Ok, so it’s not as good as the first one, but it’s way better than the second one…
10 years have passed since we last visited J and K and while Will Smith is looking pretty much the same, Tommy Lee Jones is looking like a more exaggerated form of his curmudgeonly self. The story hasn’t changed much: saving the universe, deporting nasty aliens, blah, blah, blah. So this time, the story is more focused on J and K and their distant-yet-caring relationship as well as a secret that J is starting to learn about from K’s past.
Often a time-jump mechanic in the storyline is put in when there’s no other idea where to take the concept, in other words it’s often a crutch. So is the case here; however, it’s used effectively and even though it all plays out in a manner we’ve seen many, many times before, it’s still fun to watch and dare I say even a little heartwarming at the end.
The effects go back and forth from looking cool and genuine to looking really fake and cheesy (watch out for those digital projectors my fellow filmmakers, they show a lot more detail than the old school film chains). The alien invasion scene looks particularly CG such that I had trouble focusing (or caring) what was happening with Will Smith’s character at the time.
The performances are decent, standard as you’d expect although I have to say I found Will Smith’s performance to be a bit annoying as he played J like a real asshole for the first 30 minutes of the film, just kind of angry and arrogant, hard to like. Josh Brolin has his Tommy Lee Jones impression down, that’s for damn sure. As for Tommy Lee Jones, well, he’s Tommy Lee Jones, ’nuff said. Some other great talent in here that includes Jemaine Clement (who’s really fun to watch as Boris the Animal) as well as Emma Thompson and Bill Hader.
Fun stuff to see in the theater and makes up a little for the second one. Directed by Barry Sonnefeld.
reviewed by Sean McKnight