Did you see Men in Black: International, the spinoff movie from the original Men in Black trilogy? Well, according to the box office, the odds are probably not. The new film starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson seems unlikely to rekindle the world of the Men in Black. However, if you never finished that original trilogy, at least you can go back and watch Men in Black III, which is a solid sequel that feels like it went a bit under the radar.
There are reasons for that. The original movie, which helped turn Will Smith into the world’s biggest movie star, came out in 1997. Then, Men in Black II came out in 2002, and it wasn’t very good. Johnny Knoxville is involved. After that, it was a full decade until Men in Black III came out in 2012. That means it was 15 years after the movie people loved came out. It was a delayed sequel to be sure, and by 2012 Smith was will a star, but not the biggest actor on the planet.
That being said, apparently having a decade to sit on the third movie in the trilogy allowed them to come up with some good ideas. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back as Agent J and Agent K respectively. Also, the scale of the action ramps up a bit. We know that the world of Men in Black presupposes that aliens live among us and the Men in Black are an organization that keeps them under wraps while also policing their presence on Earth. That’s a good premise to start with. Men in Black III then throws time travel on top of things.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so I shall stick to the bare bones overview. An alien criminal named Boris the Animal, played by Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame in a bit of against-type casting, goes back in time and kills K, meaning in the present he’s gone, and nobody but J remembers him. Then, J goes back in time to find the younger, not-yet-dead K to keep him from dying. Oh, also to save the present-day world from alien attack. There’s a lot on his plate.