It’s hard to believe it’s been over 20 years since Men In Black was first released in 1997. I remember seeing it at the movies with my Daddy and enjoying the mix of humour, sci-fi, alien battles and of course the brilliant mix of Will Smith (back when he was cool) alongside the dry performance of Tommy Lee Jones (still cool). A big part of the joy of this film was the interplay between these two actors and the buddy cop element to the film. One seasoned professional and one Fresh Prince. The sequels came and went and were all pretty forgettable whilst never bad enough to be unenjoyable they never really had the spark of the original (as with many cash-grabby follow ups).
Now in 2019 I was back with Daddy to watch Men In Black: International which serves as a sorta reboot and a continuation of the same world. 22 years later and the formula isn’t any different. We have the typical storyline (with reasonably predictable twists), similar jokes and the same cheesy CGI one can expect from a Men In Black film. Fortunately this formula still works for the most part and makes for an enjoyable, humorous (if predictable) 2 hours of popcorn fodder. The storyline isn’t anything to write home about – it’s people in nice suits talking about how good they look whilst fighting silly aliens with ridiculous weapons. But if you can get past the lack of original ideas it’s actually quite a fun way to spend an afternoon.
The thing that prevents Men In Black: International from being as forgettable as I was predicting is the onscreen chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson (Thor and Valkyrie from The Avengers Series). Like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, these two actors are superbly well cast and it is their performances and banter which prevented the film from feeling as stale as the sequels that came before it. Hemsworth is his typical good looking, charming but knows it self and Thompson particularly shines as the rookie agent who has spent her life trying to find her way into the secret agency.
Men In Black: International is well worth a watch if you want something brainless and fun to watch while you eagerly wait for Spiderman: Far From Home to be released. Although the bar wasn’t set overly high, I think this is the best Men In Black film since the original.