The original Men In Black came out in 1997, during the stretch of years where Will Smith owned the Fourth of July holiday movie weekend. He had a stretch of hits on that weekend every year, including Bad Boys (1995), Independence Day (1996), and (sort of) Wild Wild West (1998). My favorite of these was Independence Day, which really benefitted from amazing marketing - you knew almost nothing about the movie before it opened - a great cast - and a really cool premise.
A summary of the plot can be done quickly: An evil alien that K put away years ago, breaks out of a lunar prison, and hell-bent on revenge, goes back in time to kill K, which wipes him out in the now. J, being the only person that remembers K in the now, must travel back in time to save him before he gets pre-killed. Simple enough, right?
Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) is the villian Boris the Animal. The effects on his makeup are very cool, and he plays a good villian, and is very over the top - but that seems to be what is called for here. I am a fan of his, and can't tell if I wanted more or less from him, but I wanted a little something different.
The true scene stealer in this, which you can tell from the trailer, is Josh Brolin as a young K. His Tommy Lee Jones mannerisms and speech patterns are epic and perfect. He brings fun to the young K that J is confused by, as the older K has no fun.
Sonnenfeld directs this with great ease, because he's familiar with these characters, and even more familiar with this style. Quirky fun is his cup of tea. If you haven't watched his live-action Tick tv show featuring the genius that is Patrick Warburton - check it out...my favorite is the episode with Ron Perlman. The other movie by Sonnenfeld that you should see is Big Trouble - quirky and fun. He does cameo in this movie on a couch - as he has in other movies he's done.
All in all I really enjoyed this movie - it was short, but that did not bother me. I did feel like it was a lot of buildup for a little payoff. It's difficult to explain that without spoilering, so I'll just say that the movie does explain a lot in terms of the relationship between K and J, and the orgins of it, in a very quiet and touching scene, that I felt could have been longer with a little more explaination that would have served the story equally well - but it wasn't bad the way it was done.
7 out of 10 - very good, probably would have been really good in a year that didn't have the Avengers in it!
Bonus Video 1: Flight of the Conchords - Hiphopopotamus and Rymenocerus. If you have never watched this show - Netflix it now, it is just too bizarre. This is one of my favorite songs...but I have lots - I especially love the confused pause after, "my lyrics are bottomless...."
Bonus Video 2: The Tick! Netflix this now too!