Men in Black: International is not just the continuation of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones’ adventures from the original trilogy of films, but instead marketed as a ‘sidequel’ in which the events of this film take place in the same world as the previous installments.
The story follows Molly Wright (Tessa Thompson), who we are introduced to as a child who helps an alien escape from her house as her parents’ memories are wiped by two agents. She dedicates her life to finding the agency and securing her dream career there, making such an impression on Agent O (Emma Thompson) that she is given probationary status and assigned to the London branch of MIB. There she is introduced to Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and together they are thrown into an adventure to uncover the mole within the agency.
Some might say that it’s not exactly terrible, but there have already been several reviews describing it as “Meh in Black” and it’s difficult not to agree with this mantra. It wasn’t an awful film, yet many leaving the cinema might feel exactly that – “Meh”. The story feels like it has to travel to various locations just to tick off the ‘International’ aspect of the title and the writing at times just feels like little to no effort was included other than having to visit different countries.
The visual effects work holds up well and it’s nice to be reintroduced to the MIB universe of gadgets, fast cars (even if they’re all conveniently made by Lexus) and the idea of aliens living amongst us in the real world. The product placement was quite obvious at times, yet some of it was quite amusing – a car chase crashing into a Greggs being the main example. In fairness the plot does somewhat do quite a good job of keeping you guessing who the real enemy actually is within the organisation. Thompson and Hemsworth are reunited from Thor: Ragnorok and whilst their chemistry isn’t quite what it was during their Marvel outing, they still work well together and most of the comedic moments stem from their relationship.
It doesn’t try to reinvent the franchise and is guilty of more than a few convenient plot moments, but if you’re looking for a fun movie with the elements of the original Men in Black trilogy but don’t want to think too hard then MIB International is an okay choice for an afternoon’s cinema visit.
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