After a close encounter during her childhood, Molly Wright (Tessa Thompson) begins searching for the mysterious agency that polices alien life on Earth. Twenty years later, when she finally manages to track them down, she's able to avoid the wrong end of a neuralyser, bartering instead for employment. For her first assignment, O (Emma Thompson) sends her to the London branch, where she will be working with Agents H (Chris Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Neeson) to uncover a mole in the MIB - a first for the agency. But will they be able to find them in time to stop an invasion of Earth by a hostile alien race?
After the popularity of Thor: Ragnarok and the genius pairing of Hemsworth and Thompson, many fans - including myself - were excited to see the pair reunite for a reboot/sequel to the Men In Black franchise. They may be playing vastly different characters to those seen in Ragnarok - a rogue who skates by more on luck than skill, and a logic driven/obsessed geek - but that lightning chemistry is still there. Put simply, these two make the perfect buddy comedy duo. In fact, the only person who outshines them is Kumail Nanjiani's 'Pawny', a tough little alien who inadvertently finds himself in the middle of an invasion plot. Nanjiani injects the little guy with so much energy and excitement, he's easily the biggest personality in the group - despite his small stature. Pawny definitely shares Nanjiani's dry sense of humour, which at times causes him to say exactly what he's thinking. All of which makes him very funny, and impossible not to love.
It's a shame then that the characters are the only really interesting part of Men In Black: International, and half of them are given very little to do. This includes Emma Thompson's O (who seems to be there simply to act as a link to the previous three movies), Liam Neeson's High T, and Rebecca Ferguson's Riza Stavros - a three armed arms dealer and H's ex-girlfriend. Apart from a couple of good action scenes - including the London shootout and the Marrakesh hover bike chase - the story is very bland, not to mention predictable. The identity of the mole is pretty obvious from the beginning, and by the time the story reaches London it's all but confirmed. Apparently producer Walter Parkes was responsible for a lot of rewrites, which resulted in a dumbing down of the plot and a lot of clashes with director F. Gary Gray. The original script is said to have had an edgier tone and a socio-political commentary on immigration, none of which made it into the movie, and what's left is pretty dull.
Although, I did like the idea that MIB would act as a diplomatic mission, as well as law enforcement for alien life on Earth. It makes sense that agents would be assigned the task of making sure certain visitors have a good time, whilst also acting as their bodyguards. That way their race doesn't wipe out our entire planet when something happens to them.
Men In Black: International promised to be a fun and exciting entry in the MIB franchise. But what we got is a lacklustre story that was all too predictable. Previous instalments, regardless of how good they are - I was very disappointed by MIB 3 - were at least fun. Men In Black: International has its moments, but for the most part it's just dull. And unfortunately, some good performances and lightning chemistry between the actors isn't enough to save it.
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