Men in Black: International
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, Emma Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson
If you go back and watch the three previous Men in Black films, you will find they always defeat the alien’s but lose the battle against time. When “Men in Black” debuted back in 1997, it had a formula that worked during that era of filmmaking and Will Smith was at the top of his popularity. “MIB” was a hot commodity back then before superhero films began hording the summer box office. The rise of Marvel, more impressive sci-fi and fantasy epics, rendered goofy action comedies like “MIB” irrelevant. Smith’s one note acting style got old, people who used to find him funny grew up, but somehow the studio missed the memo and kept making “MIB” films. You can argue that one sequel might be better than another, but the real verdict is they are extraneous. None more so than the fourth iteration which tests new stars with an old formula.
As a little girl Molly (Tessa Thompson) saw something outside her bedroom window she was never supposed to see. It changed her life and since that day, she has been chasing the Men in Black organization. Twenty years of hard work pays off when she tracks a UFO back to the secret NYC headquarters, coming face to face with the stern Agent O (Emma Thompson). She is made a probationary agent, sent to London where she teams with experienced Agent H (Hemsworth). Their mission to protect a powerful alien alley goes horribly wrong and they learn of a mole within the organization. Head of the London office Agent High T (Neeson) enlists the two to proceed with caution and stop a new weapon from landing in the wrong hands.
Just because Tessa Thompson and Hemsworth worked so well in “Thor Ragnarök” doesn’t mean they can overcome a hefty amount of bad writing.
“Sometimes the universe gets it wrong”. Agent H couldn’t have been more right because “Men in Black: International” gets very little right. This reboot is written for 13-year-old’s, but as I looked around during the screening, even they weren’t amused. If you have seen one Men in Black movie you have seen them all. What worked originally wasn’t the gadgets or the special effects, it’s was the writing and chemistry between Tommy Lee Jones’s straight face and Smith’s childish behavior. Just because Tessa Thompson and Hemsworth worked so well in “Thor Ragnarök” doesn’t mean they can overcome a hefty amount of bad writing. Hemsworth and Smith do have one thing in common and that’s the limits of their acting ability. Agent H is just another iteration of Thor, and when he reaches for a little wooden hammer, you realize how desperate this film is for laughs.
“MIB: International” has “studio overreach” written all over it. It’s a gigantic miscalculation, that on paper looks like something that would have mass appeal, but in fact is another commodity no one asked for. If there is anything that saves this dull summer action film from landing on worst lists, it’s Nanjiani’s voice work as Pawny. A sarcastic but adorable miniature creature who has more creativity than the majority of the movie. Sony made a bad investment here, putting two stars together in a brainless action movie when they could have found the pair something creative and unique on the smaller side that would have showcased their talent, instead of preying on their popularity.
Easily the worst entry in a franchise that should never have been a franchise in the first place.