / 10
Top 10 films of 2012 so far:
1. The Hunger Games 8 / 10
2. Avengers Assemble 7.5 / 10
3. 21 Jump Street 7.5 / 10
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
5. The Grey 7 / 10
6. American Reunion 6 / 10
7. Safe House 6 / 10
8. The Raven 6 / 10
9. Contraband 6 / 10
10. The Cabin In The Woods 5.5 / 10