HOLLYWOOD—It is hard to fathom that the original “Men in Black” hit theaters back in 1997. That sci-fi adventure starred Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as agents investigating alien lifeform on the planet Earth. The first flick was a classic, the sequel was quite exceptional and the third installment, while not bad wasn’t as good as audiences wanted it to be. So where would this latest entry in the franchise go, well it’s not with Smith and Jones people.
We have a spin-off, where “Thor: Ragnarok” co-stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth star in this installment. I will argue Thompson and Hemsworth have strong chemistry with one another, which was quite evident in “Thor.” On the flipside, “Men in Black: International” has a terrible narrative. It just does not gist the way that leaves you satisfied, intrigued and leaves you wanting more. Thompson stars as Molly Wright, a young girl who is well aware of the presence of alien lifeforms and finds a way to prevent being neuralysed by Men in Black agents.
She has always suspected such extraterrestrial existence, and as she gets older she decides to infiltrate the compound where agents do what they do. She convinces Agent O (Emma Thompson), the head of the MBI in the United States to give her a shot as an agent. She is assigned as Agent M, and finds herself teamed up with Agent H (Hemsworth), who is not as happy with his job. Let’s just say he is experiencing what many Americans who have slaved at a job for years and feel underappreciated.
The Hive, a parasitic alien force is descending on Earth and planning an attack, but there is some duplicity here. The problem with “International” is the duplicity is not as cleverly cloaked where it makes it easy for the audience to follow. The plot is a bit twisted and far-fetched, so it’s hard to truly follow and be engulfed in the madness. Liam Neeson is fun as High T, and Thompson does a decent role as the matriarch at the top facility. Other supporting players include Kumail Nanijiani, Rafe Spail and Rebecca Ferguson, who are all decent in their performances, but nothing spectacular.
Those actors still don’t propel this fourth entry into the franchise. As a viewer, we come to expect certain things from the movie: comedy, action, visual effects galore, a cool vibe and just immersive energy. “International” fails to deliver iconic moments for the audience or that feeling of nostalgia that is expected from “Men in Black.” Perhaps, Thompson and Hemsworth would have done fantastic work if they were co-starts to Smith and Jones, versus headliners.