Back in Black 

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Time flies, but money never sleeps.

If there is one thing we can expect these days, it's yet another sequel.

Ten years have passed since

Men In Black II dropped (and sucked) but Hollywood remembers how bankable those characters were and now that we've all forgotten the misadventures of Agents J and K it's time to trot them out again. Men in Black 3 opens this Friday at the Village 8 and Garibaldi 5.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in black as alien-fighting protectors of the planet milking the odd-couple and buddy-cop genres with a sci-fi twist.

Smith says he took the film because he likes how it deals with the relationship between the partners and how it touches on issues of human relationships and secrecy. Sure whatever.

The rest of us just want cool aliens, fun battles and snappy one-liners. The story follows Smith, who hasn't starred in a proper movie in 4 years, as he travels back in time to 1969 to save his partner's life — oh, along with the planet.

Yes, time travel is a tired, tested and rarely true way to reinvigorate a franchise (unless the overall theme is time travel like Back to the Future) and while MIB3 director Barry Sonnenfeld and Will Smith are already 0-for-1 with time travel flicks (Wild Wild West) this one isn't all terrible.

First off, the aliens are really amazing. Special effects and make-up wizard Rick Baker (Videodrome, Thriller) is back with some original ideas — Boris, the evil alien villain, has a vaginal-looking mouth growing out of his hand.

The chemistry between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones hasn't waned much over the past decade, their dialogue might not be as snappy but the actors give it their all. Josh Brolin plays the 1969 version of Jones and nails it.

Well-paced at 1:45 and with decent effects where you want them most (the action in the Chinese joint is kick-ass) Men In Black 3 won't blow your socks into the stratosphere, but it isn't total shite either. Certainly the comedy lacks, the irony is ironed out and other than a few expected hippie jokes it doesn't do much with the whole time-travel premise, but the flick is still a light, if forgettable, trip to the theatres. It plays in 2D only, no big loss.

Also opening Friday, in Whistler only, is Chernobyl Diaries, a POV-looking horror based on a short story from Orin Peli (Paranormal Activity) about a group of dumb-ass teens off doing some "Extreme Tourism" in the supposed-to-be abandoned city of Chernobyl, home to that infamous 1986 nuclear meltdown.

Needless to say, things don't go as planned.

There were no prescreenings (good for a horror flick) but other than the cool location this one looks pretty standard. Orin Peli is all the rage after the success of Paranormal Activity (because it made shitloads of profit on a tiny budget) but I always found his style to be light on actual horror.

Certainly implied fear sometimes works better but only in the hands of a master. Otherwise it gets boring.

Besides the fact that the Vice Guide to Travel took us into the real Chernobyl hunting mutant beasts over five years ago, this one looks pretty derivative.

I'm probably gonna watch it anyhow though. Chernobyl rules and if another earthquake of even a 7.1 on the Richter scale hits Japan this part of the world will probably end up a radioactive wasteland anyhow so we may as well get a glimpse of what to expect. Time might almost be up.


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