Back in 1997, “Men in Black” introduced the story of a secret agency that defended earth from hostile alien invaders, while also protecting alien life that lived on our planet often as celebrities in disguise. We got a Tommy Lee Jones at his dry prime, and a post “Independence Day” Will Smith that could do no wrong.
It was original, it was interesting, and most of of all it was fun. And it hasn’t been that much fun since.
“Men in Black International” gives us a soft reboot, with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson (both from the excellent Thor: Ragnarock) as the two agents we’ll follow as they attempt to keep the most powerful weapon in the universe from shape shifting aliens that might have infiltrated the MIB.
Despite a cast that also includes Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson along with some first class special effects, it can’t bring back the magic of the original.
It tries hard enough. Thompson’s hero journey will remind you of Smith’s, but the story is predictable, the dialog unfunny, and while franchise building derails a lot of films these days, this uncommon miss from director, F. Gary Gray, just assumes the black suits and Ray Bans will justify our price of admission.
It doesn’t and we’re still wishing for that “noisy cricket” experience we enjoyed so many years ago.