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MIB: International is Painfully Boring
By West Kentucky Star Staff
MARTIN - “Men in Black: International” is the fourth installment in the “Men in Black” film series. The first “Men in Black,” released in 1997 was a huge success and one of the films that cemented Will Smith’s status as a bankable Hollywood star. Its two sequels which were released in 2002 and 2012 respectively, while still somewhat entertaining, were never as critically acclaimed as the first film. With a new cast and director this time around, how does this new installment compare to its predecessors?

Molly Wright (Tessa Thompson) has known about the existence of aliens, and of the Men in Black ever since she was a child. Over 20 years later, Molly ends up coming across the MIB, and also joining them under the codename of Agent M. After meeting with fellow Agent H (Chris Hemsworth,) they must work together to solve the mystery of a potential mole in the Men in Black organization. 

The idea of focusing on other members of the Men in Black and their adventures is a fairly smart idea in terms of a sequel/reboot; as it allows the franchise to tell new stories with new characters, while also staying within the same universe and continuity that the previous three films established. Unfortunately, the execution of said smart idea turns out to be less than stellar, as this film decides to go with a tired and dull story and an even worse script.

The biggest issue of “Men in Black: International” is that it’s completely dull, as well as unfunny. The first 20 minutes are decent enough, as Molly’s journey towards discovering the Men in Black and becoming a member is quite interesting. Sadly, once Agents’ M and H begin their main mission, that’s where the film begins to drag on. The plot point of the possible mole in the MIB organization is somewhat engaging, but it’s everything else building towards it that make the story less interesting. There’s plenty of action and wisecracks happening onscreen, and yet somehow nothing ever comes across as substantial or fascinating to watch. If anything, that’s quite an accomplishment to have so much going on, and yet somehow the film leaves so little an impact.

Even worse is how the film manages to waste its talented cast. Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth have proven that they have great onscreen chemistry back in “Thor: Ragnarok” and even this year’s “Avengers: Endgame.” But unlike those films, this one doesn’t provide them with snappy dialogue to bounce back and forth on. Every now and then, they’ll be able to provide a decent line, but they’re still very few and far between compared to the huge amount of flat humor. Liam Neeson, Rafe Spall, Rebecca Ferguson and Kumail Nanjiani don’t fare out much better in their respective supporting roles, as they’re also given very little to work with in terms of character depth or interesting traits. Even Emma Thompson as Agent O, who was first introduced back in “Men in Black 3” is wasted in a small appearance early on in the film.

MIB may stand for Men in Black, but it should also stand for “Movie is Boring.” “Men in Black: International” is not only the worst film in the “Men in Black” series by far, but it’s also one of the worst movies of the year. Given how forgettable the film is as a whole, watching it is almost like being flashed by a MIB memory-erasing neutralizer. Much like how the MIB try to keep the existence of aliens hidden moviegoers should do the same with this film. Simply move on and pretend that it doesn’t exist. 

Final Verdict: 1.5/5

Published 12:00 PM, Tuesday Jun. 18, 2019
Updated 10:54 AM, Tuesday Jun. 18, 2019

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