Film: 'Men In Black 3'; Director: Barry Sonnenfeld; Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement; Rating:***1/2
Science fiction and humour can be a potent mix. Imagine having almost an endless array of things to play gags with. In such a scenario, one is limited only by one's imagination.
While the last outing of 'Men in Black' wasn't a patch on the original, this part manages to get the fun and humour of the series right back and tops it up with the right dosage of sentiment, sprinkled just at the right time.
Though it does not trek unchartered territories, choosing to stay in its now familiar universe, it works up a fun film.
Agent J (Will Smith) is always busy either trying to make his partner Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) smile or wondering the reason for his seriousness.
After Boris The Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from a prison, goes back in time, kills agent K and unleashes destruction that will end the world, J too has to travel back in time, team up with the young K (Josh Brolin) and try to save the world.
What he does not know is how this is as much about saving the world and K, as it is about him.
The strength of film, despite the obvious and a very linear plot, is that it manages to include the idea of a popular science fiction film and mesh it up into a convincing film.
Thus, it has a tug-of-war between our heroes, shows the earth at great risk, throws in some cool gadgets, a dangerous extra-terrestrial villain while managing to add an extra spice: a good dose of emotional engagement right at the climax of the film.
The characters are also memorable. Josh Brolin as a fun, younger version of Tommy Lee Jones does well. The villain is ugly and deadly and inspires fear in the viewers.
Yet, what takes the cake is the ending.
You have the actual climax of cool and intelligent action demonstrated by our man in black. But beyond this, the film relies on another climax, an emotional one that rounds up the story and missing explanations (for example, how did he remember the time before time was changed) and sets you off smiling from the theatre.
Will Smith does well to keep the humour going. He is as at ease with Tommy Lee Jones as he is with Josh Brolin. Together, the trio make it a worthwhile watch for lovers of both comedy and science fiction films making this outing a film not to be missed by fans of either.