Men in Black: International
2019 | dir: F. Gary Gray | 115 m
The original Men in Black was a true highlight of the '90s and a joy that I would revisit often; I remember getting the soundtrack at the time when Danny Elfman could do no wrong. Yes, the movie seemed to mix every element into a perfectly fun adventure film that captured an essence that has yet to be reproduced in the ongoing franchise. Taking such a long hiatus from the third entry, International is met with some trepidation as my cynical self can't help but think that there wasn't more to tell in this universe, but there was more money to be made. And here we are, a new Men in Black film loaded with some exciting talent and all the latest CGI tricks to really make the world of hidden alien policing sing. It falls short, to say the least. It feels like they revisited the core formula of the first film: follow our character through their first adventure while they're led by a veteran in the organization, see some interesting aliens and save the world, but the chemistry between our two leads never materializes and I suspect it's because Hemsworth's Agent H is written as such a cocky jerk. We retread the same material - there's even a quick scene where Tessa Thompson's newbie Agent M sees a list of celebrity aliens. As we follow the same beats as the original, we're world-hopping now instead of driving around New York, and I'm feeling as empty as the CGI renditions on screen while left yearning for the practical effects of yesteryear. Despite all this, the movie is serviceable: it's an entertaining chunk of popcorn flick, but doesn't amount - nor strive - for anything more.
Rating: 2.5 / 5