Seven years later, we’ve got a sequel to Men in Black. Seven years later, the agents are not the same. Instead of Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K and Will Smith’s Agent J, we’ve got two new stars essaying the role of the men (and women) who save the planet from an alien attack. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson star as agents H and M who have a chemistry that is entirely different from K and J’s. directed by F Gary Gray, Men in Black: International is a lot different from the previous installations of the franchise.
MIB: I starts off in 2016 as High T (Liam Neeson) and H investigate an anomaly in Paris, up the Eiffel Tower and eventually save the day. While the latter emerges as a hero and legend, High T is shown as the supremo of the London branch of MIB. Meanwhile, M notices her parents get zapped by a group of MIB agents when an alien breaks into their home. While her parents lost their memory, M hasn’t, and she tracks down the organization in order to join it. Soon enough, she is assigned a case with H.
Around this point is when you start thinking about the earlier MIB series. The relationship between the two main agents is one of the key talking points of MIB. K was the uptight, rule-abiding agent while J was the one easy-going, reckless dude who somehow got things done. However, both had mutual respect for each other. M and H are different. H appears to be arrogant and a man who always thinks that he’s doing the planet a favor and everyone should follow him. However, his attitude evolves over the course of the film. M, on the other hand, is the eager newbie who is initially in awe of her partner. She is smart and can think on her feet. Both characters share the same taste for snarky comments and comebacks. However, their mutual admiration for each other took time and eventually turned out to be a missed office romance.
Every MIB film has its share of gadgets and ultra-modern weaponry and MIB: International doesn’t disappoint in that regard. However, the film suffers from an overuse of CGI and gadgets. A particular scene has the two agents facing off against two alien assassins who can change the state of matter – turn solids to liquids and then back. H and M make use of all the weapons in their inventory, moving from the least powerful to the most. Common sense says that if the dude in front doesn’t die with a pistol, he’ll probably also survive a shotgun. Anyone would bring in a bazooka at this stage. But not H and M, who for some reason held off calling for backup. Surprisingly the cavalry did arrive without an invitation. How? That answer probably lies in High T’s constant repetition of the saying “Always remember, the universe has a way of leading you to where you’re supposed to be at the moment you’re supposed to be there.”
MIB: I carries on the tradition of comic relief, though it does have a few subtle changes. There’s hardly any use of locker room humour though there are plenty of one-liners to make you giggle. Chris Hemsworth was spectacular as Thor in the Marvel franchises, which are well-known for the use of one-liners. He seems to have learnt a lot and that’s showing in this film. Speaking of the Avengers, there’s a scene out there which will make every Avengers fan go bonkers. BTW, both Hemsworth and Thompson starred in Thor: Ragnarok.
Finally, the plot. This is where MIB: International takes a beating. The world is always under threat and it is the job of the agents to protect it. Unfortunately, there’s hardly anything that’s keeping you on the edge of your seat, and barely a decision that makes you say ‘OMG! Did he just do that!’ It is an action flick so you’ll find a lot of punches being thrown and bullets being fired but that’s about it. H and M’s relationship is only strained at one point but it is only fleeting. Couple that with the blah storytelling, and you have a film that is good for a weekend viewing – one that you’ll forget very easily.Read More