★★☆☆☆ | MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL
The 4th MIB movie coming 7 years after the last one and 22 years after we first met the super agents with no Will Smith, no Tommy Lee Jones but the welcome addition of sex god Chris Hemsworth.
Nutshell – The secret well-dressed sunglass wearing organisation that exists to protect the earth from aliens and the scum of the universe are back in a loud CGI action-heavy film that in theory sits alongside the original trilogy rather than being a sequel. Almost all new characters and this time with a lot of globetrotting to Europe and Morocco as they try to stop another alien villain and protect yet another artefact hidden on earth but the bigger problem is that there is a mole in the Men In Black hierarchy – our money is on the Pug dog.
Running Time – 114 Minutes – Cert 12A.
Tagline – The World’s Not Going To Save Itself
The Gay UK Factor – Chris Hemsworth is one of the world’s best-looking men. Of course, Hemsworth in a tight designer suit showing every inch of his massive firm buttocks is something right from the top end of the wank fantasies – the ones we reserve in the back of our brain for the intense vinegar strokes. Not enough for ya? Well, you get a two-minute extended topless scene at the start of the film… We have seen this movie six times so far and counting for that alone.
Cast – Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rafe Small, Kayvan Novak and the only major returning cast member Emma Thompson… no Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones and boy do we miss their chemistry here as the two leads mix about as well as Madonna’s music does with the current charts.
Key Player – For the first time ever we cannot spot one. The directors, writers, cast etc are all retreading a tried and tested formula for ever diminishing results. The new CG chess piece character gets all the best lines though and our marriage proposal to Hemsworth is not rescinded by this but he just cannot carry a comedy on his own as he is better as the straight man to a comedians foil – now Will and him that could have been one-liner heaven but Will wanted to be Aladdin‘s genie instead.
Budget – $110 Million – Thank goodness they kept this budget down as it is just not flying like the previous films in the trilogy. The first week it took the entire world box office to break even so now it can start making some profit which it will do but don’t expect any sequels as you file this under slightly disappointing.
Best Bit – 0.48 mins; We get a very thrilling fight with the invaders in a studio set London street which has great action and well-placed comedy beats and it works well. Shame this balance couldn’t be kept up elsewhere – an action comedy needs both to be effective and this is often lacking in either one or the other at most points and often both.
Worst Bit – 1.15 mins; Lots of little bits here don’t come off including a by the numbers hoverbike chase not as good as in MIB 3 but none more so obvious than the flying car in a secret organisation. Harry Potter and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang did this better. It underlines an attempt to make everything bigger than we have seen before but too much smaller returns. So much possibility ends in something not bad but just average and is that not condemnation enough for a blockbuster.
Little Secret – Believe it or not the MIB universe also includes the 21/22 Jump Street movies. The film was originally going to be a Jump Street / Men in Black crossover with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprising their roles from that franchise when Smith and Jones refused to do another MIB. However, plans fell apart, so it became a spin-off with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Chris Hemsworth announced shortly after the release of this film that he would take a break from acting (not because of this film we should add more to do with the end of the Avengers’ saga) to; a) stand for US President, b Join the Jonas Brothers, c) Start his much in demand gay porn career or d) be with his family… only one of these is correct.
Further Viewing – Men In Black – 1-3, Ghostbusters 1-3, Austin Powers 1-3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1-3, Detective Pikachu, Pixels, Evolution, Space Jam and the king of sci-fi action comedies Galaxy Quest.
Any Good – Not as good as the sum of its parts. There are two major problems. Firstly the original MIB was a breath of fresh air with great ideas from its wonderful characters in both the fore and background through to the classic number one hit single but then unlike a lot of other franchises instead of taking the best bits and improving on them they have gone the opposite way with every new addition to the set.
Secondly whoever cast Hemsworth and Thomson as the leads here (They were together in the Thor films) has made a fatal error. We need a comedian of Will Smith’s character bouncing of a straight man like Tommy Lee Jones instead here we get two straight men/women delivering all the punch lines. You will enjoy the film but don’t expect a laugh a minute maybe one every 30 mins is closer and is that good enough for an action comedy?