REVIEW: “Men in Black International”

MEN

I can say with absolute certainty that there was no part of me yearning for another “Men in Black” sequel. I was never a big fan of the original 1997 film with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Even less enthused about the next two sequels. So could a spin-off movie eight years later with fresh new faces invigorate the franchise for a new audience? If comparing box office numbers, the answer is a resounding ‘No’.

Here’s the surprising thing – “Men in Black: International” isn’t terrible. In fact it can be surprisingly fun at times. Predictable, unimaginative, and unnecessary? For sure. But the charisma and chemistry between its two stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson at least makes the globetrotting goofiness bearable.

The story (penned by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway) begins with two flashbacks. One back to 2016 where Agent H (Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Neeson) fight off an alien invasion on top of the Eiffel Tower. The second is 20 years earlier in Brooklyn where a young girl named Molly helps a friendly alien escape as Men in Black agents wipe the memories of her parents.

MIB111

Photo Courtesy Sony Pictures

Twenty-three years later the bookish Molly (Thompson) sneaks her way into the MiB New York City headquarters aspiring to join their ranks. She makes a strong impression which prompts the head of the US division (Emma Thompson) to give her probationary status as Agent M. She is assigned to the London branch of the MiB which is ran by High T. and is partnered with the disaffected Agent H to stop two twins empowered with alien energy and so on.

Along the way we meet Kumail Nanjiani voicing a tiny alien chess piece creature named (of course) Pawny and Rebecca Ferguson as one of H’s old flames. Both are good performers and they have their moments but neither add much to the story. It all comes back to how much of the load Hemsworth and Thompson can carry. The pair definitely do their part but the movie needs more than just two likable leads.

“Men in Black: International” disappointed at the box office and numbers show it didn’t quite break even. You have to think this will mark the end of a franchise that (if we’re honest) probably shouldn’t have been resurrected to begin with. But it was, it came, it went, and (for many) I’m sure it has already been forgotten. I can understand why. It’s pretty middling entertainment with nothing particularly memorable or exciting to offer.

VERDICT – 2.5 STARS

2-5-stars

26 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Men in Black International”

  1. There are some movies like Men in Black, that are loved by many that I just doing get. I liked it but wasn’t by on it. Then the sequels, well forgettable really, so when they launched this one I was, why? I totally agree it’s very mediocre. Only if one is bored to watch something(liked I was ), would be the only reason to watch this . With my province on pretty much a lockdown, I suspect ill be watching many movies I normally would skip. Stay healthy and safe Keith and your family as well. Plus thank God we can stream. Blessings to you.

    • Thanks my friend. God bless and stay safe yourself. We too are basically locked down. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced.

      As for the movie, I am 100% with you. This has never been a series that’s been high on my list. The first one was fine, but I’ve never been into them the way some people have. That makes this one even more “skippable”.

    • I liked it, didn’t love it. To be totally honest, I really don’t remember a single thing about the original other than the cast. It’s just not a movie or a franchise that has stuck with me.

      • The original is right up there with my all-time favorites. Probably explains why I never bothered watching the sequels nor this abomination. No film would ever come close to matching TLJ and Will Smith in the first. Idk, it’s just one of those “moment in time” experiences for me. 🙂

      • That’s cool. I know I have those too. I love hearing people have that kind of enthusiasm and attachment to movies. I certainly do! 😆

  2. I didn’t even realise this film was out. It seems unnecessary. I used to be a big fan of the first one (well, I was only a kid and it seemed so cool!) but the second one wasn’t that good.

    • Ha Ha! Yep, it came and went pretty quick but didn’t leave much of a box office impression. To be honest, you really didn’t miss anything.

  3. I thought it was alright. Better than the last 2 films as I didn’t enjoy either of them as it was more of the Willy-Will show. This one kind of worked mainly because of Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth as they just had great chemistry and I liked seeing Kumail Nanjiani as the voice of an alien. It’s not a great film but at least it tried to be fun and sort of succeed.

  4. Pingback: REVIEW: “Men in Black International” — Keith & the Movies | Fantasy/Sci-Fi FILM & WRITING FESTIVAL

  5. This could have been much better, there’s no denying that. The problem, to me anyway, was that the entire MIB franchise was about Agent K and Agent J. and they really made it work. Its a shame they waited so long between movies that Tommie Lee Jones got too old to do them. A fourth MIB with Smith & Jones would have been great. MIB International was a pale shade of the franchise.

    • I can see where fans of the series would push back on that. It was Jones and Smith’s series for sure. I think you’re right, they waited too late to try a make another film.

  6. Pingback: REVIEW: “Men in Black International” — Keith & the Movies | Fantasy/Sci-Fi FILM & WRITING FESTIVAL

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