Summer of 1997. A great summer for films indeed. Just look at the list of summer films that were shown back then and you will see what i mean:
*Men In Black
*Air Force One
There are of course other titles i did not mention here, but still a pretty impressive list of great films. Especially if you loved action films, then this year offered some really good titles. Let´s stick to one specific title in the summer of 1997. The film known as Men In Black was a huge box office success worldwide. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent J and Agent K, known as the men in black, from a secret organization, who supervise extraterrestrial lifeforms who live on Earth and hide their existence from ordinary humans. Men In Black is a very funny film, and a great combination of science fiction and action as well. Director Barry Sonnenfeld managed to balance this film in a very professional way. Since this film was such a huge hit, of course there were more sequels made. In 2002, 5 years after the original film was released we got Men In Black II. I will be honest and say, this sequel failed to live up to the original film level of quality, and felt more like a sequel just made to cash in on the success of the first film. Johnny Knoxville was in the sequel for some strange reason ( probably because his Jackass TV series was still popular during this time, including the films ). I did like actress Lara Flynn Boyle as shapeshifting alien Serleena, perhaps one of the characters that saved this film from falling apart. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones did return for the sequel, but you could feel that they were not as good as they were in the first film. In 2012 we got a third film simpy called Men In Black 3. I was actually surprised how good this film was, much better than the second film with a solid cast and a wonderful bad character named Boris The Animal, played by actor Jemaine Clement. Josh Brolin as a younger version of Agent K, and he gives a really good performance, together with Will Smith. Men In Black 3 is a sequel that actually found a way to tell a story correctly, compared to Men In Black 2. So here we are in 2019 with another Men In Black film, but without Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, this time with a new casting choice. Is this a positive take on this genre, or is the latest Men In Black film doomed to fail from start to finish ?
In Brooklyn 1996, Molly Wright witnesses her parents being neuralysed by agents of Men In Black while she helps an alien escape. 23 years later Molly ( Tessa Thompson ) tracks down an alien landing and follows MiB agents back to their headquarters in New York. She is caught making an entry, but Agent O ( Emma Thompson ) is impressed how she managed to find the organisation. Agent O is convinced that they need a woman like Molly in the organisation, and she is awarded probationary agent status as " Agent M" and assigned to the London branch of the organisation. In London, Agent M meets High T ( Liam Neeson ) the head of the London branch. Agent M learns that at the Eifel Tower back in 2016, High T and Agent H ( Chris Hemsworth ) were fighting against the invasion of The Hive, a parasitic rase who invades other planets. Agent M arranges for herself to be assigned to assist Agent H, as they meet Vungus The Ulgy at a night club. Two alien twins attack and kill Vungus. The clues seem to lead that there is a traitor in the MiB organization. Agent M and Agent H investigate closer, no matter what they have to do to find the truth.
I did not know what to expect from Men In Black: International, since i had my doubts about this film. But i have to say, this is not as bad as i thought this film would be. And i think this is because of the chemistry between main characters Agent H and Agent M. Actor Chris Hemsworth and actress Tessa Thompson works better than i expected as the agents dressed in black. You might remember how good Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones was in the previous films ? Chris and Tessa may not hit that level of Chemistry, but manage to do well anyway through comedy timing and the dialouge. I would say that actress Tessa Thompson gives this film another perspective, through her beloving character. Legendary actress Emma Thompson is also here as Agent O, a role she fits well into. Legendary actor Liam Neeson is also a part of this cast as High T, and he actually surprised me with a performance that works well. Now, if you compare this film to the previous films, you might find certain details that you will probably react on. For me personally, i see no bigger probelms with Men In Black: International. I think they have managed to keep the formula of the previous films, without changing too much. There are of course new aliens here, and some different weapons but that´s supposed to be a part of this franchise, to give us some surprises. What about the bad guys ? The alien twins is actually a duo that manage to bring some fun into this film, as they attack the agents. One of the problems i will mention with this film, is that i would have liked some really funny scenes. We get a few fun scenes, but not enough to make this film more enjoyable. Director F. Gary Gary ( who directed the surprisingly good action thriller Law Abiding Citizen ) have managed to make a Men In Black film that respects the classic film, but also dare to try some new directions. I appreciate that he made sure that the new agents felt natural, and not just placed there to cash in on the franchise.. Men In Black: International is a film you will appreciate if you enjoy the Men In Black series, if you can accept a new casting choice. A film worth seeing in cinema this summer, and in some ways brings back memories of the summer of 1997 for me. And that is of course a good sign.