If you read my summer preview, you would have seen my prediction that Men in Black 3 would be little more than a nostalgia trip. It’s now apparent I was wrong. There’s very little chance to actually get nostalgic at any point (Minor spoilers to follow). The opening is good at giving an idea of back-story, but when Nicole Scherzinger-tower-meal is the first thing I see, I begin to have my doubts if this film will actually have good characters. Luckily, she died 2 minutes in and was basically just eye candy until Jermaine Clement (Apparently big enough to land massive roles like this now) took over and gave a rather mild performance as Boris. Essentially, he’s gonna destroy Earth (the usual MIB pish); this is pretty much all the character got given in the entire movie.

When we finally see our two favourite men in suits again, it’s like nothing’s happened. Really, Columbia? Ten years since the last film, and you can’t start it off with even the slightest bang? Okay, we get to one eventually, but by that point the chance to get nostalgic has gone. Seeing the HQ was cool, and playing ‘spot the celebrity on the screen in the background’ is always a fun game, but Emma Thompson as O was just embarrassing. You’re an Oscar-winning actress; have some dignity, woman!

Thanks to some paradox-filled time-travel, Will Smith has to go back in time, pretty much cutting Tommy Lee Jones for the rest of the film. The whole time travel thing is poorly thought out, and is really just an interchangeable plot device, but the way the film deals with the whole 60s setting is quite well done and thought out, especially with the 60s-style aliens and the ways MIB would have worked 40 years ago. As for Josh Brolin, the man brings his best TLJ impersonation, and is very believable, but then again how hard is ‘surly expressionless old man’?

The few cameos we get to see from Bill Hader and Will Arnett are great, but the actors feel underutilised. Anyway, they follow some clues in they usual Men in Black fashion and we get led to the most pointless scene in film history. Why on Earth do they use jetpacks? They could have easily written in a plane flight or something but instead, they use jetpacks. Do we see them fly them? No, we see them take off, and then land with absolutely nothing happening. It’s not hard to see where this film was pissing money away.

I don’t wanna spoil anything for you, but I would like to say my viewing pleasure was somewhat ruined by someone extremely thick. Not only did she not pick up on the three oddly-worded clues, or the unintentionally massive clue, or the film telling her what’s going on, but after a minute went “Is that meant to be…”, Yes, of course it is, you dim person. Before the credits roll, the film just kinda ends, leaving me feeling like I’ve watched an episode of a sitcom rather than a 200 million dollar film. Not a bad film, but just a lot of missed potential.

[Kerr Stevenson]

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