It’s been seven years since the last installment in the franchise that introduced us to the shadowy organisation tasked with protecting the earth from the scum of the universe. Black-suited heroes that police alien threats to all life on the planet, so we can continue, oblivious, with our lives. They are them, a rumour, recognizable only as deja vu and dismissed just as quickly. They are the Men in Black! And this film isn’t them. Men in Black: International, instead, is a generic action comedy, trying and failing to live up to the legacy of the black suit. Welcome to Meh in Black.
As the plot goes, several years ago, Agent’s H (Chris Hemsworth) and T (Liam Neeson) heroically defeated the Hive, halting their attempt to destroy the earth. Now, H is a layabout with little ambition, cruising through MiB with his former partner (now head of the London office) always covering for him. H is suddenly teamed up with MiB frothing fangirl and probationary Agent, M (Tessa Thompson) to protect a visiting alien royal. Things go pear-shaped and they must navigate the pitfalls of being partners while unraveling a plot that could lead to galactic destruction. Or what the MiB probably call Wednesday.
The film opens with two flashbacks in the wrong order that cut back and forth between each other. One three years back, the other 25, so I hope you have Ritalin. The Hive - super-duper-evil space aliens - have less screen time than the opening credits and the bulk of their story is handled as exposition. The tagline of this film should be “Tell, Don’t Show”, because that’s all they do. There are paintings depicting the battle too. Notably, there’s a painting of K and J’s battle from the first film. That, along with the one line from Frank the Pug and a walk-on by the Worm Guys, are the only reminders of the franchise you won’t be seeing.
The tagline of this film should be “Tell, Don’t Show”, because that’s all they do.
The villains have a plot motivation that’s barely explained, except for one sentence that’s easy to miss if you’re distracted by the umpteenth explosion.
Comedian, Writer, Actor, Voice-artist. Host of the Urbane Myths podcast, Co-host of GeekXP's 'Release The Geek'. Opinionist Purveyor of Wanton Meanderings. And above all, Geek.
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14 June 2019
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