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Cinema Dispatch: Men in Black: International

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Men in Black: International and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by F Gary Gray

As tacky as it may seem, I kind of want to see MORE studios blatantly try to pick at the MCU’s carcass by snatching up its major talent and putting them in new scenarios with similar dynamics.  It’s kind of like the cinematic equivalent of an Elseworld’s tale or maybe even one of those bizarre crossover comics where the X-Men are on the Enterprise or Doctor Who has to fight the Cenobites or whatever.  Picking up both Chris Hemsworth in full on Thor Swagger mode and Tessa Thompson at the height of her popularity is probably the best thing this film has going for it because it certainly isn’t the name brand recognition.  The first Men in Black movie was good but is older than the target audience of this film, the sequel was utter dreck despite having my beloved Johnny Knoxville in a fun supporting role, and I never even bothered with the third movie that this thankfully doesn’t seem to be a direct sequel to.  Still, the concept is at least unique enough that you could still salvage it given the right talent which looks to be the case with its cast as well as being directed by F Gary Gray.  Can the MIB be brought back from the dead to be the next big cinematic franchise, or are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the late nineties and early 2000s over and over again

Molly (Tessa Thompson) has spent the last twenty years looking for the mysterious Men in Black organization which tried to capture an alien in her childhood home but failed to do so and also failed to neuralyse her like they did her parents.  It was a pretty serendipitous event as well because Molly is a bit of a loner and cares more about unlocking the mysteries of the universe than having friends or forming genuine human relationships; a trait prided in members of the MIB!  Because of this as well as her ability to eventually find them, the current head of the New York branch Agent O (Emma Thompson) gives her a shot with the new moniker Agent M and sends her to London for training where she runs into Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) who is a big shot hero from a few years ago but seems to be in a bit of a slump.  He and the head of the London branch High T (Liam Neeson) once stopped an alien invasion with nothing but a couple of weapons and their wits, but when a protection operation H takes M along on goes completely awry, it could spell the end of not just their careers but the Earth itself.  They must solve the mystery of who wanted to kill H’s alien buddy Vungus the Ugly (Kayvan Novak) and whether or not there’s some greater conspiracy happening with the MIB that this is just a small part of.  Oh yeah, and there’s a comic relief alien (Kumail Nanjiani) that does cute things and spouts sarcasm.  Can M and H learn to work together and solve the mystery before MIB or something more dangerous catches up to them?  Will the organization that prides itself on being secretive collapse into ruin due to the duplicitous nature of one of its own?  Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly hard to believe that THIS many people and THIS much equipment are STILL a complete mystery to the undiscerning masses; all of whom have smart phones and social media accounts?

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“Is this the place?”     “Yup.  XxVegetaAlphaxX won’t be uploading Men in Black and nutshot complications any time soon.”     “Freaking Reddit.”

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