DIRECTOR: F. gary gray (straight outta compton, the fate of the furious)
starring: chris hemsworth, tessa thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, and liam neeson
REVIEWER: lyall carter
The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organisation.
I've always like the MIB franchise having found myself on a few occasions flicking through Netflix and picking one of the MIB films to watch. The reason why they're so re-watchable is that they have that great mix of what makes a summer blockbuster sing: action, crack up humour, a great story, and new worlds to explore. Unfortunately MIB: International may have all those things in spades, but it doesn't quite get off the ground.
MIB: International kicks off at the Eiffel Tower as the head of the London MIB branch, High T (Liam Neeson), and Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) destroy the Hybrid, a dangerous mutating alien race.
Years later Molly (Tessa Thompson), who has been searching for the MIB since she was a child due to a run in with an alien, finds the MIB headquarters and convinces O (Emma Thompson) to hire her.
Molly teams up with H to guard alien royalty in London but everything starts to go wrong as they begin to unravel a conspiracy at the very heart of the MIB.
You have to hand it to the producers. They looked at the palpable chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson in Thor Ragnarok and thought lets chuck them into MIB together. Lets capture this magic.
And while the chemistry is there, its not quite the same as their Marvel outing. And, as always, it comes down to story and character development. In Thor Ragnarok the years of Thor's character development was a more than sufficient bedrock to build the relationship on.
But we don't have that here in MIB: International. Its there but not quite. In fact the most laughter was not to be found in the banter between Hemsworth and Thompson but from Kumail Nunjiani's CGI alien.
The story is fun and engaging with a couple of twists and turns here and there, but its not as fully immersive, quirky, or grotesque as the MIB world was in previous films.
Hemsworth and Thompson do the best they can with slightly underwritten characters and there is a few chuckles to be found from their interactions. Neeson is strong, as ever, but Emma Thompson isn't really in this one but kind of bookends the film.
Don't get me wrong: if you head along you'll have a good time. You'll be entertained, you'll swoon when Hemsworth takes off his shirt, and you'll crack up when Kumail Nunjiani's alien opens his lips. Its just not that memorable.
Doesn't quite capture the chemistry of Hemsworth and Thompson's previous outing, but MIB: International still makes for a good night out.