Horrorible Review: “Men in Black – International”

Men In Black: International movie poster

Men in Black – International

I suppose whoever came up with the title of this installment of Men in Black thought he’d wow us with the idea that we’d be taken all over the Earth in adventures. Maybe it didn’t occur to him that the entire premise encompasses the whole galaxy. The original movie, based on a comic, was goofy fun with just enough crust of seriousness to hold everything together. When the coolly indifferent Agent K wowed Agent J with some new idea or gadget or sight, we got to goggle at everything with J and it was fun. Now, with no new ideas for us to enjoy, the makers just throw all the old stuff at us, only More, and Bigger. Will Hollywood ever learn that size doesn’t matter it’s what you do with it?

As a child, the girl who eventually becomes Agent M (oh, come on, who doesn’t know Tessa Thompson becomes an agent – no spoilers here) befriends a wayward alien baby and devotes her life to figuring out all about Men in Black, so that by the time she finally finds their hideout she pretty much knows everything. All the new aliens and stuff that blew J’s mind only causes the occasional eyebrow raise from M. Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) is a broken down shadow of his originally shining star of an agent. They’re paired together for a job and things go horribly wrong.

The trailer made me really want to see this in the theaters, because I really enjoy Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, and because they’d worked together before so well in Thor: Ragnarok, I thought it would be even better in this film because they’d be together so much. They’re both funny and sexy and this kind of action romp is right up their alley. I was hoping for a great match like K and J. They tried to recreate the chemistry. It was obvious how much they were trying. They must have flunked chemistry.

So if we can’t have that, maybe we could have some cool new creatures or ideas or some kind of warped bad guy scheme. What we got were some broadly drawn rehashed scenes from the first film, like shaking down a barely hidden alien in his shop and visual gags about shiny alien guns.  The new alien sidekick, Pawny, was fun, much like the talking pug from the first film. The strongest vibe was that they were trying to make a Bond film with aliens, with a too serious demeanor that robbed all the funny parts.

The plot was thin, and painfully obvious right off the bat. Not only did I figure out the twist immediately, I spent a lot of the movie muttering at the screen wondering why everyone else hadn’t seen it, too. The action scenes were flat and overlong and I don’t remember hearing any kind of witty banter. There was a lot of sniping, but that’s not wit (unless you’re Hobbs & Shaw). The result was a dull film that I only finished watching because I paid money to see it.

If you like movies so lightweight they float, with a raft of wasted actors and a flimsy plot, you’ll like this. If you’re easily distracted by shiny stuff, you’ll like this. If you haven’t seen the first film you may like this. The box office suggests there were a lot of other people like myself who didn’t care for it because they must have heard it’s a dull, glittery mess. How disappointing.



CFR: In Addition: I really liked it. Sorry Mildred.

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