Review: Hemsworth, Thompson chemistry makes 'Men in Black: International' worthwhile

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THE GALAXY — When I first heard a new "Men In Black" movie was being made, I wasn’t terribly interested.

Then I heard that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson were cast in the lead roles, and I started to get a little curious.

Then I saw the first trailer, and I was cautiously optimistic.

Now I’ve seen the movie, and it’s turned me from a cautiously optimistic onlooker to a entertained audience member.

Men in Black: International” is not an amazing film, but being sandwiched between some real letdowns this summer it’s a fun trip to the theater — thanks in large part to its infectious cast and nostalgic feel.

Here are some reasons “Men in Black: International” is worth checking out:

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have chemistry

This one comes as no surprise to me, considering how great these two actors were together in “Thor: Ragnarok.”

The chemistry between the two is palpable in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, thankfully, it is here as well. Hemsworth and Thompson have a way of playing off one another and making their scenes together even stronger than when they’re on their own.

I thought the slowest part of the film was at the beginning before the two characters meet, as they are waltzing through this "MIB" universe without their partner. Then the two finally become dance partners and the rest of the film is really enjoyable.

It has its ups and downs, but thanks to Hemsworth and Thompson the ups can go pretty high and the downs don’t seem to dip too far.

I do think Hemsworth needs to be careful because his handsome, egotistical and apathetic hero schtick could run thin very soon, but in “MIB: International” it has some meaning behind it and it’s still pretty fun.

Kumail Nanjiani steals the show

Here is another nod to the cast. But like I said, that’s what really carries this movie.

Kumail Nanjiani pops up all over the place in lots of different films, and his characters seem to always be these snarky, even-toned and overly sarcastic supporting roles that add the right amount of oddball humor at the right time.

Nanjiani does it again here but just with his voice. The actor plays Pawny, a tiny alien that ends up joining the Men In Black on their latest adventure to save the world. His dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny at times, and he delivers it brilliantly.

When Pawny first showed up I worried he’d wear thin really quickly, but the filmmakers did a good job keeping him in the film just enough and not overdoing it. Nanjiani’s voice work as Pawny may have been my favorite part of the film.

The nostalgia will suck you in

The orignal 1997 “Men in Black” was a big deal to me at age 13. I saw it at the theater multiple times, thanks to the old dollar theater near my house. As a young teenager I thought this movie was hilarious and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Looking back, the movie isn’t that great. But for those who are around my same age, I’m guessing you had a similar experience with the film.

Because of that, it got to me when the credits started with that strange font and Danny Elfman’s iconic music kicked in. The whole film had that old vibe to it and, just like the original movie, it won’t age incredibly well. But for right now, the film is a fun updated version with enough nods to take us back in time.


“Men in Black: International” is not the best movie of the summer, and I’m not totally positive it will be received that well, but I had a good time seeing it at the theater. I think the filmmakers did enough to make it a worthwhile reason to revisit this universe.

Check tomorrow to see a content guide for parents for “Men in Black: International.”

"Men in Black: International" is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action, some language and suggestive material.

John Clyde

About the Author: John Clyde

John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. He also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome, and it just so happens, that these are the three things he writes about. Contact him on Twitter at @johnnypclyde.

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John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. He also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome, and it just so happens, that these are the three things he writes about.


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