Making the Grades
There’s a softer side to Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), the surly, alien-zapping Men in Black secret operative, but you have to go 40 years into the past to get a glimpse of it. Still it is an unexpected surprise for Agent J (Will Smith) who time travels back to the 1960s to intercede on his partner’s and the world’s behalf.
It all begins when the intergalactic criminal, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clemnt), escapes from a supposedly impregnable prison located on the moon. Bent on avenging the crusty agent who incarcerated him, Boris accesses a device developed to let him time jump. His plan is to bump off the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and change the course of history.
While Agent K is Boris’ intended target, the gruesome looking extraterrestrial isn’t opposed to mowing down anyone who gets in his path, impaling them in the head with dart-like weapons and hanging his victims on the wall. He is also responsible when a squadron of prison guards, along with the female accomplice (Nicole Scherzinger) that helped Boris escape his shackles, are sucked into space.
Other violence features an alien that is beaten about the head with a frying pan and a host of creatures blasted to bits with the secret agency’s specialized guns. While these fantastical portrayals make up most of this movie’s content, profanities and racial slurs are also found in the script. As well some sexual behavior is depicted, including a graphic kiss that turns gross and clothing that barely covers the essentials.
Yet in comparison to the first two films in this franchise (Men in Black and Men in Black 2) this third outing offers a stronger storyline with more comic relief provided by the goofy visionary Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) and artist Andy Warhol (Bill Hader). Fed up with his partner’s perpetually prickly persona, Agent J finally recognizes the depth of their alliance, albeit an uncommunicative one, when he is given the opportunity to preserve K’s life. Only then does he discover the events and choices that have forged the character of his wizened and tight-lipped co-worker. Although this alien adventure is still more suitable for older teens and adults, the back-story that unfolds gives audiences a whole new appreciation for the relationship these Men in Black share.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Men In Black III.
How does Griffin’s character provide comic relief in the story even though he “sees” some very disturbing images from the future? Would you want to be able to see the events that are coming? Do you agree with his comment, “Miracles seem impossible but happen anyway.”
In the story, one small decision or event has long-reaching impacts on the future. Do you think this is true? What events contribute to the person Agent K becomes? What choices are you making now that will affect your future?
How does Agent J’s trip to the past change his attitude about his partner? How is the importance of a positive partnership portrayed in this movie?