Welcome to the Trending Pop Culture movie reviews. Men in Black International, arriving in theaters June 14, 2019.
Budget $110 Million
Men in Black PG-13 (Action/Adventure/Comedy) – Columbia Pictures
Director – F. Gary Gray, Set It Off (1996), The Italian Job (2003), The Negotiator (1998), Friday (1995), plus more.
Writers – Matt Holloway | Art Marcum | Lowell Cunningham.
Starring – Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, others.
Composers – Chris Bacon | Danny Elfman
What is it about? The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization..
Review: In 1997, the Men in Black franchise was introduced to moviegoers. The film introduced Will Smith (Agent J) and Tommy Lee Jones (Agent K) as alien busting agents from the agency known as Men in Black. MIB produced a trilogy of films spanning from 1997 – 2012. Per our calculation, thanks to IMDB, the three movies combined have produced $1.6 billion dollars. Directing all three films; Barry Sonnenfeld. Mr. Sonnenfeld serves as an executive producer on the new film. Steven Spielberg’s name popped up as an executive producer as well during the credit roll.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right away. If you’re a fan of the previous films, you must whisk your feelings away to truly find a new vibe when watching the new MIB. Not meant in a derogatory way in the least, it’s just a different vibe than the first three. The Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones non-presence is most definitely felt. When the film ended, the credit roll was active, two people within earshot said they were going to stay after the credits just in case Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones did a cameo. Yes, this really happened and it will probably be a running theme with many others. Will and Tommy own this franchise. It will be a tough task to change the mindset of the original fans from not thinking of the first duo, but it’s a new era now.
The movie bounced around to various gorgeous camera shots of landscape and wide angle shots. The intentional big ambiance was most definitely felt. Actress, Tessa Thompson (Agent M) brings with her a very warm presence that moviegoers will feel throughout the film. She seemed to feel very comfortable in the starring role. Expect to see lots more of Tessa Thompson in starring roles in the future. As for Chris Hemsworth (Agent H), this reviewer has arrived to a final conclusion about his overall status regarding his likeness on screen. Mr. Hemsworth is the modern day Brad Pitt. Extremely attractive with acting chops. Chris can simply smile (which he does in this film a few times) and steals a scene. Definitely a Pitt thing. The chemistry between Agent H and Agent M seems a bit off at times, but the mis-connect is not a heavy one. During a moment of clarity for Agent M (Thompson) when Agent H (Hemsworth ) sets her straight regarding her emotional guard she keeps up all the time, voiding her of letting anyone in. It’s a poignant moment between the characters, yet we were left wanting more in some way. This isn’t to say the connection was completely off, just at certain points. In comparison, Hemsworth and Thompson had more of a connection within the Thor and Avengers movies then they do at times here.
One big disappointing factor in watching this screener had nothing to do with the actual film itself. While watching the movie, It felt as though I’ve seen so much of it already. The culprit? Too much being revealed in the trailer. At times, you can literally see the non-reaction to certain scenes because it was already seen 25 times during the NBA finals. Studios must lighten the load on the trailers. Too much revealing is ruining too much plot and element of surprise.
Speaking of element of surprise. If you garner a clue as to who the mole is within the MIB agency, you’re probably going to be correct. There isn’t a whole lot of mystery going on here and a paid ticket should be going into this movie with a sole purpose of being entertained, not Crying Gamed.
The cgi character,Pawny, played by Kumail Nanjani was a nice buffer as expected it would be. Some laugh out loud moments (not seen in the trailers) had the audience enjoying Pawny’s screen time. Agent High T, played by Liam Neeson was, well, Liam Neeson. Hard for this veteran actor to get anything wrong. He plays the head of MIB London. Not much wiggle room for him to expand into an Oscar nomination here, but Liam being Liam is a treat anytime we can get it. Rounding out the human players, Emma Thompson as Agent O. Once again, a veteran actress doing their thing. Although, her Agent O character is a highlight each time she graces us with a scene. More of Agent O would have been welcomed by this reviewer.
All in all, director F. Gary Gray had some big shoes to follow with the MIB franchise. He did well. His credits are superb (Set It Off, The Negotiator, Friday) and should not be marred by this movie if it does not succeed the previous franchise. A big budget of $110 million will be met with a satisfied crowd and who knows, maybe the new crowd will exceed the previous films. It’s an entertaining movie the family should go see and eat some ice cream afterwards.
Soundtrack: The Danny Elfman influence is heard loud and clear right at the start of this film. An immediate reaction to your brain tells the viewer you’re in for a musical interlude of beauty. Great work from both Danny Elfman and Chris Bacon.
TPC Rating: 3 Trending Arrows up (out of 5) from Trending Pop Culture.
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