Reel Watchers: Men in Black 3

Men in Black 3 is a science fiction action comedy full of visual wizardry, witty banter, one stellar performance, and a sentimental (if not completely unexpected) ending. Fans of the franchise will find this addition an improvement over the first sequel released in 2002, though perhaps not as rewarding as the 1997 original.

Initially the film idles while introducing a new audience to Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and his partner Agent J (Will Smith), who work for a secret organization that deals with alien activity on Earth. At first, the slow pace makes the usual humor found in the odd couple relationship fall flat. Even the aliens, as vile and disgusting as ever, seem tedious.

MIB3 improves rapidly when Agent J jumps back in time to save the life of his partner from a time-traveling alien set on revenge. When Agent J lands in the summer of 1969 it is reminiscent of Dorothy opening the door to Oz. The colors are brighter, the pace is quicker, and the writing is funnier. While "Mad Men" fans will be disappointed with the cartoonish treatment of the period, there are some witty tie-ins to icons of the day.

What makes this installment of MIB fresher than its predecessor is Josh Brolin's portrayal of a younger Agent K. Brolin's uncanny delivery of Tommy Lee Jones' gruff drawl, steely squint and deadpan delivery is impeccable and brings a new dimension to the repartee between the two agents.

Will Smith remains, of course, the heart of the movie. Smith's Agent J is as lovable as ever and, as expected, brings in the biggest laughs of the film. If only there had been a few more of them. I give MIB3 two and one-half Miners out of four.