Screen Reviews

Published on July 1st, 2019 | by Kevin Given


Movie Review: Men in Black International

The Men in Black (wouldn’t it have been cool to have one of the men be Tommy Lee Jones or Josh Brolin in a cameo as agent K? But, alas, the creative juices just weren’t flowing during the creation of this film) visit ten-year-old Molly’s (Mandeiya Flory) parents 20 years ago as they discover a strange creature. It’s a cute, harmless alien and winds up in the ten-year-old Molly’s room as the agents discuss the situation with her parents (Marcy Harriell, Inny Clemons) in her front yard. Molly is watching the whole thing unfold from her bedroom window when the agent’s flashy thing her parents. Molly covers her eyes, so she doesn’t get her memory wiped. Remembering what she saw, years later, she spends much of her life hunting for the Men in Black organization. Because of this, she’s pretty much a loner who never had too many friends or a boyfriend. She finally finds the organization and winds up joining with agent O (Emma Thompson) as her sponsor. Through agent High T (Neeson) she’s linked with agent H (Hemsworth, who else, lol) and they go on a mission to hunt down Milli Vanilli alien twins (Laurent and Larry Bourgeois) who are seeking a weapon “for the hive.” Not going to give away too many spoilers.

I find this movie so hard to review. It’s not bad, but it’s not memorable either. Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have worked together in the MCU as Thor and Valkyrie a couple of times so, they’re comfortable on screen together and have good chemistry. But the jokes just aren’t that funny most of the time and the ones that are half the time fall flat, giving us barely a chuckle. We must wait almost halfway through the movie before we get anything that resembles a plot. The Bourgeois twins are there simply to track down this films McGuffin, a weapon disguised as a crystal, and are completely underdeveloped. Unlike Vincent D’Onofrio’s awesome turn as the man possessed by a cockroach in the first film or even Rosario Dawson’s turn as Laura Vasquez, the Light of Zartha in the first sequel. Both of those characters were well developed, and we could care about what happens to them. The alien twins? Not so much. We wind up feeling nothing for their mission or the hive when the secret of what the hive is about is finally revealed. 

The most memorable scene comes more than halfway through during a fight that Agent’s H and M have with Riza (Rebecca Ferguson) and an alien that turns out to be more important to the plot than previously thought (no spoilers) Riza, it turns out, has three arms, which definitely gives her the reach advantage over M. But M more than holds her own in this scene. In one amusing moment, H picks up a tiny hammer and laughs at his opponent, implying that the tide of this battle has turned. In an obvious homage to his Thor character in the MCU, He throws the hammer at the villain, who grabs it and tosses it away. 

All the actors give it their best, but there’s just no energy here. The shock ending isn’t so shocking and the scenes just kind of bleed together instead of flowing in a coherent motion. Other than agent O, There’s no one else here from the original franchise, save for cameos from Frank the Pug (Tim Blaney) and the worms (Thom Fountain, Andrew Massey) The aliens aren’t as creative as they used to be, and the fight scenes are actually kind of boring overall. The feeling is Been there, done that. Why don’t we try something new? **1/2 (5.7 rating)

Director: Gary F. Gray
Producer: Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald
Writer: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Based on The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham
Music: Danny Elfman, Chris Bacon
Cinematography: Stuart Dryburgh
Production: Columbia Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Parkes + Macdonald, Image Nation, Tencent Pictures
Chris Hemsworth
Tessa Thompson
Rebecca Ferguson
Kumail Nanjiani
Rafe Spall
Laurent Bourgeois
Larry Bourgeois
Emma Thompson
Liam Neeson

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About the Author

Kevin Given has studied with "Longridge Writers Group" and "Writer's Boot Camp" a speech/communications major from the University of Maine Presque-Isle/Orono sites. He has created the "Karl Vincent Vampire Hunter" franchise which includes 2 novels and 8 comic books. They can be found on amazon, Indyplanet and Kindle. For a limited time you can get digital copies of "Karl Vincent: Vampire hunter" #1 and "Files of Karl Vincent" #1 for free on Indyplanet. Kevin is producing the third novel in the series "Dracula Rising" (working title) and developing "Foul Blood" into comic book form.

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