Men in Black: International

Men in Black: International is the first movie in the franchise to be directed by F. Gary Gray and not by Barry Sonnenfeld and is the first movie not starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Instead, this semi-rebooted movie stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, along with Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, and Emma Thompson. Men in Black: International is not a full reboot, it doesn’t ignore the events of three previous films, but they are not a part of this story at all. Only a few references to it and that is it, this is a brand new story. The first Men in Black is an amazing action comedy and the series has never hit that high since and Men In Black: International falls flat.

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have incredible chemistry… in Thor: Ragnarok, not so much in this movie. I was so excited to see these two return to the big screen together and they really disappointed me. It’s not like there wasn’t any chemistry, it was fine. Nothing about their performances stands out or is memorable. Tessa Thompson’s character takes no struggle in becoming an agent. She just becomes one with no training. Will Smith struggled adapting to this unseen world before he became the great Agent J. Here Tessa Thompson has a five-minute conversation with Emma Thompson and that’s it. You would think it would be a difficult thing becoming an agent and adapting to this world, but that’s just not the case with her. The only character I thoroughly enjoy was Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny. He had all the best lines and funniest moments. Most of the comedy from everyone else falls short and doesn’t land.

As a director, F. Gary Gray has made some really fun movies, Straight Outta Compton, The Fate of the Furious, Friday. All of those movies have a style to them. Men in Black: International lacks any kind of flavour. F. Gary Gray directs this movie with no style or flare to it. If I didn’t know he directed this movie, I would have assumed Barry Sonnenfeld had directed it. It just feels like another Men in Black sequel. I thought the purpose of this reboot was to reinvigorate the franchise with a new perspective. Well, actually the purpose of this movie is to make money, but I had hoped at least the creatives behind it would have tried to make something of interests instead of making essentially the same movie we’ve seen 4 times now just with a new cast. The story is even pretty much the same as we’ve seen before. The whole plot revolves around an object that is way more important than it originally seemed, just like every other Men in Black film.

The only thing that could have saved this movie is the comedy. The story is not there, there is nothing original to this movie, but if the comedy was good, this movie could have been at least a fun, enjoyable film. Unfortunately, the comedy falls completely flat. The jokes were not funny. The theater that I saw this movie in was silent the entire movie. I didn’t hear a single laugh. Jokes would be set up in complicated ways that just go nowhere. All setup, no punchline. And if there was a punchline it would completely fall flat. Only a small handle of the jokes land and most of them come from Pawny and not our two leads.

Men in Black: International is yet another forgettable movie this summer season. Everything in this movie is just okay at best. The actors are likable enough, but we have seen better charisma from them before, the jokes are just not that funny, and there is nothing new or original offered. Men in Black: International is the same old movie we’ve seen before.

Rating: C-

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