It’s surprising to see an action film that plays so jitteringly like the stretched-thin, papered-over adornment of an elaborately contrived script that it leaves its framework sticking uneasily out between the edges.The New York Times's A O Scott asked,
Can you think of a new movie with less reason for existing than “Men in Black 3”?then regained his good humor in time to conclude
You don’t need to study up on the previous installments or master a body of bogus fanboy lore to enjoy this movie for the breezy pop throwaway it is. Your expectations may be pleasantly low, and you may therefore be pleasantly surprised when they are exceeded.
As the younger K, Josh Brolin wears a semi-squashed nose (it is age-appropriately less spread), slits his eyes, and replicates the music in Jones’s voice — that weary, quarter-tone-up-the-scale Southern sigh that makes good comebacks bluesy. They’ve cast a still-untapped major talent — Jemaine Clement, of Flight of the Conchords — as the snarling extraterrestrial villain Boris “the Animal” and concocted a fascinating character in Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg), a disheveled entity hidden under multiple layers of clothes and driven mad by his ability (more curse than gift) to see multiple futures at once. Such agreeable personalities as Emma Thompson (as the new boss), the dishy Brit Alice Eve (as the younger Thompson), and Bill Hader (as Andy Warhol!) flit in and out. The finished product is in a different league than the whompingly terrible Men in Black II — it hits its marks. But it’s not inventive enough to overcome the overarching inertia, the palpable absence of passion.