Recommendation: 2/5 Stars, SKIP
Plot: “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 organization.” -IMDB
Review: For the life of me, I cannot recall the plot to “Men in Black: International.” I remember watching it from beginning to end. I remember characters, aliens, people dressed in black, sunglasses, and devices intended to make us forget. Maybe that’s what happened? Maybe that thing they are always forcing people to stare at worked on me. Maybe it was something else? Maybe it was the weakest movie of the summer, under-developed script, and a film devoid of any charm found in the original films. Perhaps we will never know.
Much like the first film in this series, this movie begins with a recruit played by Tessa Thompson who finds her way into the international edition of the Men in Black. Almost immediately, you notice the anchor of the original films is missing. This anchor is not Will Smith. Instead, the humor that held this franchise together is nowhere to be seen. Even Chris Hemsworth, who commanded countless laughs in the “Avengers” franchise, can’t seem to make the lines land anywhere near their target. Instead, we are treated to half-hearted chuckles and way too many excuses to visit the bathroom and concession stand.
For much of this film, I spent time trying to guess why it existed in the first place. At times, it feels like a TV show, at best. The comedic timing and plot are so exhausting that it was hard not to dream about other things. Then it dawned on me, much like most everything else I saw this summer, this movie wasn’t about being good. It was about stirring up nostalgia in an effort to make money; which must be the most pathetic reason to make a film.
Hopefully, this is the end of the “Men in Black” films. I say this not because I don’t think there is more worthy of exploring here. I say this because we as fans deserve better and we tend to vote with our wallets at the box office. If the returns on this film are any indication, I would like to introduce you to the Howard Dean of summer films.
Be good to each other,
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