Men in Black: International (2019)

Men in Black: International (2019) Cover

It feels downright good to see a return to form for the Men in Black franchise as Men in Black: International delivers the sequel that the original always deserved. Though it never escalates above a pure popcorn flick, audiences will still enjoy a refreshingly light experience all the way through.

The original Men in Black took the world by storm with its outside-of-the-box perspective suited up in a wild sense of style. It’s probably not quite as good as you remember, but it’s still pretty fresh. Despite this, the original film does still hold up because of its highly structured narrative filled with entertaining performances. The sequels, despite their merits, never quite recaptured that. They focused so heavily on the sense of novelty and the superficial identity that the core composition was neglected.

Men in Black: International has its flaws. It starts strong with a unique set of characters and flows well. The chemistry between Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth has already been proven, so it’s no surprise that they work well and prop the film up even when the narrative falters a little bit here and there. There are a few scenes where the pacing dips which are noticeable even when the result is fluid. It isn’t necessarily bad when the film stalls as it gives both the audience and characters room to breathe, just off.

Probably the most effective tool that masks the awkwardness that the film has around its character moments is Kumail Nanjiani’s performance as supporting character Pawny. Kumail is rarely so on point with every line of dialog as he is in Men in Black: International.

The element that holds the film back from being more than a summer popcorn flick is just that it isn’t really about anything. Not that it lacks a character arc or a solid villain, but these elements never work in concert. This is probably the one thing that the original film did better. There is just something magical when the themes of a story work in harmony with all of the other structural elements, and that just never quite happens here.

I enjoyed Men in Black: International. It’s a fantastic ride that I think anyone who ever had any love for the franchise will appreciate. While I wish there were something deeper here, I’m happy to enjoy this series again. This won’t change the world, but if you are in the mood for a light and refreshing way to spend a lazy summer afternoon, there isn’t a much better way to go right now.

Final Verdict:The most entertaining movie since the original that is light and fluffy... but with slimy aliens.