Of thrice and men
Q. CAN you randomly select 10 words to make a sentence that has never been spoken, nor written, in the history of all mankind?
A. I Wish There Was A Third Men In Black Movie.
Yes, here by a total lack of public demand is Men in Black 3.
This messy, overbearingly loud and barely diverting action comedy happens right in front of you – then high- tails it out of your memory for good.
You won’t be needing a Neuralyzer to be forgetting this in a hurry.
( That’s a joke from the first two Men in Blacks. If you don’t get it, you’ve already been Neuralyzed. As a result, read no further. Men in Black 3 may just be the movie for you.)
Relating a satisfactory synopsis is difficult. That’s not just because Men in Black 3 is difficult to relate to and rarely satisfies.
Agent J ( Will Smith) must journey back to the 1960s to save the life of his partner, Agent K ( Tommy Lee Jones).
A one- armed alien named Boris the Animal ( Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement) has magically re- written history so that K dies at the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969.
J must buddy up with the younger, groovier K ( played by Josh Brolin) and keep him alive so that everything can return to as it should be.
While there is some high- concept stuff going on about disobeying the laws of time, the viewers’ care factor is guaranteed to remain quite low.
Performances are ever so slightly stilted. Brolin does an uncanny impression of a youthful Tommy Lee Jones, but leaves no impression otherwise. Jones himself can barely feign interest in his sections of the movie.
Clement earns a pass mark as the villain, but doesn’t get to do anything funny. Given his repute as a comedian – and a gifted one at that – the Conchord is denied all chance of lift- off.
Even Will Smith is nowhere near the top of his game. This is perhaps understandable. It has been four years since he last starred in a movie. Dude is rusty.
Are there any positives? Just the visuals. Not so much the special effects, mind you, but the composition going on within the frame.
To the naked eye – or the fully- dressed one, for that matter – Men in Black 3 is a beautifully arranged picture. Every person, prop and pixel has been placed to perfection before the camera.
Switch off the sound and cut out all the bits where people yap or monsters go splat, and you’ve got the most striking screen- saver ever made.
So let’s inscribe the Men in Black franchise tombstone as follows: Hit film 1997. Hacky sequel 2002. Hardly matters 2012. LEIGH PAATSCH Now showing Village Cinemas