‘Men In Black: International’ (2019)
Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures & Amblin Entertainment
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Written by: Matt Holloway, Art Marcum & Lowell Cunningham
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson & Kumail Nanjiani
Now that we are in June, it’s time for the onslaught of summer blockbusters to start hitting theaters. And when it comes to summer blockbusters, ‘Men In Black‘ always comes to mind. It’s been 7 years since the third movie in the franchise was released. This time around, we get a different cast and an international setting (it even says so in the title). Tessa Thompson plays Agent M who has spent her whole life trying to find and join MIB since an alien encounter as a child changed her life. Now that the head of the New York office (Emma Thompson) has given her a chance, her first mission is to investigate something “off” about the London branch. She is greeted by the head of that bureau (Liam Neeson) and ends up forcing her way onto an assignment with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) protecting an alien dignitary. But when the job goes sideways, the alien reveals the fact that MIB has a mole within its ranks and it becomes a race against time to protect a weapon given to M by the alien and discover just who the traitor among them could be!
While this film isn’t quite as perfect as the original ‘MIB’, it still carries a hefty amount of fun. Tessa Thompson & Chris Hemsworth have the same chemistry that they displayed in 2017’s ‘Thor: Ragnarok‘ and seem to effortlessly glide through the film while charming the audience along the way as they carry us across the globe with them. The CGI alien character of Pawny (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani) becomes the duo’s de facto sidekick and provides some great comedic bits without ever veering into “Jar Jar” territory. As a fan of the MIB films, I would say that this latest entry is serviceable & solid, but it just never quite feels like it stretches to the heights that the original or even the sequel attained. The acting is great and there is no shortage of action, but my main gripe is that the reveal of the mole is telegraphed early on and I easily saw it coming from the first act leaving no real surprise for me at the end of the film. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give ‘Men In Black: International‘ a solid 7. Despite the flaws, it’s still a very engaging and fun way to kick off summer movie season!