(continued from Defining 2012 Part One)
One could argue that 2012 might have marked the end of the Men In Black franchise. Men In Black 3 was released in 2012 to positive reviews but its domestic box office take was not as impressive as it should’ve been. The film was better than 2002’s Men In Black II (a film I did like a lot), and was surprisingly nostalgiac (a compliment). The time travel premise worked and Josh Brolin was a hoot as young K. Considering the 10 year gap between the films, it’s unlikely we’ll get another Smith-Jones pairing (if there is to be a fourth MIB film, it’ll probably have Will Smith team up with a new partner or introduce a whole new duo to follow).
Maybe 2012 is the year of the American historical film. There were two movies about Abraham Lincoln. First, there was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which I assure everyone is a work of fiction) from director Temur Bekmambetov and then the Oscar-winning Lincoln from director Steven Spielberg. Then there was Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a fictional spaghetti western set in the American South in 1858 (two years before the Civil War). It tells the story of a freed slave who teams up with a bounty hunter to rescue his kidnapped wife, who’s working as a slave at a Southern plantation. Then there was Ben Affleck’s Best Picture winner Argo, which told the true story of a CIA agent who went to Iran in 1979 to rescue six U.S. embassy workers who were being hidden by the Canadian ambassador. There was also Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which followed a CIA agent over the course of nearly a decade in her quest to capture/kill Osama Bin Laden, the man held responsible for the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Or maybe 2012 is the year of really old guys (age 60 and over) getting in on some action. There was The Expendables 2, which had (among its cast) Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris kicking butt. There was also Men In Black III, which had Tommy Lee Jones fighting alien scum early on (he would also get in on the other kind of action with Meryl Streep in Hope Springs). Then there was Jack Reacher, in which Robert Duvall entered late in the game to give Tom Cruise an assist. In The Avengers, Samuel L. Jackson not only brings the team together, but also gets to do some shooting as well. Liam Neeson got to engage in a lot of hand-to-hand combat in The Grey and Taken 2. And then there’s Skyfall, in which Albert Finney gives James Bond a helping hand against the bad guys late in the film.
So, how should 2012 be defined? I don’t know; maybe I’ll figure it out in the coming months or not at all. Either way, it was still an interesting year for movies. Since I still have your attention, I might as well share my theory of the love triangle of Jacob, Bella, and Edward from Twilight. People seem to think that Jacob was jealous of Edward because he had Bella. I disagree; I think Jacob was jealous of Bella because she had Edward. Jacob only got close to Bella just to try to get with Edward. There. I’m done.