Kurt Loder Reviews Men in Black III and Moonrise Kingdom


Men in Black III reenlists the talents of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, writes Kurt Loder, and it's good to have them back, togged out in their black suits and shades and riding herd over America's vast alien-creature community. But what really energizes this third installment of the franchise is Josh Brolin, who plays a younger incarnation of Jones, and seems to have inhaled the older actor's grumpy essence and to be exuding it through his pores. It's a flawless comic performance.

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, meanwhile, which opened the Cannes Film Festival last week, is a movie whose pleasures are largely formal. Anderson acolytes will welcome another demonstration of his deadpan visual strategies—the locked-down shots facing off on split screens, the camera panning slowly past a series of rooms to introduce some of the characters—and his detached narrative style. Those who find the director's work flawed by preciousness, however, Loder writes, may grow impatient well before the movie reaches the 90-minute mark.