Movies are about expectations. No matter how jaded we may be, we enter the theater with a certain set of those darn expectations. When your expectations are exceeded with a smart, entertaining film there is a feeling of exhilaration. Remember the first time Indiana Jones made his way into our universe or maybe that Imperial battleship coming out of the right hand of the screen, and kept coming, and coming. It’s a delight.
The opposite is also true. Going to a film with the expectation that it will be everything you want only to find that the trailers and the hype don’t even come close to matching your hopes. It’s a bummer. Usually this comes when the premise of the film has been played out. The film is as arid a field of wheat in the 1930s dustbowl. Swirling wind signifying nothing but a waste of time, and if you bought a popcorn, no fun and added fat. Yuck.
“Men in Black 3” has some expectations. You go in thinking this is going to be the same old, same old. It took them so long to get around to making this that it has to be a simple case of cashing in and running off with our money. It will offer nothing new and those aforementioned calories are going to be added to an already too large midriff.
But surprise, surprise. MIB3 is a fun. It doesn’t have a serious bone in its digital body. It doesn’t take itself seriously and as a result, it is enjoyable fun. It has nice SFX, but more importantly, it has some fine acting. What? Fine acting in a loud, summer sequelized film? Yeah.
I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say, Will Smith has to go back in time to set somethings right and save Tommy Lee Jones’ character. Along the way, the new head of MIB is played by Emma Thompson. This great actress has some of the best comic timing out there. No wonder, back in the day she learned her trade as a comic with Hugh Laurie. So she’s fun to watch. Josh Brolin plays a young Tommy Lee Jones, but with Tommy Lee’s voice coming out of his mouth. What could have been a distraction, isn’t. Then there is Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays an alien who lives in various futures all at the same time. Don’t ask, it works. And for eye candy there is Alice Eve who plays Emma Thompson’s character in the past. And as Esquire magazine is so fond of saying, she’s one of those gals we love to watch. Another actor who shows some serious chops is Jemaine Clement. He plays Boris the Animal, and when I say chops, he has a set of teeth that would make an orthodontists drool, but his over the top emoting is perfect for his badd as character.
OK, let’s break it down. MIB3 is a fun, empty headed carnival ride that exceeds expectations. What else could you expect from a film coming out Memorial Day Weekend? Not much, Slick.