Men In Black: International

Men in Black: International is chock-full of star power:  Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, and a special guest appearance of Kumail Nanjiani.   It is also chock-full of special effects and weird aliens and the like.  What it is not chock-full of is a decent story, suspense, a good villain, or consistent laughs.  It is mostly harmless summer fun, like a snow cone.   Or diet lemonade.

L&D were split on this one, with L seeming to enjoy himself, while D was mostly bored and annoyed.  Nanjiani is certainly mostly solid and often very funny, and is what I would rate as the best part of the movie had it not been for Chris Hemsworth strutting around in pink chinos.

But, ultimately, we have a dull movie.

I will chalk this up to (at least) two major shortcomings.   First, there is no straight man.   MiB worked so spectacularly because Tommy Lee Jones and the staid MiB organization served as a foil to Will Smith’s overall freshness. Ironically, the film took some pains to make Tessa Thompson into the straight man, even though the entire ad campaign around the movie suggested otherwise.   What a mess.   I walked out of International recanting some of the funnier MiB scenes to L that I still remember all these years later; a day out, I’m not sure I remember what was funny about this recent offering.

Second, who is the villain here, anyway?  There are a number of candidates, one becomes obvious, the audience isn’t surprised and doesn’t care.   It concludes with some  Drama-Free Action.

At one point, I was really reminded of the soft spots in the Star Wars movies — lots of aliens and crazy background serving as stand-ins for interesting characters and a compelling plot.   Given the amount of money thrown at this movie, the payoff is abysmal.

We should have seen this coming.   We did see this coming.    The Taco Bell is closed until further notice.

Taco Bell locations were mentioned several times by readers as having long waits in the drive-thrus at various times, and their inside dining rooms were occasionally closed while the drive-thrus were open. 

A call to Pacific Bells, the Taco Bell franchise owner in this area, was not returned.  

A check on the Taco Bell on Appleton’s east side, which was identified by readers as having sporadic issues, showed it was currently open and staffed. But it had reduced hours, now closing at 8 p.m. instead of the advertised 2 a.m.

TBI don’t lie.

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