Thankfully, the plot centers on Jay having to meet his partners 29-year-old self, who is much the same but also very different. Brolin plays a Kay that is more jovial and has a very youthful exuberance about him. Jones has always been the Kay that is never joking, rarely divulges his personal feelings and is very enigmatic.
Smith plays his usual self, with corny jokes, outlandish mannerisms and often very dated attempts at humor. While he has shown himself somewhat capable in a variety of roles, when he slips back into the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character, its hard to see him as anything else.
I guess its more of my comedic taste, but I found much of Smiths jokes not very funny, or just the usual fluff that I was waiting to pass so we can get on to the more interesting bits. Since the first Men in Black, Agent Kay has always been the most interesting character.
Things are no different in this third installment.
I cant help but think that while Smith is undoubtedly the movies star and a mega-star at that, Im not sure many would say hes a better actor than Jones, and I felt he was the weakest link of the film for most of its run time.
However, when the climax emerges and we actually get to see some depth to the Agent Jay character, its such a relief and a breath of fresh air. If the previous two films had done as well a job of bringing depth to Jay as did the final 20-25 minutes of Men in Black III I would have enjoyed the character more.
The films tough production history cant go without a mention as it spent a lot of time in pre-production limbo, many script rewrites, including some from Smith himself. At times, I could easily tell which parts he may have written, lines or silly moments for himself to display some of his comedic gold.
But thats not to say Smith and Jay dont get their chance to grow. The films closing shows just that, with an honest moment between the partners.
Brolin is a welcome addition, as is supporting character Griffin, an alien described as a fifth dimensional being who can view space, and all modes of time simultaneously. The thought and idea of such a character was great and Griffin, played by Michael Stuhlbarg is a great cog in the machine.
I loved the overall idea of the plot, being time traveling back to save the world but maybe because we really get to see more of Agent Kays emotional drive and it left me wanting more characterization from, day I say it, any future sequels.
The first film in 1997 was such a success because of Smiths star power, for one, and this film probably will no doubt succeed in the same way. But while the first was a surprising and interesting view of alien films, giving it a sarcasm and little winks to the audience, that is now all too familiar in a third outing.
The film was directed byBarry Sonnenfeld, director of the other two installments as well.
Im sure there are varying viewpoints on the characters, many will enjoy Smiths usual antics and character, while others may enjoy Jones and Brolins Agent Kay. For a fan of Agent Kay, I was happy to see some layers peeled away during the film. If they continue, I can only hope they repeat that recipe in place of silly jokes.
Men in Black III is rated PG-13 and is now playing in theaters with a runtime of 1 hour 44 minutes.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.