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

The New York Times Presents | Season 1 Ep. 4: Hurricane of Fire Highlight | FX

Perhaps a fitting start to 2020, Australia rang in the New Year with much of the country engulfed in flames. A few people decided to confront the blaze. Watch them stand face to face with one of the most ferocious infernos in history. Subscribe now for more The New York Times Presents clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The…

American Horror Story | The Many Faces of Sarah Paulson | FX

Fear the many faces of Sarah. Watch every chapter of American Horror Story with FX on Hulu to see the legendary Sarah Paulson in action. Subscribe now for more American Horror Story clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to…

Fargo | Installment 4: First Look | FX

It's a historical, multi-generational epic about America...based on a true story. Get a FIRST LOOK at the all-new installment of Fargo with the cast and creators. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American…

The Best Bloopers from Lucifer | Netflix

Turns out that even the devil gets embarrassed sometimes. Enjoy this collection of the best unintended moments, breaks, and unidentified insect attacks from Lucifer. As the fallen angel himself cried as he fell from heaven: "Line?" Watch Lucifer, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81149425 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with…

Archer | Nope | FXX

Yup. Nope. Yuuuuup. Nooooope. Archer returns for an all-new season 9/16 on FXX – Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Archer clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In season 11 of FXX‘s comedy Archer, “Sterling Archer“ is ready to return to the spy world after a three-year coma. While many things changed during his absence, Archer…

Suspense Movies on Prime Video That You NEED to Watch

If you love slow burn suspense movies, look no further. These are 9 of the best suspense movies on Prime Video. » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Prime Video: Want to watch it now? We've got it. This week's newest movies, last night's TV shows, classic favorites, and more are available to stream instantly, plus all your…

Your Honor (2020) Official Trailer | Bryan Cranston SHOWTIME Series

The 10-episode legal thriller stars Cranston as Michael Desiato, a respected New Orleans judge whose teenaged son Adam (Hunter Doohan) is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. Coming to SHOWTIME this December! #SHOWTIME #YourHonor Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: http://goo.gl/esCMib Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order…

Summer Sizzle 2020 | The CW

Stream new episodes of your favorite shows free only on The CW! SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect with…
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