Men In Black International Review

Won’t Need a Neuralizer to Forget this One


Men In Black International

Chuck Sipps and Abbey Kruse

Abbey and Chuck went to a press screening of Men in Black International (MIBI). Rather than do a normal review they decided to have a conversation. This is the transcript of that conversation. 

Chuck– So, Abbey. What are your top level impressions of the MIBI? 

Abbey- So I am a complete newcomer to the MIB universe, and to be honest I had really low expectations. I was expecting an overblown action movie, and of course there was a lot of action, but there were a lot of sweet human elements and humor. So overall I liked it! Can I ask you what your immediate impressions were?

C- Yes you can. I thought overall the film was forgettable. Not bad, not good, but passable. They tried to have a lot of banter, not all of it worked. What did you think of the character dynamic between Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson? 

A- Hm. Truthfully I didn’t feel a “spark” between them in a romantic sense. It seemed like they were more like close friends. I think they were cute as friends, though, especially because he was such a “bad boy” and she was so straightlaced and innocent. What about you?

C- If you’ve seen Thor Ragnarok, the last film they starred in together, they had a fair amount of chemistry, but I agree that didn’t carry through as strongly this time. Another thing that I didn’t think carried through was the villians. The twin electric pulse dancers. They were too overpowered and suffered from classic, I can do anything the plot needs me to do, except kill the hero. 

A-That’s true. I hadn’t really thought about them in that way. I guess they weren’t very “realistic,” even within a world where aliens roaming free on planet earth is realistic. (sidenote–I actually remember the twins from a show I watched, I think it was called “World of Dance.” They won the competition. Just didn’t know they were involved in the film world)

C- Yeah, I saw that yesterday while researching the film. I think they were visually interesting but their character motivations were ill-defined. In fact I think a lot of the motivations were muddy. A character tells Chris Hemsworth that he has changed, we never learn how. Tessa Thompson struggles her whole life to join MIB, and when she does she’s amazing at it immediately. She doesn’t struggle and we never really get to know either of our leads as much as I’d like. Even the main villains of the film, an alien swarm called the Hive is severely underdeveloped.  

A-Yes. It seems like the writers/director/producers are cashing out on the idea that we all know the basic structure of an action movie, and as long as they fill out the skeleton, they’ve made a complete film. Which of course isn’t the case, if you are looking for something more profound. But if you go in expecting that formula, you’ll get exactly that. I have to respectfully disagree with you about Tessa Thompson’s character being initiated into MIB, though. I think she does struggle at first, especially in the first club scene where she doesn’t speak Vungus’ language and realizes that Chris Hemsworth is trying to pimp her out. 

C- See, I disagree. She talks her way into MIB and then gets instantly sent out into the field, somehow talks her way to partner with the classic “I don’t need partner” cop, and isn’t overwhelmed in the least by all these aliens. In truth, I was a bit underwhelmed by the aliens. I thought they all looked pretty blah. None really stood out.

A- I absolutely second your opinion about Tessa Thompson being sent into the field way too easily. Emma Thompson’s character was surprisingly enthusiastic about this strange woman who had a criminal record and breached the organization’s security. So I’m not sure that was believable. I did like the “girl power” vibe between them, though, and Emma Thompson’s snubs about the “MEN in Black” title. As for the aliens’ appearance, I truthfully cannot remember clearly what any of them looked like, and we saw the movie yesterday. So that probably is not a good sign. I’m curious what your take was on the feminist twist at the beginning of the film.

C- I didn’t think there was a real feminist bend to it. There was what, three female characters in the film? Two of which are absent for most of the runtime. I don’t know, I thought I enjoyed this movie more, until I had to talk and think about it. So don’t talk or think about it, and I think you’ll get my enjoyment out of it. Or be that lady who laughed during every scene, living her best life. 

A-That was me. Living my best life, as always.

C- Oh yeah, that’s why I don’t sit next to you.