Thursday, May 24, 2012

Movie Review: Men in Black 3 ? The Birth of Damnation

Movie Review: Men in Black?3

Back in the nineties, Will Smith is one of the coolest people on the planet. He stars in summer blockbusters and sells a gazillion of records. Fine. Singing about going to Miami might be the real reason Lebron James decided to take his talent somewhere else but the point is Mr. Smith WAS BIG ?back then. I remember the exact moment I felt he was going to be a special part of pop culture: him punching an alien in the hit flick Independence Day. One sucker-punch and I got hooked. So there is no reason to question the irrational fascination for Men in Black ? the Spielberg-Sonnenfeld collaboration catapulting Smith to superstardom. The personal preference for putting on a pair of sunnies despite the apparent signs of an impending rain is because of Men in Black. The continuing admiration for pugs is because of Men in Black. The inexplicable habit of ignoring the tropical heat to put on a black on black outfit is all Men in Black. And I still remember how to do the Men in Black jig: (1) bounce (2) slide (3) walk and (4) freeze.

Therefore there is no question I needed to see the third installment of the franchise. Since the second one is a little messed up, the expectations is set on a 50/100 scale. Surprise, surprise. It is not that bad. Not that awesome either but the setting is tipped to a 60-65/100 score.

Boris is the last of the murderous Bologdite alien race and is serving jail term in the Lunar Maximum Prison. After a successful prison-break, he sought to kill his nemesis K (Tommy Lee Jones) in 1969 in order to continue his plan of conquering Earth. It is all up to J (Smith) to intercept Boris and save the future of our planet and the future of his partner. But going back in time has its consequences, like realizing the hard truth of the past.

First off, the Jones-Smith team-up still has screen magic. The craggier and stonier K remains the perfect foil the brash loudmouth J. No one is craggier and stonier than the indefatigable Mr. Jones no one is a cooler brash loudmouth than the unflappable Mr. Smith. The crucial burden is placed upon the able shoulders of Josh Brolin as the ?younger K. Man, he does look like a younger Tommy Lee Jones, from the square jawline to his demeanor. Incredible casting choice. Brolin does a consistent fabulous job in supporting roles. He might not be remembered much in Milk as he was engulfed in the larger-than-life performance of Sean Penn but I remember him. He is such an incredible force in the film, it felt like he is switching an automatic button transforming from a pitiful, to hateful and to a pathetic character in seconds. As the new Men in Black Bureau chief, Emma Thompson as Agent O got the chance to demonstrate her comic brilliance. I just wished she was provided longer screen exposure. Aside from her enormous comedic talent, check out her gorgeous gorgeous hair.

The writers behind the film could not have picked a better decade to time travel. I confess harboring ?a certain fondness for the 1960s as seen in this blog post, but the decade is the great age of space. So what better time for aliens to plan inter-planetary invasion than when two of the most powerful nations on Earth are battling to get out of its atmosphere. We all know, the end of the decade features the culminating event of all the space research and undertaking, and the film put it to good use. Alongside scientific progress, the decade is also a monumental time for fashion and music. I still think it is the best era of mankind in terms of fashion and music so it would not hurt a bit if the filmmakers opted to highlight its achievements. Female Men in Black agents in little black dress and flipped hair-dos is all good but it looks inadequate considering the inconceivable opportunities the time-travel film mechanism provides. Same goes for the music. Of course, there is little to be desired in the song choices of K but J and O must have been more in tune with the times. So I just needed to see more of the decade but CAN YOU BLAME ME. No. Oh. Bill Hader as a famous art icon is genius.

Most time travelling fantasies are borne out of desire to see life in the past. Most time travel films are purposeful in nature. There is the need to correct the past in order to set the present for a better future. Men in Back 3 is in accordance with ?purposeful time-travelling ?but it also puts forth another reason for going back in time: TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTHS OF THE PAST AND THEREFORE THE REALITIES OF THE PRESENT. That one honest scene made all the difference.


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