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June 24, 2019

Men In Black: International (2019) --- "The Universe Is Expanding."

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
    As a young girl, Molly (Tessa Thompson) encounters the MIB and becomes obsessed with finding and joining the secret organization, and subsequently, society has written her off as crazy for believing in aliens. But one day her tenacity and persistence lead her to the doorstep of the MIB’s US headquarters and after impressing the department head, Agent O (Emma Thompson), Molly is given the chance to prove herself. Taking on the title as Agent M, M is sent to London where she meets the heroic Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and London’s department head, High T (Liam Neeson). Agent H and Agent M are assigned a seemingly low-key mission but everything soon goes haywire when an unknown enemy attack, leaving the fate of the world in their hands. Can these agents discover what this threat is after and why? Can they uncover the identity of the double agent is? Or is this one mission not even the MIB can accomplish?
    Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton, Fate of the Furious) and written by Matt Holloway (Transformers: The Last Knight) and Art Marcum (Transformers: The Last Knight), Men in Black: International (2019) is all about being an entertaining spin-off series of comedy, heart, and containing an interesting story. And while this new installment may not be the film of the year or a favorite among audiences, there are a few elements that kept the story entertaining. The story maintains a relatively nice pace that allows for good character development, an abundance of humor, and a simplistic story that is much stronger than it appears. This, of course, does not mean that it is a masterpiece in any way. While the pace was nice, there were a few slow parts that made the film drag a bit. While there was an abundance of humor, there is such a thing as too much humor that ceases to be funny. While the story was simple and straight to the point, it was also forgettable, dull, and predictable with not much depth lying underneath the surface. All in all, Men in Black: International failed to achieve the same goals that the original series accomplished but it is still a relatively good, easy, and fun family film to watch.
    The cast performances were good. Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Endgame, Ragnorak) and Tessa Thompson  (Avengers: Endgame, Ragnorak) are great as Agent H and Agent M and have great chemistry together, but there were times when I wanted more from their characters. It never felt like we got passed the 2-dimensional characters and to their heart. Luckily, the highlight performance of the film was Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley) as the voice of Pawny. He is both hysterical and engaging from the moment he arrives on screen. His choice of slightly-dry and almost naive humor was on point for this character, which was great considering that it seemed a bit forced for a few others. The rest of the cast - Rebecca Ferguson (The Man in the High Castle) as Riza, Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) as Agent C. Emma Thompson (The Late Night) as Agent O and Liam Neeson (Cold Pursuit) as Agent High T - also gave great performances. Perhaps the characters will have improved in the sequel, should it ever take off.

    Overall, Men in Black: International (2019) is a fairly entertaining film that is easy to watch, especially for kids. But the story is lacking some of the elements - action, story, and strong character development - that made the original series so great. The cast performances were great but there was still a lot to be desired from most of the characters, primarily the two leading agents and the villains. Now I’m not saying it was horrible because there are a lot of good elements to this film - specifically the humor which will leave you in stitches - but there a number of elements that could have been improved on. All in all, this is a decent but forgettable film that younger kids will surely enjoy seeing.

Final Vote --- 6.8 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Men in Black (1997)
Men in Black 2 (2002)
Men in Black 3 (2012)
Pixels (2015)
R.I.P.D (2013)

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