Movie Review: Men in Black: International

Hollywood gets a lot of criticism over its obsession to milk a series for every penny. Men in Black: International feels like that ploy with its overly generic structure. An all-star cast cannot save this doozy of a spinoff.

Molly (Tessa Thompson) spent her whole life tracking the Men in Black after witnessing their actions as a child. After 20 years, she finds the agency and easily and quickly gets hired. She tries to get in with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) to partner up and learn the ropes, so the two team up with his brawns, despite getting put down by everyone, and her brains, even though she lies to people who easily eat up anything. A new threat emerges which breaches high levels of the organization.

The plot drunkenly stumbles with each step it takes. The beginning of the film makes no sense when two agents come to wipe the memory of Molly’s parents due to an alien in their home but never go in to investigate the pesty creature. The use of the neuralyzer is used too liberally and often loses its purpose in many aspects that break the fundamental rules of this agency’s secrecy.

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I will say, it was impressive that Mandeiya Flory, who played the child in Molly’s flashback, looked quite her adult costar, Thompson. The two actresses looking similar made for a smooth transition from the past to the present.

The A-class star power does not always save a movie, especially this one. Hemsworth, Thompson, their boss Agent High T (Liam Neeson), and their alien companion Pawny (Kumail Nanjani) cannot save this train wreck. Some of the dialogue is so poorly written that some of the line delivery feels flat. Most of the time, it feels like a generic, blockbuster comedy that usually falls on its face rather than making me laugh.

The characters have plenty of inconsistencies themselves. Agent H tells Thompson once they first meet that they work alone, but immediately changes his mind for the sake of moving the plot forward. Agent M is supposed to have all of the perfect traits from a fighter to a genius, yet she tends to play off the moment in hopes things work out annoyingly. The saving grace is their chemistry works, mostly due to their past work together in the MCU.

The alien designs have some throwbacks to the original trilogy while bringing in new faces. The designs look great, yet some of the CGI does not. I feel scaley or slimier creatures are harder to make more realistic. At times I was in pain to look at some of the poorly rendered characters, while others were tolerable, yet nothing incredible.

Another overly processed sequel that lacks any personality like most other films during the summer blockbuster frenzy. What should have happened was an adventure with two unlikely partners to form an expansion on the juicy universe while making it a fun sci-fi comedy; instead, International is dull and lacks any intelligence. This is not even streaming worthy on Netflix or Hulu once it is out of the theaters, save your own time by watching anything else.

Score: 2/10

Image via Sony Pictures

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