In today’s movie landscape, it seems impossible to escape sequels, prequels, and reboots. Even though the original Men In Black got two sequels of its own, we’re back again with a new team of agents ready to protect Earth from visitors from outer space. While it’s certainly mining the same material, Men In Black: International manages to be a fun and silly summer film.
Our leads this time are Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and Agent M (Tessa Thompson). Teaming up again after their fun chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok, Hemsworth and Thompson continue to have easy chemistry. This time, Hemsworth’s Agent H is the office pretty boy all-star, goofing off and swaggering around on the confidence of his past accomplishments. Thompson’s Agent M is the eager brand new agent who found the Men In Black after seeing an alien and two agents when she was a child. The plot is fairly predictable. They find a dangerous super weapon that must be kept out of the hands of evil-doers while trying to figure out if the legendary organization has a mole working for the other side.
The big appeal of the original 1997 film was that its two leads, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, had great comedic chemistry. Cleary, International is going for the same feeling by pairing Hemsworth and Thompson. And it’s true, the two have great comedic chemistry and timing. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to prop up an otherwise predictable and lackluster film. Even the addition of a cute, snarky alien sidekick voiced by Kumail Nanjiani fails at elevating this movie into something even remotely rewatchable.
It’s certainly commendable that we get more women agents in this film, and that our location has expanded beyond New York City. I’m not against widening the world of Men In Black, especially when it involves Hemsworth and Thompson. But a passably funny and mostly unoriginal script can’t be saved by sheer chemistry alone. Clunky allusions to immigration issues feel unnecessary and out of place.
Still, Men In Black: International does wind up being a good time at the movies. It’s silly, charming and our two leads have excellent buddy cop chemistry that does the majority of the heavy lifting. Certainly not a home run, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the international division of secret agents get their own set of movies soon enough.