Pros: Funny aliens; technology of the Men in Black; generally good jokes; excellent comedy duo of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson; Pishachok Cons: Straightforward plot; the characters and stories of the aliens are poorly developed; we have already seen all this in the previous parts of MiB Men in Black: International / “Men in Black: International”
Genre fantasy, comedy
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Agent H), Tessa Thompson (Agent M), Emma Thompson (Agent O), Liam Neeson (Higher T), Kumail Najiani (Pishachok), Rafe Spall (Agent C), Rebecca Ferguson (Riza), Les Twins (Twins) and others.
Студии Columbia Pictures, Amblin Entertainment
Year of release 2019
The Men in Black series has always stood on three pillars: a funny fantasy setting, humor and charisma of the main characters. Well, Men in Black: International has all three ingredients. There seem to be an order of magnitude more crazy aliens of all shapes and sizes than in previous films. There are even more crazy technologies, weapons and gadgets. The jokes sound almost continuously, and the duo of the main characters literally glows with charisma.
MiB: International is the third collaboration between Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, after Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame, and the second purely comedic. And you know, this couple made a really great comedy duo. And although it’s mostly Hemsworth who fools around, and Thompson remains generally calm and restrained, in good duets the roles are always divided in this way. It seems that the couple doesn’t even leave the looks they wore in Thor: Ragnarok, and the direct reference to Thor in the episode with the hammer once again confirms this. It’s okay, all comedians have their own roles.
The film’s third comedian is a CG character voiced by Pakistani-American stand-up comedian Kumail Najiani. Pawny in the English version, Pishachok in the Ukrainian is the real hero of the picture, enlivening many scenes. It’s a pity that we know criminally little about the Pishachka race and its Queen, but it could have been an interesting story.
In general, with a huge number of aliens in the frame, the stories of the plot-important characters are worked out very carelessly. The same Pishachok; the same friend of Agent M from her childhood; the deadly Riza played by Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible – Fallout), who is simply unrecognizable here; a motorcycle repairman and his bearded friend; Twins played by real twins, dance duo Les Twins; Vangus, Agent H’s close friend – they are all just extras, with weakly expressed characters and aspirations. Yes, in the previous parts of Men in Black too little attention was paid to aliens, but it’s still 2019, not 1997.
Another problem with the film is the linearity and predictability of the narrative. From the very beginning you know that M will get her way, that she will break her own promise and… become attached to H. You understand that something is wrong with H, and very quickly figure out the main villain. Admission to MiB, training, selection of a suit and weapon in fast forward, the first task and the obligatory saving of the world at the end… somewhere we have already seen all this, it seems that someone named Smith played there.
Instead of Barry Sonnenfeld, who was responsible for the three previous films in the franchise, the director’s chair for Men in Black: International was taken by F. Gary Gray, whose credits included work on such films as The Fate of the Furious and The Italian Job (2003). Yes, he does better with cars, but I wouldn’t say that the combat scenes in MiB: International are inferior to the same MiB 1/3 (it’s better to forget about the second part like a bad dream). Yes…they’re a little predictable (there’s that word again), but well shot and drawn. The visualized “We need bigger guns” meme still works just as well.
By and large, Men in Black: International can only be accused of being derivative and straightforward. Otherwise, this is a very good, fun and bright summer blockbuster. Of course, not Thor: Ragnarok, but still watchable. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if the authors expanded MiB: International into a full-fledged new trilogy – it seems that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are very comfortable working together. Plus, I would like to know about Pishachok’s further adventures.
MiB: International may not be an original film, but it looks surprisingly good