Men in Black 3 (2012) Poster


Jump to: Anachronisms (19) | Character error (4) | Continuity (8) | Errors in geography (2) | Factual errors (10) | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (1) | Spoilers (4)


The Apollo 11 launch site is referred to as Cape Canaveral. While this would have been natural for Agent J, it would have been unnatural for young Agent K as the Cape was re-named Cape Kennedy after President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963. The name only reverted back to Cape Canaveral in 1973, way after Apollo 11 was launched.
In 1969, green-and-white New York street signs introduced in the 1980s can be seen on light posts (back then, the signs would have been yellow with black lettering).
In 1969 every baseball cap had a green underbill. In the film you can see a 1969 Mets pitcher using a gray underbill cap. Gray underbill caps aren't introduced until 1994. In 2007 this color was dropped in favor of the current black.
The 1969 cops wear light powder blue shirts introduced in 1973. The correct uniform would have been dark navy blue shirts without NYPD patches on the sleeves, which were not designed as the department emblem until 1973 as well.
The Spanish flag flapping in the wind during the Cape Canaveral launch scene is the current Spanish flag. In 1969, Spain - under the Francisco Franco regime, had a different flag (bearing a coat of arms with a black eagle).
During the Andy Warhol party scene the stage curtains are seen supported by an aluminum truss structure. In 1969 this type of system did not exist and any truss from that era would have been made from steel.
Also during the Andy Warhol party there are lights seen on the stage curtains, commonly called a Star Cloth or Curtain today. This technology as displayed in the film did not exist in 1969, in fact any sort of mass production of very low powered Red LEDs only started in 1968 and prior to that most LEDs cost in the vicinity of $200 each!. White LEDs did not exist then.
The colonel is wearing an Overseas Service Ribbon first issued in 1981.
The slidewire astronaut escape baskets were not installed until after the Apollo era, and were used for the Space Shuttle. Apollo astronauts were expected to descend in a fast elevator, then retreat to a bunker under the pad in case of emergency.
The countdown clock shown during the Apollo 11 launch did not exist in 1969.
Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975. The flag of Papua New Guinea was adopted on July 1, 1971. In 1969, the current flag of Papua New Guinea did not exist, however, it can be seen prominently in several shots during the speech before the launch of Apollo 11.
At Coney Island, the bumper cars seen behind J and K have rectangular headlights, which are wrong for the 1969 period.
The matchbook clue has the striker strip on the back. Matchbook strikers in 1969 were on the front. They were moved to the back for safety by law in 1973.
When J, K and Griffin enter MIB headquarters at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel ventilation building to fly to Cape Canaveral, the tilting shot prominently features three medallions over the entrance doors. Those cast aluminum reliefs, designed by Paul Manship, would not have been over the building entrance in 1969. They would have been mounted on the New York Coliseum convention center in midtown Manhattan. The reliefs were removed from the Coliseum in 1999 as it was being prepared for demolition and only later mounted on the ventilation building.
In the Cape Canaveral scene, the current-date flag of Greece can be seen. In 1969, the flag of Greece was a plain white cross on blue background.
In the Cape Canaveral scene, the flag of Burkina Faso can be seen. At that time, Burkina Faso was called Upper Volta, and the flag was a black-white-red horizontal tricolor.
At Cape Canveral when J, K, and Griffin meet the Colonel (and all scenes after that with the Colonel), the Colonel is wearing a brown belt with a brown holster. In 1956 the US Army officially changed the color for belts, holsters, and shoes from Cafe Brown to Black. In 1969 the Colonel should have a black holster, and belt like the M.P.s are wearing.
The location of the 1969 Andy Warhol party was clearly meant to represent his "Silver Factory," so called because the walls were covered with aluminum foil. The Silver Factory closed in 1968.
At the Cape Canaveral scene, the army suburban in the background is a 1970-72 body style.

Character error 

Agent J tells Young K 25 years from now he will recruit him into MIB. That would put the events of the first movie in the year 1994, but Men in Black was set in the year it was released, 1997.
The Army Colonel refers to "the brig", but the Army doesn't have a brig. The Navy has a brig, the Army has "the stockade".
Griffen states the Mets were in last place every year before winning the world series. In 1966 and 1968 the Mets were actually next to last.
J tells Young K that Boris will escape 39 years from now, which is 2008. Yet the display on J's time jumper shows he came from the year 2012.
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At the stadium, when Griff is showing J and K the future game, right after he says the line "A miracle is what seems impossible...", in the shot from the back his hands are on their backs but on the shot from the front he is holding their hands by the elbows
When J and Young K go for pie, the waitress sets a new plate of pie in front of K. In the next shot, he already has a mouthful of pie when he goes to talk to J.
When the 1969 cops have J pulled over, before pressing the button on the neuralizer, he is not wearing his glasses, but in the next shot, he has them on, despite the fact that he didn't have a free hand to put them on.
At the baseball stadium, the size of the Cracker Jack box changes when K pulls the "prize" out.
When J and K first encounter Boris on the rooftop of Wu's restaurant, Boris forces them off the roof, hanging on a door. When J and K hit the ground, there is a brief shot showing them falling in opposite directions. However, the very next shot shows them on the ground, side by side.
When J&K leave MIB HQ to travel to "The Lanes", They pass the same street & panel van twice (the van has horizontal panels).
When K pulls J into headquarters for questioning, the green alien in the background hands the phone to the agent questioning him, twice.
In the climax of the film, J lets Boris shoot him three times so that he can memorize the pattern, go back in time, and dodge the shots. When Boris shoots the first time, there are three shots: one to J's left shoulder, one to his right, and a third to his left side. J even says the locations to himself, illustrating his desire to remember them. However, when J goes back in time and dodges the shots, Boris shoots a completely different pattern, including an extra shot: first he shoots to J's right, then two shots to his left, and a fourth back at J's right. Somehow J still calls and avoids all four shots.
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Errors in geography 

When Agents J and K fly into Cape Canaveral on the jet packs, the shot is flopped. The crawler-ways leading to the launch pads approach from the South, not the North as depicted.
After Agent J returned to the present on top of the Chrysler Building near to the end of the movie, the next shot seems to show the view of the Empire State Building from his point of view. In fact it's a view from the GE Building at Rockefeller Plaza.
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Factual errors 

When on the moon in the beginning, the Apollo lunar module is shown with the upper ascension module. This module was launched off of the moon to return the astronauts to the orbiting module to return to Earth.
Young Agent K is instructed to place the pendant on the Apollo escape rocket to get it into space to protect the Earth. The escape rocket never goes into space. Once the Saturn V is high enough for the capsule to parachute safely in an emergency, the escape rocket is jettisoned.
On July 15, 1969 - the night before the Apollo 11 launch - the moon wasn't full as seen in the movie, but exactly the opposite: it was a crescent moon, the day before a new moon.
Cape Kennedy was run by the Air Force, not the Army as shown in the film.
J jumps from the roof of the Chrysler Building, which is 925 feet high. He falls for more than 30 seconds before activating the time jump device. Given the height of the building and the acceleration of gravity (32ft/s2), it should take less than 8 seconds to reach the ground. In the amount of time J spends falling (more than a minute), he could in reality fall from a building 75 times as tall as the Chrysler building.
The ARCNET device is shown activating as the launch abort tower is jettisoned in space. However, the Saturn V's launch abort system is jettisoned below 300,000 feet.
Saturn/Apollo stacks were taken to the launch pad with the launch tower preceding the rocket stack. They are shown with the Saturn/Apollo stack north of the launch tower instead of the other way around.
The uppermost swing arm of the launch tower is missing the "clean room" that allows access to the Apollo capsule before launch. It was normally moved away from the capsule several minutes before launch.
J sees stockbrokers leaping from New York skyscrapers in 1929 in reaction to the Great Crash. This mass suicide is an urban legend, although many believe it to be true.
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When Boris the Animal breaks out of the Lunar Max prison, he lands beside a lunar lander. Except the Ascent stage is still on the lander, so they never left.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The motorcycle ridden by Boris the Animal has an low-profile rear wheel and tire which were not made in 1969. However, given that the motorcycle burns with a blue-green flame after it crashes, it is probably reasonable to assume it is at least partly of extraterrestrial manufacture.


The goof items below may give away important plot points.


When Boris attacks Agent J in the elevator of the rocket launch platform he pushes J out of the elevator ripping off the grid, in the next scene the grid is back on.

Plot holes 

In the first Men in Black, when K is deleting J's history; He deletes his birthday which was in 1975. In this one, the young J is shown as being about 4 or 5 in 1969. This would mean he was born no later than 1965, not 1975.

Plot holes 

If the Lunar Max prison was built specifically to hold Boris the Animal, how can it still exist in the altered timeline where he was never captured?

Plot holes 

Agent J is watching while young Agent K neuralizes the childhood version of himself. He is shown not wearing his protective glasses, right after the neuralizer pulse.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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