The Conspiracies Hidden in Men in Black International

27 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

The Men in Black movies is a far cry from the comic books it takes inspiration from, and even then, it was a limited series. The folklore about them was far more sinister, and perhaps unintentionally, part four is a return to form. Bounty Hunters are sent to Earth to retrieve an item a visiting royal delegate has, and all heck breaks loose when this alien dies. Plus, a conspiracy is afoot!

Like Roswell Conspiracies, the animated series, not everyone wants to be part of the MiB organization. For those that are, they take the job either rather too seriously or not enough. It seems this film has taken a few cues from this cartoon, and unlike the MiB animated series set in a different universe altogether, the humour offered is a mixed bag.

As the film begins, Molly (Tessa Thompson) befriends an alien and never got neuralized. That is, she did not get her memories erased whereas her parents did. Flash forward ten or so years, she’s all grown up and is a bright but underappreciated tech support worker while on the hunt for them. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know what she’s getting into and the focus is on her than the cast of charming male leads.

Chris Hemsworth and Liam Neeson are well established leading men. To have The God of Thunder Thor and Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in this film are intentional to draw one particular demographic in. Thompson is a star on the rise since 2011, and while her charm and comedic chops differ from Will Smith, I feel this franchise really should not depend on comedy and offbeat situations to keep on going forward.

This sacrilege defeats the pervasiveness of the first three films by Barry Sonnenfeld. Although he is an executive producer in this film, it seems he was not too involved with this production and let director F. Gary Grey (The Fate and the Furious) have at it. That trilogy was more like The Odd Couple and every alien invasion a B-Movie ever made tossed into a blender and spat out. This reboot lacks that and is simply about giving the best team up from Thor: Ragnarok their own movie. It’s sad that it has to be with a property that Columbia-Sony pictures doesn’t know what to do. An original action-adventure work would have been better.

The latter part of the movie was far more intense with Laurent and Larry Bourgeois making their cinematic debut as alien hunters worthy of the Terminator name. Despite having limited dialogue and being digitally enhanced for the scary moments, their presence filled the screen. The Hive sent these alien hunters and if the series continues, I definitely want to know more about this collective evil presence. They may well rival the Borg from Star Trek; or if what was teased at when M went through the space bridge are Lovecraftian then I cannot wait for the tentacled gate-keeper, Yog-Sothoth to grace the screen! Should this be the case, I’m glad to see the producers have the franchise return to its roots.

3 Stars out of 5

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