Men in Black: International movie poster

Men in Black: International

In theaters June 14, 2019


, ,

120 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , ,

There’s not much to like about F. Gary Gray’s spinoff of Barry Sonnenfeld’s beloved sci-fi trilogy, MIB. Due to strange and consistently misplaced comedic beats, Men in Black: International dashes any hope you might have had this new direction could match the former’s charm and ring-in future films.

Coming off some of Hollywood’s latest big projects, including her previous role as Valkerie across Chris Hemworth’s Thor in Thor: Ragnoark, is Tessa Thompson as Agent M, the first MIB agent “hired” (not recruited) because of her life-long obsession with discovering the super-secretive organization responsible for protecting Earth from rogue aliens. As a child, she rescued an adolescent alien from MIB control, which inspired her to uncover and join the team. Agent O (Emma Thompson) sends her to work a case for High T (Liam Neeson), the head of MIB International.

In London, highly dangerous alien twins (played by Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, Les Twins) are tracking down a weapon powerful enough to wipe out an entire galaxy. That weapon is on Earth and secretly guarded by an alien royal prince named Vungus. Agent H (Hemsworth) is assigned to chaperone Vungus while on Earth and he brings along M for backup. The operation goes south and Vargus transfers the weapon to M for safekeeping. Suspicious that there might be a mole at MIB, Agent M and H set across continents to learn about the weapon (which they’ve kept secret from High T) and uncover who in MIB is leaking information that is putting their lives in danger, as well as the safety of entire galaxies.

Men in Black: International’s greatest success is reuniting Thompson and Hemsworth, whose chemistry is undeniable, but they aren’t given much to work with here. The first act opens decently enough, building backstory and developing relationships that the audience can quickly get behind, but by the time we hit second gear, the film begins to feel procedural. It’s not fair to critique a film on what isn’t presented, but creative writing and joke-telling isn’t this film’s forte. It’s not there, and it’s kinda boring as a result, which is shocking and unfortunate for such an open-ended universe to explore. You can literally do anything you want in this story and what’s delivered on screen is an expensive episode of every buddy-cop comedy on TV today.

Audiences will have a love/hate relationship with Men in Black: International because you’ll hate that you love this franchise and had high hopes for its success. Because it won’t. It’s going to bomb and everyone will forget it existed next week. The film is the equivalent of getting neuralyzed, erasing away any remaining fandom you might have had for the MIB. RIP.

Men in Black: International is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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