Saturday, 23 June 2012

Sci-Fi. Aliens or Time Travel... Or Both?

Trilogy is a word that causes film nerds to hide in fear. They grab their copies of Lord Of The Rings, the original Star Wars trilogy, Back to the Future, and all three Toy Stories. For the kids of course (Ed: Lying bastard. Everyone loves Toy Story.) So how did this trilogy excite people? How did it manage to convince people that it may be different? Two words: Will Smith.

When Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from his high security prison on the moon, he swears revenge on the Agent who shot his arm off and arrested him in 1969. However, instead of finding revenge in the present day, he decides to go back to where it began. The past: 1969. The Agent he want's revenge on? Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones). Back in the present, Agent J (Will Smith) realises that something's different. No one has any recollection of Agent K. J does the only sensible thing, goes back in time to stop Boris the Animal. (Ed: It's just Boris) Back in 1969, he meets the younger Agent K (Josh Brolin), and together they team up to save... well... Agent K. Of course, in 1969, there are now two Boris the Animals, only one Agent K, Agent J, and a strange man called Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) who can see all outcomes of any time space combination. Time travel is hard.

Time to strap in... to the love train
All brain numbing paradoxes aside, (don't get me started!) there are plenty of good performances to keep the movie going. While this is, as the other tow movies were, completely Will Smith's movie - normally playing next to Tommy Lee Jones' straight man, Agent K - Josh Brolin is the one who really comes out in this film. One of the most perfect pieces of casting ever known. Brolin channels his inner Tommy Lee Jones perfectly and it is hard to tell that he is not an actual younger version of him. The big difference is, the younger Agent K is more charismatic and this encourages a really nice partnership between him and J. Of course, Will Smith is still brilliant. It's nice to see him going back to his Men in Black character and that he still remembers it, despite the long gap between movies. Tommy Lee Jones, as well, is fantastic and one can't help but wonder if working with Josh Brolin in the past helped the pair learn more about one another which greatly helped their performances.
Despite his might, Boris needed a hand to escape.
As mentioned earlier, there are serious paradoxical issues with the script writing. Of course, Men In Black is an alien franchise primarily but I will forever have issues with people who go back in time to stop something which will lead to them to not wanting to go back in time at all causing a ripple in the time-space cont... oh no I've gone cross-eyed. There are little faults in terms of technical elements; the CGI is perferctly fine (and should be with such a high budget.) The biggest issues come with the script, not just in terms of time travel, but also in terms of heart. There is little heart in the movie until one point that just seems to be thrown in with little thought. Once the audience get past the 'aww' factor, they will question the purpose of it entirely.

Overall though, it is a fun film and one that will present a good laugh, despite jokes falling flat or just not developing completely far too often. Serious Sci-Fi fans beware, but if you're after a simple laugh with a friend, this may suffice for you.

Best Bit? There is a really nice moment when K, J, and Griffin are all gathered at a ball park, in the past, watching a baseball game from the future. It is a part of the movie that actually is touching. That and the very last joke of the movie (The best joke in the movie) are the best parts for me.

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