Title: Men In Black: International
Release Date: June 14th, 2019
Studio: Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures
Director: F. Gary Gray
Release Format: Theatrical
The MIB series is ripe for rich storytelling and dynamic action. Men In Black: International goes more “shooty-shooty”, throws story & characters in the trunk of its fancy trunk before speeding off a cliff.
This entry revolves around rookie Agent M ( Tessa Thompson) heading to the U.K to team up with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) to stop The Hive from destroying the planet. Agent H is now a dangerous and reckless shell of his former self with M battling her partner’s self-destruction while preventing Earth’s destruction.
Men in Black: International is hard to watch as so many jokes and scenes fall flat. You ever watch someone drop something and they almost catch it a ton of times before it ultimately shatters? Yeah, this movie is the embodiment of that.
Okay, here is the thing, MIBI does get entertaining an hour in, but by then its almost over. So, if your willing to sit through the boringly painful first part to see an enjoyable second half. Go right ahead as your already clearly into some kinky stuff.
This tried to be the series’ Thor: Ragnarok by going heavy on the comedy and taking its lead actors. Instead, it ended up being Green Lantern down to the big baddie being a giant CGI mess and forgetting this exists unless someone mentions it.
All Eyes On Me
Men In Black: International spins its wheels for the longest til the plot actually goes somewhere, I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen first, me falling asleep or the audience laughing one of the infinite terrible jokes.
The series is historically about a secret agency staying in the shadows to take care of alien problems. Yes, sometimes fights to take place in the open, but they usually show a cleanup crew wiping a few peoples memories.
Men In Black: International doesn’t care about logic or the purpose of the agency as Chris & Tessa blow up city blocks with reckless abandon. Man of Steel must be blushing with how much destruction takes place in this film. There was a point where I wondered if this was Independence Day 3 (another Will Smith-less sequel).
MIB 2 at least tried to explain how they were gonna neutralize New York’s memory. This time around, the hope is the crumbling building debris will give a heavy concussion to witnesses or flat out kill them.
MIBI feels disjointed not only in its writing but also it’s editing. This spinoff feels like it was meant to be a tv show but was condensed into a film. That’s not an excuse for the editing as scenes end abruptly or linger to the point you might mistake it for a blooper as we watch Liam Nesson wait around to hear “cut!”
Let’s take a moment to talk about the movie’s saving grace, a small alien called Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani). Once he enters the film everything clicks like he was the missing piece to M & H’s chemistry. The writing got better, the action gets tolerable and I randomly found an extra $10 in my pocket.
I walked out of the theatre wondering if world peace happened as well since Pawny’s addition improved instantly. Pawny must have read the script, fired the original writer and found whoever wrote the much better second half.
Here comes the
With a that plot is thinner than Simon Cowell’s patience, it’s crucial for action to make up for it. Unfortunately, the action here is bland, most of the guns don’t pack a punch and fights are more chopped up than a Houston song.
Action sequences are pulled out of every superhero flick ever, except not done as well. The “aliens” this time around are basically super-powered beings.
The powered-up twin villans have great designs and are pretty threatening, but never amount to more than an excuse for the next big fight. I could have sworn one of the twins was in Dark Phoenix the previous week fighting the X-Men.
The heavy reliance on CGI makes it hard to connect to much as a lot looks fake and almost cartoonish. A mix of practical effects in the original MIB made things feel more alive along with the unique sounds.
The music here is as good as anything Danny Elfman has ever done, bringing some life into the film’s mediocre scenes. There’s a mix of series favorites with newly composed scores that are the only thing that screams Men In Black about this.
However, the licensed songs are irritating as they are either ill-fitting, out of date or both. There’s a montage scene where Agent M gets her outfit and gear like Smith in the original, but its 100x less cool. I love hip hop as much as the next person, but that terrible rap track in the back almost made me jump to country like Lil Nas X.
The U.K Can Keep This One
Verdict: Men In Black: International is a mess of a film that struggles to reach the finish line. The constant struggle of writing interesting dialogue or competent action keeps up for half the runtime.
Most of the fun comes the welcomed introduction of Pawny and the dynamics he adds to the team. Before it was just our two leads not meshing well.
The potential pieces are here for a great new trilogy, but the team behind the camera for this one simply isn’t it. Until the right team gets a hold of it, wait till this hits the small screen where it belongs.
What’s your favorite parts of the Men In Black series? Got any other Sci-Fi series that you think are great? Do you like Liam Nesson keeping his hunting in the movies? Leave your comments below!
- Pawny is hilarious and adorably awesome
- Second half being written by actual writers
- Danny Elfman music being the only MIB thing about this
- Terrible writing
- Awful editing
- Boring copy & pasted action
- Bad licensed songs