The Avengers will be remembered for two reasons this year. One, the amount of money this behemoth has made and two, how bad it made every other movie look like. Bombs like Battleship, John Carter, Dark Shadows, What to Expect When You're Expecting, the Chernobyl Diaries and, I'm willing to bet, Snow White all suffer from terrible screenplays. The days of studio interference may finally come to an end after this nonstop string of losers. Box office is way down as people have seen the Avengers, gone to another film after and said, loud and clear, "Wow. That sucked moose balls." And then told all their friends that going to see the Avengers again was far better than sitting through drek like Battleship which seemed more like a way to sell toys rather than make a movie.
Unfortunately, even good movies have now been hurt by this trend as people have about had it with spending lots of money to watch utter crap and probably figured that a sequel to a film ten years old would suck. It did not. As a matter of face, it was actually quite good.
Will Smith returns as J along with surly partner K (Tommy Lee Jones). After Boris the Animal, an effective but weakly written villain, escapes from a lunar Super Max, he vows revenge on K, the man who put him there. Going back in time, he kills K and changes the future. J has to go back to 1969 to stop it from happening. K morphs into Josh Brolin who nails his impersonation of Jones to a T. The film flies high in 1969 with a great script, funny scenes, good action and a tremendous ending that helps make sense of the previous two pictures.
The one problem with this film had nothing to do with what was one screen but the price tag to put it there. It was $300 million before advertising meaning this film will have to gross at least $450 million before a dime of profit will be seen. Good luck with that. As the opening weekend wasn't anywhere near the $100 million they were hoping for, and world box office not nearly what they wanted either, this movie will most likely lose money, despite the fact it was actually quite good.
Is it as good as the Avengers? No, not even close. But no film this year will be, except maybe a few hopefuls like the Hobbit, Skyfall and the Dark Knight Rises. And that fact will make a lot of films released this summer fail in comparison because they weren't well written in the first place and without a good screenplay, you have nothing. We have at least three straight years now of substandard movies and Hollywood still hasn't gotten the notion that we would rather have quality than quantity. At least Men in Black 3 was fun, memorable and one of the better films this summer. Considering the crap out there right now, it's this or the Avengers, and wouldn't you rather see something new rather than that for the fifth time? The box office is telling me no, you wouldn't.
Men in Black 3
3 and a half stars out of five.