Men in Black: International is only worth it if a Neuralizer is included with your movie ticket. The sequel, which exchanges the perfect odd couple pairing of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for the seemingly perfect pairing of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, is a dull, unimaginative, and largely flat affair that is best to be erased from your memory.
I went into this buzz hoping a few beers would overcome trepidation toward this sequel no one asked for, but the opposite happened: MiBi (?) just made me thirstier… and not for more movie.
Hemsworth has proven his comedic chops in recent years, most notably in Thor Ragnarok, while Thompson has also established herself as a force to be reckoned with – including, yes, in Thor Ragnarok. But their re-pairing here leaves little to be desired, their natural chemistry dampened by a lame screenplay and desperate humor that nearly visibly claws at the screen with bloodied fingernails. Hemsworth blabbers on incessentally for two hours, trying to pull of his Thor “I’m hot but a cocky yet idiot” schtick but largely failing. And flailing.
If director F. Gary Gray places too much on Hemsworth’s perfectly chiseled shoulders, he too expects too much of Thompson, simply assuming the actress can make something of a nothing role. She’s arguably more interesting than Hemsworth, but both are saddled with half-baked characters who think they’re funny but aren’t.
Men in Black: International too feels half-baked, an uninspired rehash of the original. The plot is dull, bearing too many similarities to the first one but without the creative energy to work. The alien design is less inspired, the mystery and awe of an interstellar underworld completely missing.
The movie isn’t a complete loss. Kumail Nanjiani voices a pint-sized alien that has an eerily similar sense of humor to Kumail Nanjiani, and while he even he struggles with some of the jokes, he elicits a few laughs. A so-fast-half-the-audience-missed-it gag involving Thor’s hammer is amusing, and the movie has a few other mildly funny bits.
But Men in Black: International is a comedy that can’t even be saved by alcohol, a sci-fi tale so lacking in anything even remotely memorable it’s possible I did get neuralized I don’t remember it. Frankly, the less I remember this movie the better.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.