Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: Men in Black 3

You have to understand that I almost never go to the movies. All the expenses and annoyances of the big-screen experience have managed to largely overcome the movie-house-magic; whether I'm merely getting old or society is getting shittier, who can say, but I guess what I'm getting at is, get off my lawn.

Which segues nicely into this Tommy Lee Jones-focused movie that Tommy Lee Jones is barely in. (It's a time-travel plot; Josh Brolin plays the younger version of Jones' character, Agent K.) And so much the better, because his makeup here was kind of ghastly.

And in fact, so were many of the special effects. I was kind of mystified by the strangely fakey, disconnected look that many of the typical wacky MiB shenanigans had—up until Will Smith jumped off the Chrysler building, at which point I realized "Oh…this was released in 3D." I'd had no idea until then, because again, I not only don't go to the movies, I don't pay very close attention to what's out.

Now, I'm no MiB fanboy, if such a thing exists, as it must. So I won't say the moderately entertaining experience of MiB3 was "ruined" for me by the effects. I won't launch into a Hobbit-48-fps-style harangue and bemoan the future of cinema. But a gimmickily-3D movie (as opposed to a movie that doesn't grind your nose in its 3D-ness, e.g. Hobbit), viewed in 2D, is always distracting.

We live in the post-Avatar, post-LOTR era; you need a really, really good excuse anymore for sub-lifelike effects in a big-budget event movie or franchise installment. 3D, profitable though it may be (and I really do wonder about that, by the way), does not constitute a good excuse.

But enough about that. MiB3 is about what you would expect: fun, fast-paced, predictable, and not even slightly deep. It's better and more memorable than the second one (from which I remember very little), but not as fresh and lively as the first one. Whether you care about MiB or not, it's worth seeing for Josh Brolin's excellent Tommy Lee Jones impression.

Star Score: 3 out of 5 (where MiB1 = about 4 and MiB2…less than 3, certainly. Wow, what the hell even happened in 2?)

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