Men in Black: International goes Across The Pond

Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani) on the shoulder of Agent M (Tessa Thompson) and with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) in Columbia Pictures' MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL.

Men in Black: International ups the ante just a little bit as MIB takes the fun across the pond in order to protect the universe.

It’s been known since Tomorrowland that the Eiffel Tower was a bridge to another dimension.  While the former film saw Gustav Eiffel as a founder of Plus Ultra, this film sees him as one of MIB’s earliest agents.  In fact, the Great Migration was really aliens coming to Earth.  But besides that, a lot has changed since MIB 3.  MIB agents are no longer protecting Earth from the scum of the universe.  Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) is no exception as we learn early on in the film.

What drives the narrative here is that some twenty years ago, the MIB didn’t check to see if everyone was home.  As such, Molly Wright (Tessa Thompson) spent a lifetime being told that she was crazy.  Applications to the CIA and FBI, among others, were rejected.  You can’t blame here for wanting to search out the truth.  Life finds a way and Molly breaks into MIB headquarters and walks in as if she’s just a regular agent.  Things happen and Agent O (Emma Thompson) sends M on her way to the MIB London office where High T (Liam Neeson) runs the show.  The Worm Guys make a brief appearance here, too.

Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani) for Columbia Pictures' MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL.
Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani) for Columbia Pictures’ MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL.

Frank the Pug has a brief cameo but that’s alright because there’s no comic relief in town.  The film’s comic relief comes in the from of alien Pawny.  Kumail Nanjiani brings a lot of life into the small little alien.  While the trailer only shows a joke or two, Pawny plays such a big role in the film.  I liken his role to that of Frank in MIB 2 with the exception being that this is a much better film.

While Pawny is the film’s comedy MVP, the film lives and dies through Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson’s chemistry.  The film is a reunion between the two Thor: Ragnarok stars so the chemistry is already there.  If the film is any indication, these two must have had a lot of fun on set.  I’m already anticipating the next film in the series!

F. Gary Gray takes over the director’s chair from Barry Sonnenfeld.  Screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway bring the same amount of creative energy that was presented in Iron Man.  The duo definitely have written a script that plays to the strengths of the actors.

Unfortunately, neither Tommy Lee Jones nor Will Smith reprise their roles as Agents K and J from the original trilogy.  The closest we come to seeing them is in a painting from the first film.  Nor do they appear during a post-credits scene because there isn’t any such scene.

I would be remiss if I didn’t touch upon the comment about the organization’s name.  They’ve had the conversation about changing the name to Men and Women in Black but alas, it was a no go.  Oh, well.

While spinning things off into the MIB London office, Men in Black: International brings a solid foundation for a new trilogy.

DIRECTOR:  F. Gary Gray
SCREENWRITERS:  Art Marcum & Matt Holloway
CAST:  Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rebecca Ferguson, Rafe Spall, Laurent Bourgeois, Larry Bourgeois, with Emma Thompson, and Liam Neeson

Columbus Pictures opens Men in Black: International in theaters on June 14, 2019. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.