The Reel Review

C

Seven years after Men in Black 3, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson star in this franchise spinoff as agents H and M (yup, just like the clothing retailer), crime fighters in the London branch of the organization tasked with monitoring Earth’s secret alien population.  The story centers around our agents trying to determine the identity of an MiB mole working with a powerful enemy to destroy  the entire universe. Emma Thompson reprises her role as the head of the U.S. MiB organization, with Liam Neesom as the head of the U.K. division.

This is not a film franchise aimed at anything other than a mindless good time, with loads of laughs and some creatively fun-looking aliens. And to that goal, this spinoff only barely succeeds, with corny jokes, uninspired dialogue and a predictable plot. Even the direction from F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) looks clunkily hobbled together. The cleverness and charm of the original films has been neuralyzed.

Hemsworth and both Thompsons are fun to watch, but the bland story never really connects, nor do many of the sarcastic, one-note jokes from Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) as the pocket-sized alien nicknamed Pawny. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the best bits of this forgettable cash grab of a movie.

REEL FACTS

• Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson previously teamed up as Thor and Valkyrie in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame

Men In Black: International screenwriter Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street, The Cloverfield Paradox) originally planned to make the story a Jump Street/Men In Black crossover starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

• Although producers decided not to include cameos by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in this spinoff, there is a photo of them in the office of Agent T (Liam Neesom).

 

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