Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson don the quintessential black suits and shades in Columbia Pictures Men in Black: International. F. Gary Gray directs the film with a script courtesy of writing duo Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. The new movie is a standalone sequel, spin-off and soft reboot of the original trilogy; with the fourth film focusing on new agents H (Chris Hemsworth) and (M) Tessa Thompson.
Across the pond, in 2009 agents H (Chris Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Nesson) saved the country from an alien attack, with both men earning the respect of their country. Twenty years prior in the city that never sleeps a young Molly has an encounter with an alien. The “Men in Black” show up to Molly’s home, neutralize her parents but miss her. Molly has spent the last thirty years, searching for the truth.
When the adult Molly (Tessa Thompson) finds the MIB headquarters, she convinces Agent O (Emma Thompson) to let her join as the newest recruit. O agrees to hire Molly on probation and sends her on assignment to London. Now known as Agent M, she must team up with agent H (Chris Hemsworth) to save the world.
I’ll make it known outside of the third one that I was never a fan of the Men in Black films. I found the first film mediocre, and the second one a flat out disaster. However, I did enjoy the third one, and as a fan of F. Gary Gray previous films, I walked into Men in Black: International with a renewed sense that the franchise would win me over.
Initially, the film starts decent with Hemsworth displaying his natural comedic talent, while Thompson brings elegance to M. The script makes the wise choice to keep the two separate for the first twenty minutes or so of the film, and I imagine this was to give the audience a chance to know the characters. When M & H finally do get together, it’s a joy to watch the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Never falling trap to a predictable romantic angle, H & M instead come off natural partners.
However outside of the chemistry of her two leads, there isn’t that much to recommend with Men in Black: International. The only other highlight in Men In Black: International is the voice work of Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny a mini alien who assists H&M. The script by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway is all over the place which is a surprise as the duo’s contributed to the script of the first Iron Man film. For starters, the film’s primary villain will be easy to pick out, and the rest of our supporting villains are a waste.
In obvious stunt casting Rebecca Ferguson has a minimal and un-needed role as Riza, H’s ex. Given the range that Ferguson displayed in her previous film, I honestly have no idea why she took this role. While, Emma Thompson and Liam Nesson are both on autopilot as senior agents and mentors to H&M. To my surprise, the direction by F. Gary Gray is serviceable. However, with a stronger script, Gray could’ve directed a much stronger film.
Had the studio gone the route of maybe focusing on a Men in Black training academy or a prequel, the final result would’ve been stronger. Younger audiences and teens may find something to like in Men in Black: International, but with a by the numbers script and over usage of CGI, fans of the original film should steer clear.