1969 is, it turns out, a seminal moment in US history: something is about to go up at Cape Canaveral. J and the younger K need to pop a kind of protective device on the tip of a space bound rocket that will later spread a defense shield around the earth. If all goes according to plan, this will put a spanner in the dastardly works of alien criminal Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) whose 1969 incarnation is taken straight from an iconic counter-culture film released that year and featuring head-wraps and Harleys (although MIB director Barry Sonnenfeld says this is purely coincidental). So, style: check. Content: check. And non-pc language.
It being 1969, the younger K gets plenty of chances to call J some racially inappropriate names and allows for the odd joke on black men stealing fancy cars (get it?). Check! OK, so it’s really, really not rocket science. But the special effects are good and do benefit from 3D technology, mixing up Breughel monsters and Pop-Art Warhol 1970s hippies to produce some memorable time-zoned extra-terrestrials. Brolin is more than watchable as the younger K and Emma Thompson performs a very creditable alien warble as part of her duties as comptroller Agent O. As for that ol’ black magic between J and K? It’s back, baby. And not a minute too soon.
Men In Black III | Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (US 2012) with Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. Starts May 24