The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers
Molly (Tessa Thompson) experienced an alien encounter as a child and dedicated her life to find the elusive Men in Black. After successfully finding them, she talks Agent O (Emma Thompson) into recruiting her as one of the Men in Black. As a probationary agent, she is sent to London where she meets Agent High T (Liam Neeson) and eventually, the suave and unpredictable Agent H (Chris Hemsworth).
Agent H is assigned to protect a member of a royal alien family and Molly, now Agent M, gets partnered with him on the case. The seemingly simple op goes south when a pair of cosmic aliens attack the royal alien they were supposed to be protecting. Before he died, the alien handed Agent M a small item for safekeeping.
Needing to get to the bottom of the alien's death, Agent H and M soon realize there might be a mole inside the organization they're working for. They also find out what the small item Agent M was given truly is and their adventure becomes an arms race, ensuring the universe's most powerful weapon does not end up in the wrong hands.
The Short And Honest Plot
A reboot of the popular Men In Black franchise that tried to tap into the comedic magic of Thor: Ragnarok by bringing Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson back together again. There's also a lot of aliens and a sultry, nearly unrecognizable Rebecca Ferguson in this.
The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them
Chris Hemsworth as Agent H
If he's not playing Thor in all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, Chris Hemsworth also does the occasional action film like Bad Times At The El Royale and 12 Strong, both shown in 2018. He also wowed everyone with his comedic chops for 2016's Ghostbusters.
Tessa Thompson as Agent M
Tessa Thompson's star is on the rise, but she's been around since 2005 guesting on TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, Veronica Mars, and Heroes. She got her big break in 2015 when she starred in Creed and its sequel, Creed II (2018). Her star rose even more when she was cast as fan-favorite Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
Liam Neeson as Agent High T
Frequently starring in action films, Liam Neeson was in this year's Cold Pursuit and 2018's The Commuter. He is also the star of the Taken action films series and the voice of Aslan in the Chronicles Of Narnia movies. He is well-loved for his portrayal of widowed father, Daniel, in Love Actually (2003).
Rebecca Ferguson as Riza
Rebecca Ferguson co-starred with Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation in 2015 and again in Mission: Impossible - Fallout in 2018. She also starred in well-received films like The Girl On The Train (2016), Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), and The Greatest Showman (2017). Before this film, she was in The Kid Who Would Be King earlier this year.
Rafe Spall as Agent C
Rafe Spall, the son of Peter Pettigrew himself Timothy Spall, has been acting for almost two decades. He starred in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), Life Of Pi (2012), and The Big Short (2015). He was also in an episode of Black Mirror, and an indie rom-com with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan called What If (2013).
Did You Know?
1. The film was originally going to be a crossover sequel with Jump Street, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, but the plans didn't push through.
2. Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are the same age! They were both born in 1983.
3. This is the fourth Men In Black film. The original Men In Black film came out in 1997, with its sequel being released in 2002 and the third installment in 2012.
4. This isn't the first time Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have teamed up in a film. They were last seen in MCU's Thor: Ragnarok.
5. Emma Thompson, who plays Agent O in this movie, reprises the role she originated in Men In Black 3.
What I Think:
Anyone who's seen Thor: Ragnarok will think Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson teaming up for another comedy is a great idea. But it takes more than two charming leads to make a great film—you actually need a strong script.
The movie is very middling, like the kind of entertaining action movie you end up watching because it's the easiest compromise with your barkada's varied tastes. I guess it's funny, with a bunch of jokes that will make you chuckle, but none of it is particularly memorable. The leads were also not that interesting. We are told that Agent H is the best in the agency, and Agent M is supposedly very smart, but we're not shown these competencies so when they do something cool like pull weapons out of every part of their car or reboot a dead alien motorcycle, you kind of just have to buy that they're good enough to do that.
There's no journey to their friendship, either. It's not easily defined if they're supposed to be an odd couple type, if they have a love/hate thing going on, or if they're supposed to be mentor/mentee. This affects how well their chemistry translates on screen. Since it's not easy to know their characters, we don't get a good grasp of how they are together.
Pawnee (Kumail Nanjiani), the little alien pawn that subjugates itself to Agent M, has the most personality out of everyone on screen, and therefore the most fun to watch. He also had the best lines. The plot is also very straightforward and simple, even if there is a "twist" involved (that you can see from a mile away).
The best thing about the film were the aliens! They were cool and interesting and had varied personalities that make you almost wish we saw more of them. The initial "villain" aliens were super cool to look at—two creatures that took on the form of mini-universes. They were pretty awesome.
Overall, it's just okay. It's a good film to see if you just want someplace air-conditioned to hang out in and eat popcorn and check out of your worries for a bit.
I'd Recommend It To:
Anyone who's stuck in the mall and hoping to pass the time. It's a fun enough film, and pretty family friendly if you're not too worried about a curse word here and there. It's great to watch in the cinemas because it's high in action with really cool CGI. Both Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are also very easy on the eyes—even in very high definition.
I even recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen a Men In Black film before. This is a reboot and barely references the past films. You don't need to watch the movies that came before if you're the least bit interested in this one.