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Movie Review: Men In Black: International

Banner: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Amblin Entertainment, Tencent Pictures

Producers: Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald

Director: F Gary Gray

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Rafe Spall, Kumail Nanjiani

Writers: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway

Music: Danny Elfman, Chris Bacon

It was 22 years ago that we first met the Men In Black on screen. Will Smith as Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K brought to us a universe of aliens, inter-galactic villains and more. This was followed by two more movies, in 2002 and 2012. While all three movies were set in the US, with this spin-off, the MIB franchise moves to international shores.

Molly is a young girl who inadvertently stumbles upon the existence of aliens and the Men In Black. The incident sets her on a 20-year mission to find the Men In Black and become one of them. She tries through every government agency that is there to be hired by the secret organisation, but has no luck.

While stuck in a mundane job, Molly continues to try finding alien life – and she does. As she follows the trail, she ends up in MIB headquarters. Her grit and determination results in her being hired as a probationary agent. She becomes Agent M and joins Agent H and his boss Agent T. While on a mission to take care of an important alien guest, Agents H and M come face to face with a shape-shifting alien duo who is looking for an artifact.

The chase for this powerful artifact takes the MIB agents and the aliens on a wild goose chase. From tiny little aliens like chess pieces to an intergalactic arms-dealing alien, from London to Paris to Naples to Marrakesh to New York, the chase continues until all the secrets are uncovered and the earth is once again protected from destruction.

The story follows the same narrative as the earlier MIB films. The writing is largely uninspiring and you wish they had worked a little more on the back stories of the characters and given them more depth. The surprise element doesn’t come as much of a surprise, making it predictable. The CGI is better, especially with the shape-shifting aliens and the Hive. But, overall, what you get is what you have seen in the past, in terms of the plot and how it unfolds. Not that it is disappointing. After all, MIB is all about following the rules. But, then, after 22 years, you want something to change.

Chris Hemsworth as Agent H is a treat. His comic timing is impeccable and his presence is mesmerising. Tessa Thompson as Agent M adds the much-needed woman power to the MIB series. She is charming and, at the same time, packs a punch when needed. Liam Neeson as Agent T is given a raw deal. His character is rather one-dimensional and he doesn’t add much to it. Rebecca Ferguson as the intergalactic arms dealer is a treat to watch. But the actor that walks away with some of the best lines and the funniest moments is Kumail Nanjiani as the voice of Pawny.

Verdict: Decent.

Rating: **1/2

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