Despite its mediocre critical and box-office response – this is still the second best Men in Black film behind the original.
It didn’t really need to exist, but Thor: Ragnarok co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson make for likeable leads – and at no point is it unwatchable.
In fact, in its own way it has a certain amount of charm that was missing from MIB 2 & 3.
In this reimagining of the franchise – being tagged as a ‘sidequel’ in some quarters – Hemsworth’s Agent H is the golden boy of the UK’s international branch. He’s been resting on his laurels for a few years after saving the world from destruction in Paris, and hungry new recruit Agent M (Thompson) is eager to shadow him on his next mission – after being assigned to the London branch’s leader, Liam Neeson’s High T, at the behest of Emma Thompson’s Agent O.
This leads the duo to such locales as Marrakesh – after M is given a strange crystal by the member of the alien royal family – in a formulaic, but entertaining plotline, which nicely expands on MIB lore, without really pushing any boundaries.
Along the way they pick up mini alien Pawny (voice of The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani), have to fend off annoying ‘by-the-book’ MIB Agent C (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s Rafe Spall), and tackle Rebecca Ferguson’s (M:I-Fallout) intergalactic alien arms dealer – and former love interest of H – Riza Stavros, as all intel leads to a ‘mole’ inside the MIB organisation.
But while the franchise isn’t going to reach the ‘heady days’ of the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones-led first two movies – and will have to go through some serious retooling to become a blockbuster series again – it’s a shame this wasn’t a success as Hemsworth/Thompson do a pretty decent job saving a movie that was plagued with production problems, and it does boast spells of providing bright and breezy entertainment.
So even though they probably won’t be ‘galaxy defenders’ again as the series fades to black – they’ll at least get some defence here.
Which is simply: this is worth buying some popcorn for.
ESP Rating: 3/5
CAST: CHRIS HEMSWORTH, TESSA THOMPSON, LIAM NEESON, EMMA THOMPSON, RAFE SPALL, REBECCA FERGUSON & THE VOICES OF KAYVAN NOVAK & KUMAIL NANJIANI
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 54 MINS
DIRECTOR: F GARY GRAY
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