Seven years have passed, and the galaxy defenders are back, but not as you know them. Men In Black: International introduces fans to the London branch of the Men In Black organisation and two new characters.
Tessa Thompson plays Molly, a young woman who was not ‘neuralized’ as a kid and still has distinctive memories of meeting alien life during her childhood. Desperately seeking the Men In Black organisation, Molly hopes that she can join them and learn more about the universe. Finding the Men In Black New York headquarters, Molly is put on probation by Agent O played by Emma Thompson who sends Molly, now known as ‘Agent M’ on assignment to the London base to suss out if anything strange is going on. This assignment is all based on boss lady, Agent O’s hunch. Now in her dream career, Agent M teams up with celebrated colleague, Agent H played by Chris Hemsworth and the unlikely pair find themselves on the run with an unknown enemy monitoring their every move.
I loved Tessa Thompson in this film. Not only does she look great in a suit, but I loved her character. I loved Molly’s initiative, her street smarts, her levelheadedness, determination, attitude and style. I found the franchise having a female character in a lead role behind the suit and Ray Bans extremely entertaining and refreshing. While it is common to have female roles in sci-fi, it is rare to find female characters who are strong and not dressed for objectification.
Chris Hemsworth is fun and aloof in his role as Agent H. Protected and favoured by his boss, Agent High T played by Liam Neeson, it is clear Agent H gets away with a lot of antics that are overlooked, including having dated Rebecca Ferguson’s character Riza, an alien crime boss. While Hemsworth is the obvious eye-candy and comic relief of the film, the humour and comic timing that he possesses surprisingly does not hinder at all his character’s development.
Accompanied with purposefully nostalgic special effects, Men In Black: International has some modern tweaks to the franchise that do not hinder the experience. To its core, this is still the same Men In Black world that I have grown to know and love from my own childhood. And while I did enjoy viewing this film, it is not without criticism. For starters, I would have liked to have seen more of Emma Thompson’s character, Agent O. Sure, she’s got a hunch that something wrong is going down at the London base. But I wanted to know what was sparking her concerns to begin with. I also found Rebecca Ferguson annoyingly irrelevant in her role as Riza. Not only do I believe this woman cannot act, but she always seems to play the same role, and forgettable ones. I did however adore Kumail Nanjiani’s impressive voice acting for his character, Pawny, a tiny chessboard pawn alien that befriends Agent M and pledges loyalty to. Not only did I love Pawny as a character, but I wish I had one of my own.
If you are keen to see this new instalment of the Men In Black franchise, I would definitely recommend seeing Men In Black: International. Evidently, Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are no Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Obviously, the three previous films in the franchise are iconic, with the third one (MIB³) moving me to tears. But I need to point out that Thompson and Hemsworth’s characters Agent M and Agent H aren’t replacements for Kay and Jay. They are new characters in this thriving comic-book-turned-film universe. Yes, I miss Will Smith just as much as you do. But I believe we should give these new characters a chance to shine and essentially kick ass. Who knows? Maybe in the possible next film we could be reunited with our beloved Kay and Jay once more if all goes well. Personally, I sure would love to see that.
Men In Black: International is in cinemas now.