Ten years is a long time to try and resurrect a dormant franchise, especially with a cast & crew that though tantalizing, arent exactly at the top of the food chain as they once were. Looks like the makers however have more than enough confidence in them, despite a much reviled second effort in the series. To put things short, this is a huge improvement over the second one but doesnt come close to touching the freshness of the first one.
J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are still saving the earth from the scum of the universe but when an alien assassin, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) breaks free from a high security prison on the moon, things take a turn for the worse. K had apprehended Boris in 1969 and averted an alien invasion that would have wiped out the human race. Boris seeks to undo the damage by jumping back in time and killing a young K (Josh Brolin), which he does successfully thus wiping out the existence of K in the future and inflicting an imminent alien Armageddon. J now has to travel back in time and ensure Boris fails and the earth is safe.
Keeping aside the various time travel loopholes in the plot this is a fairly breezy take on the Back to the Future template with an emotional twist thrown in at the end as to explain Ks dour personality. While there are plenty of stabs at humour and sly references to hidden aliens amongst us and jokes about technology & racism in the 60s only a bunch of them really hit it out of the park.
Josh Brolin is the real star and mimics Tommy Lee Jones to perfection without ever crossing the line in parody. His voice modulation is pitch perfect as are his mannerisms and in the emotional scenes brings out a certain latent humanity of the character. Will Smith does his usual cool & hip yet goofy routine while Tommy Lee Jones is at his dour best. Alice Eve & Emma Thompson are wasted in inconsequential roles. Flight of the Concordes Jemaine Clement has an impressive look but is lost under all that make-up and sounds more like a pumped up Hugo Weaving than anything else. Michael Chernus has a small role as the electronics store owner who has the equipment required for time travel and has some of the best lines of the film in true surfer dude meets nerd fashion.
The 3D while somewhat effective is yet again derivative and unnecessary though the bright template through the movie helps keep things clean and crisp. The standout sequence are the two jumps, J makes and passes through various timelines to reach the right one, it contains an amusing joke on the great depression.
Men in Black 3 is a breezy watch which offers no great thrills but doesnt bore you either. Josh Brolins dead-on impression of a younger Agent K is easily the highlight of the film, watch it for this alone.