You never know about a film series when it goes beyond a sequel. Some follow-ups are superior (“Godfather II,” “The Dark Knight,” “Toy Story 2”). Some are merely OK (too many to list). Many suck (ibid). And the quality is even more dicey when a duet becomes a trilogy.
So I wasn't expecting much when I went today to see “Men in Black III.” Yeah, the director of all three films (Barry Sonnenfeld) is back. So are the two main stars (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones). And the producers have even added a new star to the cast, the talented Josh Brolin doing a spot-on impersonation of Jones as a younger man. But none of that means diddly, actually.
Imagine my surprise, then, when “MIB III” turned out to be one of my favorite films of 2012. Not only does the film have an actual story to follow, one that explores honest emotion, but it features a Will Smith doing what he does best — being funny, smart and smart-alecky. Where has that version of Smith been, anyway?
So my season of disappointment with big-budget summer blockbusters has been derailed. After “The Avengers,” “Dark Shadows” and that godawful “Battleship,” I find myself liking “Men in Black III.” A lot.
It may not be too much of a stretch for me use that other “L” word. I've never been afraid of commitment.