‘MIB: International’ Theatrical Review
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones launched a worldwide phenomenon in 1997 with Men in Black. The idea that there is a secret government organization who monitors alien life on earth was exactly what we all needed. We fell in love with the unique take on alien biology, the one of a kind organizational structure of MIB, the chemistry between Smith and Jones, and the neuralizer we all wanted.
Fast forward three movies to 2019, and we get MIB: International. A new cast and story that takes various story opportunities that could span across the cosmos… and throws them out. Instead, the new MIB story tackles a mole within MIB.
MIB: International has an all-star cast, a successful writing team, and a director in F Gary Gray who has credits to his name like Straight Outta Compton and The Italian Job. Unfortunately, none of the things that this group could’ve brought to this movie showed up. The film relied heavily on gag jokes, Chris Hemsworth’s comedic timing, and big name actors without regard for what MIB should mean. The Men in Black are the “first, last, and only line of defense against the worst scum of the universe.” MIB 4 was none of these things.
Before we bludgeon this movie entirely, there were several parts that stuck out. The highlight of the film was Pawny, voiced by Kumail Nanjiani. His quips, dialog, and unexpected chemistry with all other cast members was refreshing in a heavily Hemsworth production. Pawny deserves a black suit and neuralizer. The alien twins, played by Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, were dark, creative, and well done. Finally, the CGI throughout the film was on par or ahead of all previous MIB movies. From the Hive to the twins, CGI was on point.
Unfortunately, that’s about all that will resonate with viewers. The majority of the humor makes you smile, but unless it was Pawny, that’s it. The story was old-hat and predictable. The idea of other MIB offices around the globe was novel but forgettable. The music was basic, and the settings were nothing new.
With a 114 minute run time, the movie at least doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. You will not learn anything new about the MIB organization, you will not go away wanting a bunch of new merchandise (maybe a Pawny for your desk), and you will be disappointed you didn’t get a legit Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones cameo. MIB: International tried to deliver more to fans, but they gave us more of the stuff we really didn’t need. Hopefully, they get back on track for MIB 5.
What did you think? Let us know in the comments.
The Men in Black have expanded to cover the globe but so have the villains of the universe.