Men in Black: International


By Joanna Langfield

Oh, I dunno. There’s nothing inherently terrible about this calculated installment of what was originally an inspired treat. But there’s nothing particularly fun or exciting, either. Which leaves us kind of hanging there, suspended in, in this case, literal animation.

The always charismatic Chris Hemsworth meets his perfect fit of a MIB partner in Tessa Thompson. He’s slick, she’s cool. And they’re both very talented at taking on the intergalactic bad guys. So there’s that. But, even with a cartload of special effects and obligatory action sequences, we’re never really engaged or more than surfacely entertained. Director F. Gary Gray, who has whipped up nail biting action in hits such as The Fate of the Furious and ripped us straight to the heart with Straight Outta Compton, knows how to bring it to the big screen, but, even though he keeps things moving along at a nice pace here, he doesn’t seem to have been given enough of a script to make this chapter something special.

It should be noted, I suppose, that there is an acknowledgement of the fact that there are actually women involved this time around when the underused Emma Thompson shows up for a scene or two with the younger Ms. Thompson. As much as I will always appreciate the opportunity to watch Hemsworth, I wouldn’t mind if the next MIB (because I suppose there will be one, if this movie earns some bucks) focuses on the Women in Black, women who know maybe not all life’s problems are solved by a putting on a black suit, but it surely can be a dandy step in the right direction.