Men in Black 3 (2012)


Agent J travels in time to M.I.B.’s early days in 1969 to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history. (IMDb)
The key to this film’s success is that Brolin as a young Agent K is marvelous and has the same entertaining chemistry with Smith’s J as TLJ did. The future-past mash-up, meanwhile, adds both extra fun to the dynamic as well as hints of intriguing character work (“What happened to you man?”; see also the final reveal). Stuhlbarg’s manic Griffin and Clement’s delightfully over-the-top villain (see his hilarious interaction with his past self) are great secondary characters that fill things out.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Men in Black II (2002)


Agent J needs help so he is sent to find Agent K and restore his memory. (IMDb)
Just didn’t click this time around. The combination of Jay’s naivety and bravado in the first made for lots of laughs; here, the former is gone and a cocky vet just isn’t as funny as a brash rookie. Kay’s also gone for half the flick, so that doesn’t help. It’s not bad, per se, and there are some good moments (see the locker colony, and the cheeky reveal at the end) but annoying villains, an empty “romance” (I can’t even call it that seriously) and a lame plot linger more than anything else.
6/10 (Mediocre)


Men in Black (1997)


A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth. (IMDb)
The sci-fi concept is uniquely nuanced (aliens aren’t all good or all bad) and well established (“Why the big secret? People are smart.” “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals”) but as a whole, smartly stays just goofy, gross fun throughout, complimented by the classic central odd-couple and comedy that goes beyond one-liners (see Jay and fellow testers trying to make themselves comfortable), though it has plenty of those too: “No, Elvis is not dead. He just went home.”
7.5/10 (Really Good)