Men in Black: International
|Men in Black: International|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||F. Gary Gray|
|Edited by||Christian Wagner|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$129.1 million|
Men in Black: International (stylized as MIB: International in promotional material) is a 2019 American science fiction action comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. It is a spin-offof the Men in Black film series, which is loosely based on the Malibu/Marvel comics of the same name by Lowell Cunningham. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rebecca Ferguson, Rafe Spall, Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, and Liam Neeson. Emma Thompson also reprises her role from the third film, while Tim Blaney reprises his role as Frank the Pug from the first two films.
Talks of a fourth Men in Black film began after the release of the Men in Black 3 in 2012. In February 2018, Hemsworth signed on to lead a spin-off while Gray was hired to direct, and Thompson joined the cast the following month. Filming took place in New York City, Morocco, Italy and London from July to October 2018.
Men in Black: International was theatrically released in the United States on June 14, 2019 by Sony Pictures Releasing, under its Columbia Pictures label. The film received negative reviews from critics, who criticized the “lackluster action and forgettable plot”, although the chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson was praised.
Plot ***SOME SPOILERS***
In Brooklyn in 1996, Molly Wright witnesses her parents being neuralysed by agents of Men in Black (MiB) while she helps an alien escape, avoiding neuralysation herself as her parents assumed that she was asleep.
Twenty-three years later, having been rejected in applications to the FBI and the CIA on the grounds of her “delusions” regarding the evidence of alien life, she manages to track down an alien landing and track the MiB agents back to MiB headquarters in New York. Although she is caught upon entering the agency, Molly makes an impression on Agent O, arguing that she has proven her skills in finding out about the organization’s existence and has no life outside of her search for the agency. Convinced, she is awarded probationary agent status as “Agent M” and assigned to the London branch of the organization.
Once in London, M meets High T, the head of the London branch, and manages to arrange for herself to be assigned to assist Agent H in his meeting with Vungus the Ugly, a member of an alien royal family who is a close friend of H. During their night out with Vungus, they are accosted by mysterious alien twins who can manifest as pure energy, who fatally injure Vungus. Vungus passes a strange crystal on to M before he dies, claiming that he cannot trust H with it as H has changed since they last met. Although Agent C expresses disappointment for H’s dealing with the situation, M points out that few people knew Vungus’ location when he was attacked, which leads to the conclusion that Vungus’ location was betrayed by one of the MiB agents present when High T assigned H to guard him. Nervous over the possibilities of a traitor in MiB itself, High T assigns C and M to conduct an investigation while H is demoted to desk duty, with the investigation suggesting that the twins had DNA traces of the Hive, a parasitic race who invade other planets by merging with the DNA of the conquered species. M learns that H and High T were responsible for fighting off a Hive invasion at the Eiffel Tower in 2016, using a wormhole included in the original migration to Earth, but since that time H has fallen from grace, demonstrating an uncaring attitude towards his duties and apparently only keeping his job due to High T covering for him due to the soft-spot they have for each other.
H convinces M to join him in following up a lead in Marrakesh, where they recover “Pawny”, the last survivor of a small group of aliens who were attacked by the Twins. Pawny pledges new loyalty to M, but they are subsequently trapped by MiB agents coordinated by C, who has recovered video footage of Vungus passing the crystal on to M and believes that she is the traitor. With the aid of one of his alien contacts, H is able to acquire a rocket-powered bike and escape with M and Pawny, where they learn that the crystal Vungus gave M is actually a weapon powered by a compressed blue giant. As they repair the damaged bike, H’s alien contact manages to steal the weapon and take it to Riza Stavros, an alien arms merchant and H’s ex-girlfriend.
Traveling to Riza’s island fortress, the trio attempts to infiltrate the base and recover the weapon…
- Chris Hemsworth as Henry / Agent H, a suave agent in MIB UK branch.
- Tessa Thompson as Molly Wright / Agent M, a rookie MIB recruit assigned to the UK branch.
- Mandeiya Flory portrays a younger Molly.
- Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny (voice), a tiny alien warrior that H and M befriend.
- Liam Neeson as High T, the head of MIB UK branch.
- Rafe Spall as Agent C, an MIB agent in the UK branch who is sceptical of H’s past.
- Rebecca Ferguson as Riza Stavros, an alien intergalactic arms dealer and H’s ex-girlfriend.
- Laurent and Larry Bourgeois as The Twins, a shape-shifting alien duo seeking a dangerous artifact.
- Laurent Bourgeois also portrays the human that The Twins kill and copy his appearance on.
- Emma Thompson as Agent O, the head of MIB.
- Kayvan Novak as Vungus the Ugly, a member of an alien royal family and friend of H.
- Kayvan Novak also portrays Nasr and Bassam
- Tim Blaney as Frank the Pug (voice)
- Spencer Wilding as Luca Brasi
- Marcy Harriell and Inny Clemons cameo as Molly’s parents in a flashback.
- Thom Fountain and Drew Massey as the Worm Guys (voices), worm-like aliens that work for MIB.
- Sérgio Mallandro as himself
While fun for the whole family, there was nothing here exceptional or inspiring. That said, it was good clean family fun that won’t freak out the younger kids, and not so cheesy that older kids and teens will get bored. It is Summer. Enjoy the movies. MIB: International is entertaining and safe for all. 4 stars – MR