Review: MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL Is Cosmically Average

FIRST IMPRESSION

Men in Black: International has some fun moments — enough to make it worth watching — but it pales in comparison to the original... and the sequels.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Men in Black: International is a long-awaited reboot of the late-1990’s/early-2000’s franchise, this time with Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Endgame) in the starring roles and F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) in the director’s chair. The film follows the two agents on an international adventure involving shapeshifting aliens and a mole in the agency.

The biggest problem with this movie is that the story is extremely predictable. In fact, the film feels like a Mission: Impossible movie with a sense of humor, a lot more CGI, and far less memorable action. From the beginning of the movie, you can tell where the film is going to go, and it takes a long time for it to get there. The movie needed to either be twenty minutes shorter or earn its runtime.

It is obvious that this film is an effort to cash in into a franchise which used to be a big money-maker, but it is unlikely that this movie has what it takes to do that. Sony was on the right track by attaching big-name stars with proven chemistry and a director who has achieved mainstream success in the past, but abandoning the spirit of the series isn’t the way to go. Fans of Men in Black want to see a zany sci-fi movie, not an espionage film.

That being said, the movie does show that there is life remaining in the franchise. The new leads of the film, Agents Em and H, are definitely likable, largely due to the chemistry between the actors that portray them. Fans will be pleased to find that the characters aren’t just replicas of the classic Jay and Kay personalities, standing out on their own. It is disappointing that their arcs are minimal in this movie, but it is interesting to think where a potential future installment could take them.

mib bike
Chris Hemsworth (H) with Em (Tessa Thompson) in Marrakech in Columbia Pictures’ MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL.

Furthermore, it is nice to get to return into the world of the eponymous intergalactic law enforcement agency. Over the course of the film, we get to encounter plenty of extraterrestrial characters, including two shapeshifters portrayed by French dance duo Les Twins and a four-armed arms dealer played by Rebecca Ferguson. The best part of these movies has always been the creative creatures the writers think up, and this film did not disappoint in that regard

In addition to Thompson and Hemsworth, the main cast is rounded out by a star-studded but sadly underused supporting ensemble. Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson play the heads of the American and London branches of MIB, respectively, and you keep waiting for either of them to become a Rip Torn-like presence. It never happens. Kumail Nanjiani is funny in his voice role, but also isn’t used to his full potential. Eventually, he becomes one of the most enjoyable parts of the movie, but it takes a while to get there.

On a technical level, the film was definitely very impressive. The practical effects and make-up for the movie are truly out-of-this-world, doing a great job of creating some of the aliens. The production design is also very impressive, immersing you in this sci-fi world. Additionally, the score is excellent, with plenty of throwbacks to the classic score by Danny Elfman.

Overall, Men in Black: International was enjoyable, but it does not live up to the original trilogy that is beloved by many. Regardless, it is nice to spend time in this world again and hopefully the film will make enough money overseas to warrant a sequel, as that will give the writers the opportunity to actually have fun.

Men in Black: International opens in theaters on June 14.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Axios on HBO: Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir (Promo) | HBO

Axios co-founder Mike Allen discusses with Alex Karp, CEO of Palatir about whether he has any concerns about their products being used to kill people. Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Known for delivering news, coverage, and insight with a distinctive brand of smart brevity, Axios on HBO helps viewers better understand the big trends…

Outlander | Ep. 12 Clip ‘Road Less Traveled’ | Season 5 Finale

Roger (Richard Rankin) and Bree (Sophie Skelton) talk about the road that let them back to Fraser’s Ridge in this clip from the Outlander Season 5 finale. Catch up on all seasons of Outlander only on STARZ. #Outlander #STARZ Watch Outlander now on the STARZ App: https://starz.tv/32s4aGT Subscribe now for more Outlander content: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Like…

AKA Jane Roe | Deathbed Confession Highlight | FX

Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, gives a startling confession. Now streaming on FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more AKA Jane Roe clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX AKA Jane Roe is a portrait of Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” whose unwanted pregnancy led to the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide, Roe v. Wade. Considered too divisive and…

Mrs. America | Ep. 8: Eucharist Highlight | FX

The adventures of Alice in Houston. Watch Sarah Paulson in the latest episode of Mrs. America, exclusively on FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Mrs. America clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Mrs. America recounts the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and the unexpected backlash led by Phyllis Schlafly, aka “the sweetheart of the silent…

Relationship Goals in Upload | Cutest Nathan and Nora Scenes

Nathan and Nora are relationship goals...even in the digital afterlife. From Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation) comes Upload, a new sci-fi comedy. In the near future, people who are near death can be “uploaded” into virtual reality environments. Cash-strapped Nora works customer service for the luxurious “Lakeview” digital afterlife. When party-boy/coder Nathan’s car…

Defining Moments with OZY: Sophia Chang (Teaser) • A Hulu Original

Get inspired by Sophia Chang, former Wu-Tang Clan manager, this #AAPIHM. Hear her story of hip-hop, defiance, kung fu, and love in #DefiningMoments. ABOUT DEFINING MOMENTS No one starts out on top, even if it seems like they did. No matter how high they’ve climbed, the most successful people have all struggled on their journey…

Jo Koy: In His Elements | Official Trailer | Comedy Special | Netflix

For the first time ever, comedian Jo Koy takes Netflix to the Philippines in his new special, Jo Koy: In His Elements, launching June 12. Koy celebrates his heritage by telling jokes about life as a Filipino-American while highlighting the culture of Manila. He also uses this opportunity to shine a light on other Filipino-American…

HBO Max vs. HBO Go vs. HBO Now | Explainer Video

HBO Max is where HBO meets so much more. Find out more about the differences between HBO Max, HBO Go, and HBO Now. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxYouTube Be the first to know more: HBO Max: https://bit.ly/HBOMaxYT Like HBO Max on Facebook: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxFacebook Follow HBO Max on Twitter: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxTwitter Follow HBO Max on Instagram: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxInstagram About HBO Max:…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here