They filmed this without a script? YOU DON’T SAY.
Better than the second. Because, how could it be worse? Otherwise, this is the “Margaret” of blockbuster movies. Characters show up and randomly vanish. People say things that seem like they’ll be relevant later, and then there’s no payoff. The film lurches from random location to location, and scenes feel comprised from endless reshoots - in one scene, a character addresses another character that might be about fifteen feet away, without either of them interacting, and it’s clear neither of them have ever once met. The magic of editing!
Smith is his usual obnoxious self, still somehow convinced his character is twentysomething. He’s smart unless he’s buffoonish, and when he starts slurring words or speaking in slang, it almost seems like a put-on. Fourteen years with this organization, and he’s acting like he just started work yesterday. Tommy Lee Jones outdoes himself in the grumpy-and-not-pleased-to-be-here department, but at least he has some chemistry with Smith. Brolin, as young Jones, seems so concentrated on keeping his impersonation consistent that he forgets to act.
A lot of actors show up in roles that seem like they’ll be relevant but are essentially cameos, including Emma Thompson, Will Arnett and Bill Hader - his Andy Warhol bit in the trailer represents most of his screen time, and no, it doesn’t seem like the filmmakers know anything about Warhol. In fact, they kind of hate him. Michael Stuhlbarg wears hobo pajamas and plays some sort of alien savant in the key of Robin Williams. The chick from the Pussycat Dolls shows up in the film’s first scene, where, within one minute, two white security guards, unprompted, essentially call her a whore. Right after, there’s a closeup of a wobbly cake bouncing alongside her breasts. Later, there’s some pretty off-putting race jokes involving other characters, particularly during a very ugly scene where Jay and Kay tear through an Asian restaurant and blow up a bunch of aliens (some disguised as pidgin-speaking Asians) who appear to be henchmen for a bad guy so powerful he never once needs henchmen again.
At first the overwhelming amount of monster effects and prosthetics are pretty incredible, but by the halfway point, they kind of vanish. Jemaine Clement is pretty fun as the bad guy, though, but you never really get to know much about his plan beyond some brief revenge and a standard-issue planet-invasion scheme. The roles takes advantage of his deep voice, but it’s a straight villain part with only some brief winks and some pretty kooky special effects - his body is host to a bunch of creepy-crawly organisms that scurry out of a gaping maw from his palm. I was fairly upset whenever they cut away from him. There aren’t a lot of effects or large-scale sequences either - for being a mega budget movie, it feels pretty small-ish, a lot of obvious small sets.
I hope this is the end of this series.