Men in Black: International

The Franchise Continues—Opens June 14

Above: Agent M (Tessa Thompson) and Agent H (Chris Hemsworth). Photo courtesy Sony/Columbia .

By Britt Argo

What it’s about – The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the alien scum of the universe. The formula works. The Men in Black (MIB) franchise emulates that cool 1960s style of popular G-Men in suits ridding the world of crime (Dragnet, Get Smart, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible). We loved all these tales of serious investigators going after the criminal element. When MIB launched in 1997, we got to see the fun that director Barry Sonnenfeld had in taking this classic formula and spinning it with the extraterrestrial element. It worked for us having a newbie apprentice, Will Smith (Agent J), learning the gadgets and blasters alongside a stoic, serious Tommy Lee Jones (Agent K). They did it again in Men in Black II and even traveled back in time to the 1969 Moon launch in Men in Black 3 (with a younger Agent K, Josh Brolin). When we last left the New York HQ (2012), the world was back to normal and Agent O (Emma Thompson) was in charge.

In this new adventure, Men in Black: International, we get a new team and new challenge as they tackle their biggest, most global threat to date: a mole in the MIB organization. An alien group called The Hive can take on a new form and emulate anyone. Agents they think are human in MIB headquarters may be aliens in disguise. Trust no one.

Why you will love it – A new cast, Chris Hemsworth (Thor from Avengers) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame) have teamed up again to take on this new batch of alien baddies. It’s as if they were sitting around the Avengers set, talking to Thanos (Josh Brolin) about how much fun he had in the last MIB movie and decided to give it a shot.

Tessa Thompson wants in. She came across the agency 20 years earlier, somehow missing getting her memory wiped and has been trying to find the organization ever since. When she finally does, we get that familiar walk through the lobby of the New York HQ to become a recruit. After convincing Agent O (Emma Thompson) to include her, she gets the same little gun (the Noisy Cricket) and sees some of the same familiar characters (coffee-loving Worm Aliens) as Will Smith (Agent J). It’s a great reintroduction seeing Tessa (Agent M) go through the same trials as her predecessor.

Chris Hemsworth (Agent H) is the seasoned one who becomes her mentor. He’s been partnered for several years with Liam Neeson (High T) who runs the agency’s London branch. Now, in this new mission to smoke out The Hive—Chris and Tessa must work together in London and travel the deserts of Morocco to save the world once more. They are even given an enduring sidekick, mini alien Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani), to make the wisecrack statements everyone is thinking.

Why love this new installment? Great new locations, super-pairing of Chris and Tessa, and of course the cool, weird, ingenious alien creatures. Visually, it’s always interesting to see the sets and characters they come up with. As a Sci-Fi movie, the MIB series never takes itself seriously (it’s not a Star Trek, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy type of movie). It’s big gun blasters, outlandish scenarios, high action, comedy, fast-paced, and light fun! All with a new, fresh buddy-comedy duo to get to know and love. It appears the actors are enjoying their time playing in the black suits, which adds to the audience’s enjoyment as well.

Do you need to see Men in Black 1-3 before seeing this one? Nah. As a stand-alone movie, you can watch this on its own and figure everything out. But, I enjoyed rewatching MIB 1-3 beforehand to get back in the spirit of it. Enjoy your escape! ❍

Britt Argo, an avid movie fan, sees an average of 150 movies a year in the movie theaters. She is the marketing coordinator at Aurora Cineplex at Area 51: Aurora Cineplex and The Fringe Miniature Golf—5100 Commerce Parkway, Roswell. 770-518-0977. auroracineplex.com and a51fun.com.