Sam Strange Remembers: MEN IN BLACK 3

After fifteen years, Sam Strange finally concludes the two movie MEN IN BLACK saga!

On the eve of this great weekend, I greet you to say how happy I am that my cherished Men in Black saga has finally been told to completion. It's been a hell of a journey these past fifteen years. But we made it. The story is done.

But I'm not as happy as I should be. I'm actually a little pissed off. See, the Sony Playstation company held the project back for a decade and a half. We should have been celebrating the completion of Men in Black 3 a long time ago. Instead we're doing it now when the film's core demographic probably wasn't even born yet in 1997. They're going to see it and not know what the fuck is going on. Meanwhile, you're going to see it without rewatching the others and won't know what the fuck is going on. And my aged brain means I'm quickly losing sight of what the fuck is going on as well.

It didn't have to be this way. But it is. So, in a childish attempt to hurt those who have helped me, just not in the way I demanded, I am here to sabotage Men in Black 3. Don't go see it. I'll just tell you everything you need to know here.

So Men in Black 3 picks up right where Men in Black 1 left off, only fifteen years later. K&J are still partners. K is still a cool black guy with his finger on the pulse of America's youth, and J is still a grumpy old dude with his finger on the pulse of America's voting majority. Actually J is even grumpier than normal. On a routine Men in Black stop at a chinese restaurant, K calls the alien owner a "chink piece of shit" and pisses in a massive batch of hot and sour soup. J is all like "Yo dog, that was whack," and asks why K's been such a K-hole lately.

Instead of explaining himself, K just tells J that he shouldn't ask questions he doesn't want answers to. J asks how he's supposed to know which questions those are until he gets the answer, and K punches him in the face. "Get it now, Slick?" Then they get pie and listen to the Charlie Daniels Band. J inexplicably starts talking about his father who abandoned him at a young age. This rekindles K's grumpiness, and he re-punches J's face, telling him again not to ask questions he doesn't want answers to, even though J never asked him anything.

The next day, J wakes up and his whole world has changed. No one knows where K is. In fact, everyone at MIBHQ says he died forty years ago. While getting this info, J displays a strong urge to drink chocolate milk. This clues his superior officer, O, that some time travel shit might be going down because chocolate milk eases alternate reality headaches. He neglects to tell her about his incredible urge to stick his wee-wee into pencil sharpeners. If he had though, she'd fully understand the situation and would be able to fix the whole plot with one phone call.

O ascertains that an evil alien named Jerome went back in time and killed K when he was still young. In order to right this wrong, J has to go back two minutes earlier to prevent K's death. He asks O why anyone would want to do that, and she punches him in the face for asking questions he doesn't want the answer to.

So J goes to a fat hippie who gives him a time travel gadget. He asks how it works and gets punched in the face. This sends him back in time.

Because J has seen time travel movies, he knows he's supposed to stay away from YoungK and stick to his kill Jerome mission. Unfortunately, YoungK catches him trying to kill Jerome and arrests him. So not only does Jerome get away, but J threatens the universe by hanging out with YoungK. But it turns out the universe can take it. She's a tough old bird. Just like K's momma.

Together J and YoungK hatch a plan to kill Jerome before Jerome can erase OldK by killing YoungK. Keep in mind, there are two Jeromes now, though one of them only has one arm. So it's more like there are one and a half Jeromes. That's still pretty dangerous because Jerome has a big grasshopper living in each of his hands that can shoot grasshopper legs at you. They're so strong that they can pin you to a wall despite being only four inches long.

To figure out where Jerome will strike next, J&YoungK need the help of a Joe Pesci. Since Joe Pesci doesn't play Joe Pescis anymore, they get some other nervous short guy. This fella can see all futures at once and talks about each one constantly, which makes him both super and not at all helpful. He has a missile defense system on his keychain which is actually the long lost father of the keychain MacGuffin from the first film (and if there were a second film, it would be that film's keychain MacGuffin's husband). Once he gives it to J&YoungK, they get him off the movie as fast as humanly possible.

So instead of seeking Jerome, they go to America's first moon spaceship just before it launches and do the keychain thing knowing it will draw out him and his future him. Both J&YoungK take a Jerome each. J loses against his but uses time travel to give himself a redo. This time he succeeds by doing something impossible, but no one's quite sure what it was. Then YoungK succeeds. Then the world is saved because OldK is saved, and all the Jeromes are dead.

But then, when everything is at it's happiest, a noble black guy gets killed while YoungK watches, unable to stop it. Amazingly enough, this turns out to be J's long lost father. YoungJ shows up looking for his dad, but since he's dead, YoungK zaps his mind and says, "I'm your dad," and the two walk off together. Hiding in some bushes, J sees all of this and understands everything.

Back in 2012, J confronts K about how he was his dad his whole life but he never knew it until he went back in time and saw it with his own to eyes. When K recruited J in Men in Black 1, he'd already spent a lifetime with YoungerJ and an eventful 1969 afternoon with OlderJ. But because MIB regulations force a mandatory pre-joining brain zap, J never knew who his real fake father was. Any other inconsistencies between this film and the first one were fixed offscreen via further time travel.

It's a marvelous conclusion to an epic story that was planned out from the beginning, I can assure you.

(three stars)

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