I've said in discussions with friends, family, and assorted walls, that I don't know if it is truly a viable idea to bring back a movie franchise after a long hiatus. There is chemistry lost between returning cast members, or perhaps the artistic vision of the creative team has changed drastically. Regardless of the why, the important thing is, that ever since the Star Wars prequels, I have gone into these movies separated by long stretches with fairly low expectations. So, when I heard that the Men in Black were returning after a 10 year hiatus, I was a little worried.
My worries were not warranted however.
The stars still manage to have the same chemistry on screen as they did when the series first began. And if there are worries that Smith and Jones are just not going to hit it off again, don't worry. After about 25 minutes or so Mr. Jones is pretty much kicked off the set and replaced with Josh Brolin. And as much as I thought the Smith/Jones duo played well on screen, the Smith/Brolin pairing works out even better. Mr. Brolin does a great job of filling Mr. Jones' shoes, emulating his speech patterns with a great deal of success.
The villain of the piece, Boris the Animal, is also a fairly fun creation. He is a huge part of the story, and one of the more interesting creatures I've seen. He's a wonderful series of special effects that proves to be more than a match for the Men in Black. His grudge with the Men in Black makes for a decent enough story, and helps to justify pretty much everything that happens in the film.
The movie is a nice mix of comedy, and sci-fi, and even manages to throw in a scene towards the end that should bring a tear to the eye of just about anyone. It's a scene that really helps to pull together the story behind the two agents.
Recommendation: The movie is definitely worth a look, if you are a fan of the series. Familiar characters return, new characters are introduced, and there is a lot of fun to be had. It's not a cerebral movie, nor is it anywhere close to an Oscar winner, but it is a decent popcorn flick, and should leave you with a smile on your face.
Is it Theater-worthy: This is worth checking out if you avoid the insanity that is IMAX 3D. See it in just the standard format, sit back, and enjoy. But, I think this one will play particularly well on Blu-ray. Between all the cameos and the nods to cultural events littered throughout, being able to pause at your leisure to scrutinize the scene will be a huge boon. So, final thought, only see it in the theater if you can't wait three months for the Blu-ray. And considering you've already waited 10 years, what is a few more months, right?
My Final Thoughts: Was this a fun flick? Yes. Was it a masterpiece? Not at all. But in my opinion it is better than the previous film. Josh Brolin makes an excellent addition to the cast, and the film gives credence to my theory that Lady Gaga is not of this Earth. All in all, this was 5 bucks well spent.
Frank's Final Score: 7.5 out of 10