Math of Aging Agents

HE reader John English found Men in Black 3 “a fun, fluffy return to form for the franchise,” he writes. “It buries all those bad Men in Black II memories, but honestly, ten years later, who remembers anything about all that specific about that decade-old film? But enough of generalities. This is about age gaps.

“The present day in MiB3 is firmly established as 2012, and the time Agent J travels back to is firmly established as 1969. That’s a 43-year difference. Now the only time anyone gives their age is Young Agent K (Josh Brolin) who reveals he’s 29. It’s a funny line. K apparently ages quickly. This also means that Current Agent K is 72. Okay, I can accept that. In real life Brolin is 44 and Jones is 65, so Agent K aged horribly in his 20’s, and then it slowed down. Like Walter Matthau.

“But then we have Current Agent O (Emma Thompson) and Young Agent O (Alice Eve). Thompson is only 53 years old, but Eve is 30, not 10. Okay, so maybe K and O are the same age? You’re telling me Thompson’s okay with playing a 72-year-old with no aging make-up?

“And then there’s Will Smith‘s Agent J. Smith is 43, but with the events in this movie, that means Agent J is really over 50 years old. And J does not act like he’s over 50.

“The screenwriters really wanted the year to be 1969 so they can have the moon launch and the hippies and the clothing and Andy Warhol (nice one, Bill Hader), but it feels like a script that was written six years ago, when the ages would have been less of an issue. Even so, why does Emma Thompson take a role that says she’s over 70?”