A veteran detective is targeted for assassination by a face from the past. Slick threequel which, despite having few new ideas of its own (borrowing from Silence of the Lambs, Temple of Doom and John Woo‘s love of trails-bike gangs), delivers in terms of shouty, shooty buddy-cop fun. Don’t be surprised if a Part 4 rolls around soon.
Tag: will smith
Aladdin (2019, dir. Guy Ritchie)
A street thief falls for a princess; a magic lamp offers the opportunity to win her hand. Okay-as-far-as-it-goes live-action/CG remake of the 1992 Disney animation. A couple of new songs, Will Smith brings some pizazz as the genie, and a nice magic carpet gag; otherwise this is a product rather than a movie, and feels it at times too.
Men In Black 3 (2012, dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)
Agent J has to travel back to 1969 and team up with the younger Agent K to defeat a time-travelling villain. Superior third instalment, building on fan affection for our alien-fighting duo, and working in terms of comedy, pathos and action. The best of the series.
Gemini Man (2019, dir. Ang Lee)
An elite assassin on the verge of retirement is targeted for execution. A good-looking action flick that takes ages to tell us what the poster does. One great action sequence aside, it’s underpowered, though a game support cast of Brit character actors do their best with none-more-90s material.
Aladdin (2019, Dir. Guy Ritchie)
Lavish live action remake of classic animation. Effective enough, when it follows the original, more lacklustre when it deviates. Will Smith makes a good genie, but there is a lingering feeling that its all been done better before.
Men in Black II [AKA MIIB] (2002, dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)
Agent J has to tea up again with Agent K to fight a new alien menace. Passable SF/comedy sequel. As with its predecessor, there’s more interest in its showy make-up effects and throwaway gags than either worldbuilding or story, tho Lara Flynn Boyle has fun as a vampish villain.
Men In Black (1997, dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)
An NYPD cop is recruited into a secret anti-alien taskforce. Brisk SF comedy-thriller with some good moments and neat odd-couple playing from its leads, but too concerned with sub-Ghost Busters slapstick than with exploring the potential of its premise.
After Earth (2013, dir. M. Night Shyamalan)
An estranged father and son have to work together to survive on a hostile planet. Contrived and awkwardly-structured SF/horror; an obvious Smith family passion project. One great jumpscare aside, though, this is minor work from all.
I, Robot (2004, dir. Alex Proyas)
In 2035, a robot-hating detective investigates the suicide of a tech genius. CG-heavy SF action thriller based very loosely on Isaac Asimov stories. Some interesting production design, but linear and clunky plotting make this hollow, despite star Will Smith’s obvious charisma.
Bright (2017, dir. David Ayer)
A veteran LA cop partners with the first orc officer; they find themselves in the middle of an ancient magic war. While the procedural and mismatched partners stuff is great, Bright is saddled with too much backstory and a daft third act. Feels like a big-budget TV series pilot.