directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Barry Sonnenfeld may be more notorious for his duds than his successes, and with career wrinkles ranging from such famous disasters as Wild Wild West to the more quietly clunky Big Trouble and RV, who’s say it’s not totally deserving. Sonnenfeld is an erratic talent who lets his love of the madcap get away with him, but that didn’t stop me from getting a little excited over the third installment of the Men In Black series. My excitement proved me right once again, and though his close ups are too close and his special effects choices are ludicrously subpar, none of it stopped me from thoroughly enjoying myself as I watched zany thing after zany thing explode on the screen. MIB3 finds Will Smith back in the comedy saddle (from which he has been sorely missed) as Agent J. J arrives at work one day to discover that he has to travel back in time to save his curmudgeonly low key partner Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones). Enter the high point of the film (the high point of most films, he is), Josh Brolin, who finds the music (as Brolin calls it) of Jones’ vocal cadence and dry sense of comedic delivery. Brolin plays the younger version of K, when he was a touch more easygoing, and as J and K work to uncover the truth behind the future’s sudden flux, they begin to understand each other in new ways. Michael Stuhlbarg is a delight as Griffin, who can see all possible futures at once, and a perfectly perfect Bill Hader plays the hell out of the Andy Warhol as secret agent gag. Though Jones shares little screen time with the other players this time around, his knack for hitting the nail on the head is pitch perfect, and the result of it all is a knee slapping mess of a film that had me happy as a clam from start to finish. MIB3 reclaims much of what was lost in the sequel, and in turn gives us a taste of a slightly older style of filmmaking, when a little good time ridiculousness went a long way.