MEN IN BLACK 3 (Barry Sonnenfeld, 2012)
The onscreen presence of Josh Brolin is one of MEN IN BLACK 3's strongest reason for being. His inspired performance and throwback to Tommy Lee Jones as a younger Agent K keeps the pace entertaining, the story riveting.
Throw in a compelling back story to J's character and a race against time against a cunning foe worthy of our attention and we have a MEN IN BLACK movie that's even better than the original. Sonnenfeld and company have redeemed what horrid memory it was that goes by the name of MIB2.
By disregarding the second film's plot entirely and creating a new story all over, MIB3 becomes a rush of an experience. Not only do we want J to succeed in his mission to save K from being killed by Boris the Animal, but we want to be along for the ride. The plot twist in the end proves most exciting. Meanwhile Michael Stuhlbarg (A SERIOUS MAN) delivers giggly fun as a fast-talking alien named Griffin, who can see the future, yielding hilarious and often heartwarming results.
Even Emma Thompson as the new MIB head Agent O is wickedly funny, if for that one eulogy speech alone.
The reason why MIB 3 works is it valued heart over flashy special effects (although K and J's new mode of transportation is undoubtedly super cool), laying the foundation for its beloved protagonists and the reason for K being K all these years.
MIB3 is living proof that even bad movies can make a surprising comeback. Its plot is simple, and it does not treat its characters like idiots- especially the villains. (Ugh, Boris the Animal's hand is grotesque.)