BORIS THE ANIMAL
I saw this flick at the Academy on Saturday night (aka the greatest theater in Los Angeles - cushy seats, fabulous sound and a lot of industry people that love MOVIES) and I have to say I had a buh-LAST. I don't recall 1 or 2 very well - some gags here and there, Tony Shalhoub, etc - but as the third in the MiB series, this movie stood VERY well on its own. I can't remember when I've been so highly entertained in the strictest movie sense. 3D? Eh, take it or leave it. But this particular storyline - penned by Etan Cohen (not Ethan Coen) - was incredibly refreshing. In my opinion, Tommy Lee's straight laced performance bit is a little stale, so what a glorious excuse to bring in Josh Brolin as the young 1969 version of Agent K, making for a fresh, sparky, new interaction with Will Smith's Agent J.
The weakness of the dialogue / jokes was countered well by a full-fledged performance by Will Smith. I admire the guy - he worked his perfect butt off to fill EVERY scene in the way that a comedy should be filled. Some might say he overworked - and that may be true - but it was greatly appreciated in the light of a difficult revival of such a popular film. Will Smith being a bit over the top fits the bill perfectly for this kind of fun film and crazy premise. Besides, I've missed the guy, haven't you?
The visual effects and make-up are EXCELLENT. Specifically for Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement for you Flight of the Conchord fans!!), a wonderful alien nemesis that you completely forgive for being a bit one-noted because he is completely fun to watch. The integration of his character was incredibly well-balanced from an audience perspective - as you never saw too much of him to become wary of his same growling delivery. Instead, you looked forward to those snippets all throughout.
Lastly, HUGE KUDOS to Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man) - fabulous character work as Griffin - the man who sees multiple universes and possibilities at all times. Wow. What a wonderful contrast to his other work and what a pleasure. Ps. Emma Thompson and Bill Hader were great casting as well.
I was completely delighted to see this flick. It is too fun to miss on the big screen.