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Men in Black: International (A Movie Review)

Men in Black: International


Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Les Twins (Laurent Bourgeois, Larry Bourgeois), Kayvan Novak, Kayvan Novak, Spencer Wilding, Marcy Harriell, Inny Clemons, Aaron Serotsky, Mandeiya Flory, Matthew Bates, Sartaj Garewal, Stephen Wight, Brian Silliman, John Sousa and Jeff Kim.

Screenplay by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.

Directed by F. Gary Gray.

Distributed by Columbia Pictures. 115 minutes. Rated PG-13.

I have always really enjoyed the Men in Black franchise. The first was groundbreaking in its creativity and humor, the third was, in my opinion, incredibly fun and odd with its time bending. Two, well, we don’t talk about two…. With Men in Black: International, we get a reboot return to humor. While the story is not surprising, in any way, the film sure is a whole lot of fun.

While the original MIB’s are unapologetically set in NYC, MIB International moves (quite quickly on the Express Train) from NYC to London, where Probationary Agent M (Molly, played by Tessa Thompson) is to have on the job training her first mission.

But let’s step back for a moment. As a child, Molly had a love of all things science. Her room is set with a universe print design and she doesn’t bat an eyelash at the cute alien that she wakes to in her bedroom. When the Men in Black come to her house and neurolyze her parents, Molly looks away, helps the cute alien to escape, and then makes it her life’s mission to join the Men in Black, to learn the secrets of the universe.

Through much ingenuity and a lot of perseverance, Molly manages to track down a sting by the Men in Black. She follows them back to their home office in NY and convinces O (played by Emma Thompson) to give her the opportunity to join. This is really the opening, where we start to see some real trademark MIB humor, including the ever-running joke about the size of the weaponry.

Again, no surprises here, but still fun, particularly with new leads.

Anyway, Molly becomes M, and we’ve caught back up to where she travels to London. She meets Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth), the legendary agent who has already saved the world once from total destruction by The Hive alongside High T (played by Liam Neeson).

Hemsworth’s H is written to be stereotypical. You know, the charismatic, doesn’t follow the rules, bad boy agent with all of the swagger and something just a bit off in his demeanor. This allows him to get away with being late but remains the object of suspicion for his colleagues.

The breakout star of Men in Black: International has got to be Pawny (hysterically voiced by Kumail Nanjiani) the pint-sized alien pawn who has brutally lost his queen and then chooses to pledge his undying loyalty to Agent M instead of suicide by sword. He is loyal, adorable, and incredibly well timed throughout, volleying back and forth in witty dialogue, becoming an important member of M & H’s unlikely team.

I am, unapologetically, a fan of both Hemsworth and Thompson (both Tessa and Emma). So clearly, I am the target audience for this otherwise less than original, less than fantastic reboot. I suspect that I was the loudest laugh in the auditorium but honestly, I was having so much fun that I didn’t care that the other audience members seemed bored.

I will be seeing Men in Black: International again when it opens, with friends and family, so maybe I can relook at the film with my fan-colored glasses off…. but I suspect I will still enjoy this on the second go round.

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: June 14, 2019.

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