You already know going in that the third installment of Men in Black 3 is going to be spectacularly B rate. It's the only answer the late 90s (apart from Mars Attacks!) and early 00s have really had to the low-budget aesthetic of 1950s sci-fi films. There is perhaps no better director for the job of bringing the high camp factor of such a genre than Barry Sonnenfeld (best known for the first two Men in Black films and, hopefully, Pushing Daisies). Loyal to the concept of franchise films (he also directed The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, Sonnenfeld focuses this time on the early years of MiB, specifically 1969, the year of the moon launch and an overall hotbed of alien activity.
When K (Tommy Lee Jones) disappears after an especially callous conversation with J (Will Smith), J is immediately aware of K's absence the next morning when a random agent by the code name AA (Will Arnett) makes incessant references to an exchange J has no recollection of. J demands to know who the stranger is from a fellow agent, who informs J that AA is his partner. Panicked, J confronts the new director of MiB, O (Emma Thompson), who casually relays that K has been dead for over forty years (it smacks vaguely of a daytime soap opera plot).
As J insists on having another glass of chocolate milk (his second of the day), O realizes he is suffering from the main symptom of a gap in the space-time continuum. As the two further deliberate, it becomes clear that the last member of a race of aliens called the Boglodytes, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement, a long way from Flight of the Conchords in this role), has gone back in time to exact vengeance on K for shooting off his arm and preventing his race from taking over Earth.
Jeffrey Price (Michael Chernus), the owner of an electronics store called Always Going Out of Business, is sought out by Boris the Animal (who actually loathes being called "the Animal") as he knew Jeffrey's father, the inventor of time travel, from prison. Unable to deny Boris the time travel apparatus, Jeffrey agrees to help. Soon after, the Boglodytes descend upon Earth and Jeffrey finds himself assisting J in his quest to go back to July 1969 as well--though he warns, "It wasn't really the best time for your people."
Specifics aside of J going back in time, Men in Black 3 does not become purposefully humorous until K's 29-year-old self (Josh Brolin) accompanies J to Andy Warhol's (Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader) Factory. Knowing that this alien hub is where Boris will strike next, J and K find the Arcadian alien Boris is planning to kill. Called Griffin (Michael Stuhlberg), he is able to see not just into the future, but into all possible outcomes of the future. He is also the one who possesses the resource to create ArcNet, a protective force field that will keep Boglodytes away from Earth.
As K listens to Warhol's (Agent W) woes, such as "I can't listen to sitar music anymore" and "I can't tell the women from the men, K!", J listens to Griffin ramble neurotically about all the possible moments Boris could burst into the Factory. And so, as the trio escapes to their next destination, Cape Canaveral, for the launching of Apollo 11, it becomes clearer that one of K's greatest secrets is about to be unearthed. Though, in the end, said secret really isn't all that shocking.
Just as in the first and second movies, the usual detailed nuances of Men in Black are present (e.g. Lady Gaga, Tim Burton, and Justin Bieber being alluded to as aliens), but, in general, it yields nothing that audiences couldn't live without--except maybe the Galaxy Donut from Dunkin' Donuts. Even so, the cast and director are already talking about the possibility of a fourth film. If this does pan out, to Sonnenfeld I say: I'd rather see a third Addams Family called The Rise of Wednesday. P.S. Will Smith allowing Pitbull to take the reins on the main song for Men in Black 3 is quite possibly another sign of the apocalypse.