Instead of rehashing the old- aliens are on the loose, we must stop them! plot of the previous films, this one adds in another popular sci-fi element: time travel!
The evil alien, Boris [an incredibly cool looking character with a little insect baddy that lives in his hand] escapes from prison and wants to get revenge on Agent K for shooting off his arm… by going back in time to kill young Agent K before he had a chance to do that. Mind bending, yes?
Then Agent J decides to go back in time to kill the young Boris before he had a chance to grow up and go back in time to kill young Agent K. Don’t you just love time travel?
The time travel sequence was ingenious, and one of the best time travel sequences I have seen- instead of using a machine, which is a tired trope of time travel romps, he jumps off a building with a little time device, and he hurtles through time itself before landing in 1969.
Time is used flawlessly in this film. J and K run into an alien named Griffin, who can see many different futures at the same time and tried to figure out which one he is currently in. It really makes you think about time travel and alternate universes and futures.
It’s fun seeing the Men in Black headquarters as it was in the sixties, even the aliens roaming about looked like aliens in 60s scifi movies, none of the flashy special effects of current day film aliens.
It was even more fun seeing Andy Warhol’s club “The Factory”, in the words of Agent J “Is anyone here not an alien?” Bill Hader plays Warhol perfectly, and reveals a fun little secret [no spoilers!]
Josh Brolin played young Agent K frightfully well, he looked and acted just like a younger Tommy Lee Jones. We also got to see a different side of Agent K- as a more fun and relaxed man. As a matter of fact, the dynamics were a bit flipped- Agent J was the serious and more experienced one and Agent K was more relaxed and leaned on Agent J to lead the way.
All in all, it is very funny, action filled [there was a great alien shootout in a chinese restaurant!] and uses time travel in a way that is less of a gimmick and more of something the writers seemed to have thought through. A secret is revealed about Agent K and J’s past, and it is quite a tearjerker.
As someone who loves time travel and time travel stories I was awfully fond of this film, and I highly recommend you watch it. I think it might even be my favourite so far!