It is common knowledge that sequels are never as good as the original. Everyone will say that, but it is not actually true? The second Star Wars (for those of you under the age of 21, that would be Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) was better than the first. So maybe we can say that third installments are always the worst. Men In Black 3 refutes that cultural surety. I would not say that it is better than the original, but it is at least better than its immediate predecessor.

The Men In Black series broke onto the movie scene 14 year ago. It was one of those movies that came directly from comic books. The art of special effects had matured enough to make the story entertaining and successful. Men In Black 2, although bringing back most of the original cast, failed to bring anything new to the table. The secondary and background characters knew too much, almost like they had watched the original movie.

Men In Black 3 avoided those pitfalls. The primary members of the cast (Smith and Jones) were retained. The addition of Emma Thompson to replace Rip Torn was outstanding (Ok, I just really like Emma Thompson). The story is more about the characters getting to know each other than just hunting down strange aliens.

There are strange aliens of course, and they are very important to the plot. There is a big nasty evil one, just like in the other movies, and he is the focus of the action, just like in the other movies. There are plenty of differences from the first two movies. The first movie was an introduction and a study of “J” as he entered the Men In Black organization. The second movie was the return of “K”. This movie is really an introduction of “K” and “J” to each other. In the other movies, there is a teacher and student. This latest installment is more of a partnership.

There is a lot of simulated violence; so it would not be appropriate for younger viewers. Teenagers will of course love it just as they flocked to the first two. Since there is time travel, there are plenty of historical play for viewers older than 40. I would say that this movie is good entertainment for most viewers of science fiction or action hero films. Although some theaters are presenting Men In Black 3 in 3-D, the film does not over use the technology and the effects do not really need it. I believe that this movie is worth a full price ticket, but if you miss it in the theaters, or don’t want to pay full price, it is definitely a discount theater or rental value.

Next week: Brave

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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