This Modern Reboot Speaks Nothing on Modern Times and Leaves a Bland Aftertaste- Men in Black: International (2019) Review
Or shall we say, Men and Women in Black: International...
Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Kumail Nanjiani, and Emma Thompson make a superstar cast in this new installment of the iconic Men in Black series. Tessa Thompson plays Molly, aka Agent M, a young, motivated woman who is determined to find and join the Men in Black organization. She's curious and fascinated with the wonders of the universe, ever since her encounter with an alien at a young age. She has been paired up with Agent H, played by Hemsworth, a hot-shot agent who is keen on partying and nonchalance. Throughout the entire movie, there's the classic whodunnit storyline, where the viewers are taken on a merry-go-round of possible villains.
It's always refreshing to see a black family portrayed in a major blockbuster film, without the usual white saviour BS. Other than that and the montage of Thompson, this film suffers greatly in aspects from storyline to dialogue. Luckily, Tessa sold me the role of Agent M- the headstrong, logical, witty and multi-faceted new agent who knows how to make her presence recognized and solve mysteries. I would have just loved for the whole movie to be about her and her journey from childhood to MIB agent, but I know what the writers were trying to do. It was supposed to be a reboot of the original Men in Black, where J and K meet and create the partnership of a lifetime, while overcoming their very clear personality differences. The movie attempts to recreate this through agents H and M, by making them as opposite as possible in every aspect. Their main fault is that there is not nearly enough sharp-witted exchanges between the pair, and there seems to lack a flowed transition of the relationship and the character's development. Hemsworth was a joke most of the film, as every line he said was intended to charm and humor the audience, and I would have much more enjoyed his character if he had had a well thought-out transition from "party-guy" to "okay-lets-get-serious-guy."
Although this movie lacked meaningful dialogue and proper situational flow, it is a nice laugh and the CGI effects of this day-and-age are phenomenal and not to be reckoned with. They try to touch on important social issues, like workplace misogyny and immigration, but they do so in a way that just barely glazes over the topics. The effort is very playful and not serious in any way. And it's not that making light of the issue was a problem, I think it was actually a good way to start the conversation, but the writers disregarded every opportunity for any actual follow up that would be able to start thoughtful conversations after the film is over.
Nanjiani plays Pawnee, a small, green alien whose entire existence is to serve a queen. He cannot live without his queen. His character actually got me through the rest of the film, once it starts to take a nosedive. His humorous and snark remarks, especially towards H, and his valiant efforts to save Agent M are adorable and fun to watch.
Overall, there's nothing I hate more than rocky transitions or lack thereof. I would also like to point out that with the lack of thoughtful dialogue, I wish it had been at least filled with more action and combat scenes. Instead we were given cheap laughs and a rushed storyline. I will say they give a very subtle, yet heartwarming, tribute to the original trilogy, and I love them for it. IF there is ever a second installment of this film, I hope they put more effort into it.
Jacindable Rating: ★★
starring, Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Les Twins, Rebecca Ferguson, Rafe Spall, Marcy Harriell, Inny Clemons, Mandeiya Flory, and Liam Neeson
Written and directed by, F. Gary Gary, Matt Holloway, and Art Marcum