Dir: F. Gary Gray. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson. PG-13. Color. 114 min.
The summer of blockbuster movies in 2019 will go down in my memory as the year in which, *gulp*, I came to appreciate Will Smith as a dynamic actor. He looked like the worst part of the recent “Aladdin” remake from the trailers and turned out to be the gem. Then comes “Men in Black: International”, a film Smith was not even in. “International” is so bland that one wishes Big Willie could have done a simple cameo so that at minimum one scene would be memorable beyond five minutes in life. Let it go or have fun status came and went for this franchise. We have officially entered why does this exist territory.
We open with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and his mentor Agent High T (Liam Neeson) fighting off “The Hive”, a mysterious alien race trying to invade earth, at the top of the Eiffel Tower in France. The epic throw down happens and… we cut to 20 years earlier to a young girl growing up in New York. Instantly we know nothing makes sense in this pic.
A young Agent M (Tessa Thompson) has a run in with a cute little alien, similar to a stuffed animal. In desperation she frees him while witnessing her parents’ memory getting zapped by MIB agents. That comes back later but I’ll let you discover how stupid that is. The young lady dedicates her life to finding the secret organization. The technologically advanced group is fooled by “Jenny from the block” if you will as she infiltrates their headquarters. After a brief speech about how much she loves space, Agent M is in and instantly an absolute MIB all star. I’m not a fan of montages, but maybe show a minute or two of the main character training before she’s using space guns? Obviously being an astronomy geek is the type of training needed to free climb on a giant rock wall during the climactic scene.
Meanwhile, Agent H has become a drunk gambler since saving the world. A poor man’s Captain Kirk, H is running around banging octopus women before being reeled in by High T for a big mission. If you haven’t figured out who the real bad guy is in the first 15 minutes then I don’t know what to tell you.
Two ghost aliens that can control electricity, shape shift into parkour athletes and love EDM music show up with a mission to kill an alien both H and M are assigned to protect. From there a global battle ensues between the MIB plus the ladies. No this is not an original female adventure but the filmmakers want to make sure multiple times you know ‘we have chicks now’. During a series of globe trotting ‘where do we want to vacation as producers?’ collection of horrible action sequences and abysmal writing takes place, nothing happens. Watch the Sahara Desert interaction between Thompson and Hemsworth and you will see my point.
The biggest mark “International” misses on is the fun old vs. young dynamic that the original “Men In Black” brought out. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith played off of each other. You do not have to use that same dichotomy as the original, but can you come up with something? There is no dynamic between our stars. Thompson and Hemsworth are both sexy actors with great smiles and, oh wait, there is no and.
What is the point of this movie being in our lives? Obviously this was made for the social media era which is fine. “Men In Black: International” is less a great Instagram post and more a 30 second Snapchat “dick-pick” share that is gone from your brain the next day. If there is ever an argument to use your phone during a movie, this is it.
Suck Factor: 6out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!