I feel like MIB must be the inverse of Indiana Jones: the odd movies of Indiana Jones are the typical fan favorites and the even ones are left for people who like being different or argumentative.
The first Men in Black movie is a solid summer blockbuster. The second one was pretty bad, and the third one was solid. Where does that leave this film? Take a guess, my dud. Like seriously, it’s been like pretty hinted at, almost as much as the “twist,” of this film. I wouldn’t even call it a spoiler, though. It’s like the first thing the film shows you, which was a really poor choice on the part of the director. The rest of the film kind of feels like he messed up and just tried to keep going. I almost wonder if they’ve just never heard of a second draft, or reshoots, or any thing like improving upon what is there.
I joked on the way home that it felt like someone pulled two fan fictions and tried to put them together. There are some decent ideas in theory that don’t really get fleshed out or explored in a meaningful way. The twist is so obvious and uninspired that it ruins the experience from a story perspective, and Chris Hemsworth is shirtless…for reasons.
Yet, I didn’t dislike it. The relationship between Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth has to be strained from carrying the whole movie. They are both so likeable and adding Kumail Nanjiani was a great choice. His character was delightful and added some much needed humor to a bland and dispassionate excuse of a script.
The antagonistic forces throughout most of the movie are mind blowingly stupid. Imagine following a woman who is walking alone done dark and rainy streets. She is panicking and starts running. You follow, she screams for mercy, and you only mean to ask if her if she has a moment to talk about your lord and savior…it’s that stupid.
It only makes sense if you are a screenwriter trying desperately to add suspense and subvert expectations and fail miserably at doing both (Was Rian Johnson a consultant?) I sincerely wish they wouldn’t have shown the opening shot; what is happening becomes far too clear, and you aren’t able to immerse yourself in a movie that wants to treat you like it didn’t just tell you everything you needed to know. The movie would have been more interesting as a sort of “whodunnit” with the mole plot line being fully explored rather than a “we need to use this super weapon on the bad guys before they can use it on us.”
The movie isn’t without some merit, and I wouldn’t mind seeing another sequel, but only if they get a team that can actually produce an interesting, out of this world concept.
In the mean time:
Written by Eric Brockett
(Eric is a millennial and thus thinks his opinion on the internet matters. Sometimes he has opinions on films too. He thinks people care. He knows they don’t.)