I decided to go all out in enjoying this screening. Scheduling had me going on Thur opening night. I was told there were special MIB dark cherry Icees with collectible cups (we won’t discuss where that black coloring returned as fluorescent turquoise) , but after I’d paid way too much for the drink, I found out they had no idea what I was talking about with the cups. (It’s still on your FB page, AMC!) But I’ve loved this franchise and I wanted this to be a fun outting. I don’t know that this movie ended up being quite worth all that, except maybe for one little detail. We’ll get to that
When Tessa Thompson’s character was a kid, she met an alien in her room who was eluding the men in black. Though the MIB neuralized her parents, they missed her. She’s then spent the next twenty years finding these guys who walk in shadow and move in silence to guard against extra terrestrial violance, hoping to become Agent M. Once she does get herself recruited, she’s given an assignment in London and talks her way into working with the top Man in Black, Agent H (Chris Hemsworth).
Again, I chose to go into this film with a spirit of fun. I was going to enjoy myself, and I did. However, the film felt mostly underwhelming. While Tessa and Chris still had the chemistry they cultivated in Thor: Ragnarok, this film didn’t feel like it fully tapped into that. It felt restrained (perhaps since it was lacking the Will Smith magic). Nothign was really bad, but little was getting me really excited. I also noticed that walking out of the theater felt anticlimactic without a big rap theme song playing over the credits (although the theater did hand me a pair of MIB sunnies as I left)
Despite the overall lackluster feel, there was one aspect that knocked it out of the park: the casting. The first absolutely INSPIRED choice was using World of Dance champions Les Twins as aliens. If you saw them on that show (or on the YouTubes) you know that their movement truly is otherworldly, so putting them in this role was perfect. I don’t even know how else to describe it.
However, the single best part of the film, which simultaneously earned a half a point on my rating, and the main reason to watch this film, Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny. Pawny is a pocket sized little alien who joins M and H on their journey, and he is the cutest and funniest little dude this side of the galaxy. The things that he says and the way that he says them made me laugh hysterically every time. Pawny is the X factor that elevates this film from “eh alright” to “yeah pretty good”. And now I want my own little chess piece alien to pledge his loyalty to me and follow me around. That’s my takeaway from this film.
Men in Black International – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n