Men in Black: International gets laughs from audiences, but was it really a necessary spin-off to make?
This post for Men in Black: International is spoiler-free.
Men in Black: International (2019, directed by F. Gary Gray) features an exciting cast consisting of Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson—but even with an all-star cast, the movie seems to only generate audience laughter from the well-timed jokes made (mostly) by Nanjiani’s alien character Pawny.
The MIB franchise, as suggested by its own movie title, has always featured two male leads in the main role, but with the increased discourse about gender equality, female empowerment and even the #MeToo movement—it only seems apt that a Hollywood studio would need to recreate one of the most iconic action-comedy franchises to be inclusive of women. In the spin-off, there is even a mistimed “Women in Black” joke being used to address the lack of inclusivity in the original movie title.
What makes Men in Black: International watchable is its cast. Tessa Thompson’s Agent M is great in this film. Her chemistry with Hemsworth’s Agent H, as already shown in Thor: Ragnarok is equally fantastic in this fourth instalment of MIB. With Nanjiani added to the film as Agent M’s alien sidekick, it added a nice touch to this otherwise bland movie.
Hemsworth, whose comedic personality was displayed in Paul Feig’s female Ghostbusters, is once again as hilarious as he was in the aforementioned movie. But occasionally in Men in Black: International, Hemsworth seems to be mirroring his real-life persona instead of playing a movie character.
The plot of MIB: International is downright awful and forgettable. The action scenes were good but not as exciting as other action movies that have already been released this year. I’m not sure if the writers meant for Agent H and Agent M to be romantically interested in one another as the ending was left up for debate, but I do appreciate how this movie didn’t use Thompson to create a romantic arc between the two leads.
With really poor editing (what an ugly font they used for the intertitles and end credits), less than mediocre direction and unimpressive action sequences, Men in Black: International is a forgettable movie and I sure hope that a sequel to this is not made unless a more creative and inspiring story can be conveyed on screen.