Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Review Men in Black: International (2019)


#MenInBlackInternational (2019): 5/10

Men In Black: International is the fourth instalment in the ‘Men In Black’ franchise, with the franchise seeing its first director change, and with it, a change in personnel; Chris Hemsworth (‘Thor’) and Tessa Thompson (‘Creed’), fresh off the back of their ‘Avengers: Endgame’ success, join forces once again to head up this ‘Men In Black’ spin-off, in an attempt to freshen things up in the franchise.

Hemsworth and Thompson are the two main plus points in this film without doubt, their energy and chemistry, seemingly copied and pasted from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, keeps the film ticking along, with the roles reversed from previous films, the suited and booted MIB veteran this time providing the entertainingly goofy moments. Emma Thompson (‘Love Actually’) is also a highlight but is regrettably underused. The MIB headquarters get an international revamp for the London branch, with Liam Neeson (‘Taken’) in charge as High T.

We are yet to see a worthy successor to the 1997 original despite two previous efforts, which is a worry, and the changes probably do more harm than good. ‘Men In Black’ without Will Smith for example is always going to be a risk. With his character Jay already treading the introductory path in the original, it’s somewhat glossed over for Tessa Thompson’s M, meaning we don’t really get much time to see her wow’d by her new environment, or connect with her on an emotional level. The humour also leaves a lot to be desired with many jokes falling flat and some cringey pop culture references.

There are some aspects and scenes to enjoy despite forgettable antagonists reminiscent of The Twins in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’, and a few nice nods to previous instalments but these just serve as reminders to previous, better outings. With the film already performing poorly at the box office, even after a 7 year franchise hiatus, it’s hard to see the ‘Men In Black’ franchise continuing in its current form.

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