MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL – A Review by John Strange
In 1997, we were introduced to a group of beings led by Zed (Rip Torn) who along with agents Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith) defends the Earth from the rest of the galaxy. The action was good and the aliens we met were extraordinary. But it was a bit of a boys club with few females in important roles.
Our new chapter takes place mostly beyond the borders of the U.S. and into a world where Women in Black are just as important as their male counterparts. While there have been female antagonists and the occasional supporting part, women have not had primary roles in the previous films.
Men in Black: International changes this trend with Emma Thompson’s Agent O taking a much larger role in the action and the introduction of Agent M (Tessa Thompson; Thor: Ragnarok/Avengers: Endgame, Creed II). Agent M is someone, per the trailer, who grew up with knowledge that “someone” is out there and they wear black. And she wants IN!
As with all of the Men in Black films, the spark between the two partners is crucial. Agent M finds herself partnered with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth; also Thor: Ragnarok/Avengers: Endgame). Agent H is a senior agent though he seems to rarely take anything seriously which gives us a big part of the humor in the film.
But the agents are but part of the mystique of these films. The other major component is the plethora of other races we meet. MIB: International is no slouch in this department. From the races we see at the headquarters interacting with humans to the individuals the team encounter on the travels, we are given a cornucopia of cool and exotic visuals that must have kept some digital FX gurus awake many nights imagining and creating them.
There are two that I really enjoyed and both are in the trailer. Other than that I really can’t talk about them other than to say I would LOVE to meet one of them in real life (I wish!) and the other I pray I don’t. My sister was happy because her favorite alien is in the film, though only in a small role.
I enjoyed most of the movie. The only sore point for me was one of the fight scenes towards the end of the film. I think when you see it you will say with me, “HUH?” Because one of those gurus screwed up just enough to REALLY bother my sense of rightness. But that only gives me more to talk about to those folks who have seen the film.
You will enjoy this film as much as my sister and I did. The discussions of various aspects of the film, seen a few days ago, are still going on. That is the mark of a good summer action film. It is memorable in more than one way, giving you fodder for discussions for days or even weeks to come. Men in Black: International is one of those films. I look forward to many discussions about this film with those of you who find me on the street or at events.
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Laurent Bourgeois, Larry Bourgeois, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action, some language and suggestive material)
Selig Rating: A
Runtime: 120 Min.
Movie Site: www.meninblack.com
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.