Thursday, May 24, 2012

Men in Black III

Young K, J and Old K

It comes as a surprise to see Men in Black III 10 years after the bad sequel in the Men in Black II for the truly original one in 1997. Still more surprising (for any sequel), it comes out as good as, if not better, than the first Men in Black - part of my childhood memory. 

The basic elements are there: a secretive agency dealing aliens, men wearing black suits and black ties, aliens disguising in human forms and firing space guns and erasing memory with the Neuralyzer. The interesting bit, though, is to know the Neuralyzer initially needs a portable charger - a feeling similar to looking back at the box - like computers back in 20 or 30 years ago. K (Tommy Lee Jones) still carries his no - nonsense businesslike style while J (Will Smith) slipps in with his hype and gags, only with better humour and added force this time. 

One natural extension to this hyper - technology in the film is time travel - an old theme but nonetheless one that always raise interesting questions. This time, J has to jump out from the 319 meter - high  Chrysler Building to travel back to 1969 for saving the young K from Boris the Animal, the nasty alien who escaped from the moon prison and threatened to destroy the Earth with his massive army but for an ArcNet shield K has succeeded to set up. 

Causal relationships always chime in whenever it involves the time travelling. 'What if' something happens, the future will probably change. A simple causal relation here is: if the young K dies, then no one sets up the ArcNet, then Boris will invade the Earth. But what if someone other than K can do the same job? What if Boris changes his mind and invades another planet? What if K did not set up the ArcNet but still survive? Well, who knows. 

A comic twist comes at the final scene when Griffin (who can predict the immediate future by looking at different possibilities resulting from various causes and events) said 'Uh, oh', what if K has forgotten to pay the tip when he left the restaurant? It might be something catastrophic. 

Finally, the movie added a touching dimension between J and K - shedding light why K recruited the young J in the first Men in Black

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