The 2010s has been a golden age for reboots of famous film franchises with Men in Black: International, the fourth in the series following this trend. Gone are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as leads, replaced now by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Alongside Hemsworth and Thompson, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson also star here. With these stars and an already quirky take on aliens this should a recipe for success. However, a quite predictable plot and underusing of some characters does dampen the experience.
Apart from a couple of characters and references, the first three films in the series are almost completely disregarded. This makes this a totally new film, giving it an opportunity to start anew. As the title suggests, this focuses a lot on the international sector of the Men in Black. From London to Marrakesh, this film expands the Men in Black universe and how they operate within it. To see outside of the United States was a breath of fresh air, yet didn’t provide enough substance to the plot.
Of all the actors, Chris Hemsworth is by far the one with the most amount of attention. His character, H, is handsome, yet dim-witted at times. H’s dimwittedness, attractiveness and interesting romantic history are both funny and cringy. He also wears pink pants in here, a sight worth seeing for Hemsworth fans. Some of this humour is aided by M, played by Tessa Thompson. M is nothing in contrast to H; she is attractive and intelligent. The banter between H and M provides some of the funniest moments in the film. It should be noted that Chris Hemsworth’s accent did take away from the experience. He appeared to try sound more British, yet it came out as a hybrid between American and Australian.
As for other characters, Liam Neeson’s character, High T, is by far though the best character in the film. His acting was phenomenal and the way. The aliens who populate the world too are quirky, much like the ones from previous films in the series. Perhaps the one that stands out the most is Pawny, an alien who is part of a chess set. He’s both quirky and loves to take a poke at H.
The acting and characters are sadly dampened by a plot that feels worn out in this era of cinema: trying to save the world. The plot felt way too predictable and unbelievable at times. Some of the almost invincible characters just seemed to be defeated so easily, a factor that did annoy me. There were some moments in the film’s narrative too which I knew the endings to almost immediately. I don’t wish to mention them as I don’t wish to spoil the movie for anyone. Liam Neeson also felt underused. It’s a shame as his character had a lot of great build-up, yet didn’t receive enough screen time. Even just a minute more would have been sufficient.
Men in Black: International is an interesting film. It has a lot of quirky humour and is a major departure from the other films in the series. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson do a great job and Liam Neeson is phenomenal. However, certain aspects and the predictability of the plot did dampen the experience for me. Saying that though, if you want to see Chris Hemsworth in pink pants and some quirky aliens, check this film out. There is some fun to find here. Men in Black: International is in cinemas now.
Words by Cameron Lowe