Aside from Avengers Endgame, 2019 is shaping up to be pretty disappointing when it comes to blockbuster movies. Godzilla received a bit of a panning from the critics (although I personally quite liked it), then Dark Phoenix took an even bigger hit in the reviews, which I completely agree with. And now we have a sequel that nobody asked for, to a movie which has already had a couple of fairly average sequels, and which has also started to receive a wave of negative reviews during this week. To be honest, the trailer for Men In Black International certainly looked a bit….meh – a bunch of random stuff happening, no real indication of any plot, some annoying looking CGI aliens and an attempt to just coast off the back of having both Thor and Valkyrie reunited together on screen. I still remember how memorable the original trailer for the 1997 Men In Black movie was when it featured in cinemas – the shades, the guns, the aliens, the massive flying saucer crash landing in front of a cool looking Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The trailer for this latest movie had none of that wow factor, but I went in hopeful as always that the reviews were all wrong.
We begin in 2016, with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Neeson) as they ascend the Eiffel Tower, interrupting a man who is about to propose to his partner, and then proceed to save the world from an incoming alien race called The Hive (although we never actually see what happens). Then we jump back 20 years into the past, to a family who are disturbed one night by a cute little alien in their back garden. As the young daughter, Molly, hides the alien in her bedroom, she looks out of her window to see her parents as they are neuralysed by a couple of Men in Black.
Back in present day, Molly (Tessa Thompson) is now all grown up, but hasn’t forgotten that eventful night. She’s desperate to track down and work for the Men in Black that she saw as a child and while working in a call centre, she uses her computer to connect to satellite equipment in order to track alien landings and therefore determine where the Men in Black will be. Eventually finding her way into their headquarters, she is recruited by Agent O (Emma Thompson) and sent on her first mission, where she partners up with Agent H. The pair get caught up in a plot involving an assassinated alien VIP and some kind of super weapon. And, as the title of the movie suggests, this involves plenty of international travel as we switch between New York, London, Paris and Marrakesh.
The problem is though, whereas the original Men in Black boasted a lot of humour, along with some great visual gags and action, along with a great double act in the form of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, this movie does nothing to successfully recapture any of that. As much as I love Chris Hemsworth, I felt that he was the worst thing about this movie. Somebody simply thought they’d take the character of Thor and try to have that for the entire movie, but without making him funny, heroic or even that likeable in the process. As with Dark Phoenix recently, a great cast is let down by an awful script, with any attempts at humour or entertainment falling completely flat.
Elsewhere, the fun and wacky inventiveness behind the different alien species featured in the original movie is completely absent here. Apart from some interesting and formidable twin villains, there’s a fairly wasted role for Rebecca Ferguson as a three armed ex lover of Agent H. Other than that, the main alien throughout the movie is just an annoying little CGI character that tags along with Agents H and M.
To be fair, there are a couple of fun action sequences that worked fairly well and some nice visuals, but overall Men in Black International is just a completely forgettable and unnecessary movie. Here’s hoping that Toy Story 4 will finally bring us a worthy blockbuster when it opens later this week.