Men in Black International

The ‘Men in Black’ series has always been quirky. Starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, the science fiction/comedy antics made it an audience favourite over three films. Smith and Jones aren’t involved in this 4th entry, ‘Men in Black International’ which may explain why it comes up short. Proof fourth time isn’t the charm, although It tries to have the same sense of mischievous fun. What surfaces is a mediocre sci-fi yarn that’s been done better.

In London, a new alien threat emerges. A shape-shifting alien duo called The Twins (Les Twins) are in search of a dangerous artefact. The only team that can stop them are the famed Men in Black unit. Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and new partner Agent M (Tessa Thompson) are ready to stop the otherworldly interloper. Aided by their boss High T (Liam Neeson), H and M galvanise their weapons to defeat any beasties in their well-heeled path.

‘Men in Black International’ commits the cardinal sin of being boring. The quips are there, as are the action and stupendous CGI. Missing is any vitality to the performances or script. It’s a very bland outing with director F. Gary Gray helming things with all the enthusiasm of a student at a double math lesson. Gray shows little flair in crafting anything new, with the series’ familiar tropes given yet another airing. There’s a very manufactured, tired feel – as if the franchise has run out of ideas.

None of this is the fault of the cast who do their best. Hemsworth and Thompson have genuine chemistry and put true personality into their characters. Their co-stars also get into the spirit of fun the film tries to convey. Unfortunately they are constantly undermined by poor writing with the comedic moments forced to breaking point. Given these issues, it’s amazing the pacing isn’t a problem as it moves fast enough. It’s just the energy needed to make for diverting viewing simply isn’t there.

‘Men in Black International’ is a ‘shrug your shoulders’ effort. It’s rather pointless and swiftly vanishes from the memory. Hopefully the studio involved receives the message a fifth entry isn’t needed as fresh, new ideas are always more welcome than any alien invasion.

Rating out of 10: 4

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