In the world of sequels nobody asked for comes “Men in Black: International,” a thoroughly boring and pointless movie that should never have been made.
Hollywood has never been one to let a good franchise rest in peace. They have gone to all this trouble to revive “Men in Black”, but they have failed at every part of movie-making. “International” is dumb, poorly written and insufferably unimaginative.
Remove all of the charm, star power and creativity from the original 1997 film and you’ve “Men in Black: International”. It’s like a made-for-TV attempt at a spin-off, created by people who only vaguely remember the main points of the first film.
The Men in Black, if you recall, are a secretive agency tasked with policing all alien life on Earth. The new film stars Tessa Thompson as Agent M, a new recruit assigned to the London branch.
She teams up with Agent H, played by Chris Hemsworth, and together they go on a wacky adventure that occasionally features some of the familiar trappings of the original series, like ray guns and aliens.
I specifically mention the actors’ names to point out that this movie tries so hard to bank on their current popularity in Hollywood. Both Hemsworth and Thompson are involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and “Men in Black: International” really, really hopes their star power will give this film a leg up.
It doesn’t help.
“Men in Black: International” is just a poorly made movie. The actors do an OK job, and what little special effects there are at least get the job done. But the film itself feels as low rent as movies get.
The story is basic and predictable, while also being full of plot holes, story inconsistencies and random tangents.
Any creativity that would come from the infrastructure of the Men in Black organization, which was a big part of the original film, is replaced by bargain bin action scenes and weak character development.
Not even the aliens are interesting this time around. They’re as generic as movie aliens come, with no sense of wonder or otherworldliness. If you consider the Men in Black like a day job, this movie is the equivalent of a boring Tuesday with nothing to do at the office.
Even if you’re a big fan of the original “Men in Black” movies, there’s so very, very little to enjoy with “Men in Black: International”. This is the sort of film that tries to bank on the name recognition alone, with little to no thought given to making an enjoyable picture.