“Men in Black: International” Reviews: Exciting Comeback or Lackluster Reboot?

Last Tuesday, two of our journalists had the amazing opportunity to attend a press screening of Men in Black: International. The movie stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, and opened officially on Friday, 14 June 2019 to mixed reviews from leading critics. Here’s what our reviewers had to say:

“The chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson was one of the better things that the film had to offer. It is too bad that a lackluster plot was carried by such underdeveloped characters.” – Abigail Stiltner

The Men in Black revival movie – Men in Black: International – opens in theaters this Friday and it is a whole lot of action. Regardless of whether you are a die hard MIB fan who has watched every movie or you have no prior knowledge on the franchise, you will be able to follow the plot very easily.

The film opens with a few flashbacks that provide a backstory for critical plot points.

In the first flashback, we meet Agent H, played by Chris Hemsworth, and High T, played by Liam Neeson. Agent H is very full of himself and sometimes the character is easy to hate. High T seemingly has everything together, but has a dark edge from the moment he first graces the screen.

In our second flashback, Tessa Thompson’s character, Molly, is introduced. The flashback shows her as a child about twenty years before the events of the movie. Molly is shown to be highly intelligent, curious, and very kind. The character represents the feel-good time that the American cinema likes all too much. Her curiosity and intelligence serve her well as she is able to convince the MIB to take her on. This creative exposition to the plot starts the audience off entertained.

I really did enjoy the start of the film, but after that it slowly went downhill. It had a fast start and then it was slow for a time, although it did pick up the pace later on. The different story telling speeds definitely were bothersome to me as different areas of the plot were more drawn out than others. It led to a confusing line between where seriousness meets comedy.

The chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson was one of the better things that the film had to offer. It is too bad that a lackluster plot was carried by such underdeveloped characters. They managed to have their comedic lines play rather well with each other. I do wish that the actual characters were discussed more instead of what button Agent H should press. Coming off the Avengers franchise, Hemsworth has definitely leveled up to a larger star status in this film. If it wasn’t for his Hollywood looks, his acting ability would fall even more flat. I couldn’t tell if this was actually the Steven Spielberg film I was watching or a poorly executed SNL skit.

I also found it quite strange that Emma Thompson was billed as one of the films stars, yet she appeared in two maybe three scenes. Her performance may have been the most refreshing part of this rather lackluster movie. As I mentioned earlier, the plot line is easy to follow along to. It doesn’t involve a whole lot of thought. The “Human vs. Alien” element has been done time and time again but MIB tried its best to make it a new experience.

At the end of the film, the writers all of a sudden tried to tie in a romance plot line. It went nowhere and it was frankly an afterthought. It felt rushed or maybe just something that the writers thought of last minute. It was poorly delivered, to say the least. If they chose to embrace this element further, I wish they had done so earlier in the film, not in the last five minutes.

However, the film did choose to take a modern approach to thinking and added a feminist perspective. The movie was led by a woman, Molly, and even had a few bits where the old fashioned name “Men” in Black was questioned. Behind the aliens and black suits, the film tries it’s hardest to deliver a story about a woman making her mark on a men’s world.

The film provides a new look into the MIB franchise for younger viewers. The movie is a summer flick, it will forever reside on syndicated television reruns. It kept me entertained for an hour and a half. It wasn’t the best film I’ve ever seen, but it was most definitely entertaining.
– Abigail Stiltner, Class of 2022

Image courtesy of IMBD

“The bond between [Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson] extends beyond the screen, with some of the endearing comments sounding like they were genuine and not read off of a script.” – Domenic Hoxholli

The stars of Thor: Ragnarok reunite to bring an action-packed modern adaptation of a 90s cult classic. Their chemistry really shined through on stage on multiple occasions and the cinematology was flawless, but that was not enough to give this movie a great rating. The plot was a copy-paste of your regular old good guy vs. bad guy movie and the humor was below my expectations. All in all, I would give this movie a solid 6/10.
Director Gary Grey saw the potential of having Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as co-stars and it positively impacted the movie. The bond between the two actors extends beyond the screen, with some of the endearing comments sounding like they were genuine and not read off of a script. This is also a testament to the stars ability to work with the script. Also, the CGI was absolutely stunning.
Even though the humor was well delivered, it was lackluster at best. Most of the jokes and punchlines came from the loyal sidekick gnome, who also tended to be the butt of almost every single joke. It would have been nice to see the humor spread around.
Overall, if you were a 90s child or Men in Black fan looking for a bit of nostalgia, this might not be the remake for you. Other than that, the movie was an interesting mix of humor and actor chemistry.
– Domenic Hoxholli, Class of 2022

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