Close Encounters of the Third Dimension: Men in Black 3

An Active3D Review

Rating: *** (out of 5)

More silliness revolving around those agents who deal with underground alien activity on planet Earth… This time around, we have Agent J (Will Smith) going back in time to prevent terrible things from happening to his partner (who wasn’t his partner back then), Agent K (played, in the present, by Tommy Lee Jones as usual; and, in his younger days, by Josh Brolin, who does a splendid imitation of Jone’s languid speech).

Movies dealing with time travel invariably invite hiccups in logic but at least, by travelling back to 1969, we’re afforded a meeting with Andy Warhol (perfectly captured by Bill Hader), plus an exciting Apollo 11 storyline, which has our heroes brawling with the villain on the gantries attached to the spacecraft. (This, in turn, had my fingernails embedded in the theatre seating’s armrests!) And, did you know, by the way, that Andy Warhol was also an MIB operative? 😉

Emma Thompson does an amusing turn as Agent O, and The Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement takes the role of the practically-indestructible villain, Boris “the Animal”, whose efficacy probably owes more to special effects than actual performance.

At 1¾hours, it’s a tad long for a slender, whimsical fantasy such as this is, but it does, to its credit, introduce a dramatic element which had been absent in previous Men in Black movies, which gives it an emotional edge.

The 3-D is superb, and scenes which involve height – such as one which has Will Smith standing on one of the Chrysler Building’s famous gargoyles – will bring out the vertigo in most moviegoers! Going by the credits, the film was shot in 2-D and post-converted into 3-D. Whether portions were shot in native 3-D is hard to tell, but, fortunately, the state of the art of post-stereoptification has advanced to the point where the results are often superior to movies originated in 3-D (as witness, Titanic 3-D and this film). Hopefully the truly-awful, eye-straining 3-D conversions that we’ve seen in movies such as The Last Airbender are a thing of the past (as if the film itself wasn’t bad enough!).

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