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Men in Black International

Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: F. Gary Grey, Columbia Pictures & Sony, M 114 Minutes.

It has been seven years since the ‘Men in Black’ series was screened between 1997 and 2012 but this time there is gender equality in the latest entry in the MIB franchise even if it is not in the film’s title.

Directed by ‘Straight Outta Compton’ filmmaker F. Gary Grey and replacing leading agents Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith is Chris Hemsworth as agent H and Tessa Thompson as agent M – both of whom featured in ‘Thor Ragnarok’.

In this apparent series revamp, the actual story starts 20 years earlier when young Molly Wright (later to become agent M) witnesses MIB agents enquiring from her parents about an interplanetary creature which she befriends in her room.

Fascinated by her childhood encounter, Molly is determined to seek out the secretive organisation dealing with interstellar creatures ultimately gaining entry by duplicitous means into MIB headquarters before being discovered as an imposter by agent O (Emma Thompson –‘MIB 3’).
Molly is initially appointed as a probationary recruit and partnered with H, the MIB’s top agent, prior to both being sent to the London branch headed by director High T (Liam Neeson –‘Taken’ franchise) to investigate some alien activity.

After M and H have dealt with the Dyads, a couple of aliens, Molly is given a special crystal before both agents meet up with Pawny (voiced by Kumail Naniani –‘Stuber’) a tiny CG character that instantly becomes Molly’s protector.

With the crystal in her possession, it is at this point that Molly believes its incredible power may lead to exposing the identity of the unknown mole within the MIB organisation, unaware that T is also an interested party.

The story then develops into a race against time as agents M and H strive to reveal the mole, retain the crystal and once again as the slogan states “save the Earth from the scum of the universe.”

Although Grey’s latest edition is entertaining in parts it lacks any consistency in the storyline and is presented as a semi-travelogue showing international settings that include some stimulating action scenes.

Apart from the enjoyable chemistry between Thomson and Hemsworth it is Thompson who shines while Hemsworth acts more of a clown and appears miscast as a MIB. He should stick to his Thor role.

Vic’s Verdict: 2 ½ Stars