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MIB: International is overdressed and underwhelming, says Rashid Irani

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL

Direction: F Gary Gray

Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson

Rating: 2 / 5

It’s taken 22 years and four installments for this sci-fi action-comedy franchise to be afflicted by the law of diminishing returns. But here we are.

This rehash of the alien-bashing extravaganzas offers neither excitement nor humour. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson take over from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as the lead duo in Men In Black: International. The familiar suits and shades are in place, but instead of the sass and element of surreal surprise, we’re swamped with special effects and a needless extravagance of new government agents, new extraterrestrials (benign as well as malevolent) and exotic new locations, including Marrakesh.

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Among the freshly minted characters is the head honcho (Liam Neeson) of the agency’s London office (in a juvenile attempt at humour, he’s named High T); a wee alien sidekick (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani); and a three-armed munitions dealer (Rebecca Ferguson).

There is surprisingly little chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson, who were such uproarious fun in Thor: Ragnarok. In one of the few jokes that lands on target, there is a cheeky reference to the thunder god’s favorite hammer.

Director Barry Sonnenfeld’s replacement, F Gary Gray (Fast & Furious 8) seems to have run out of original ideas. Unlike its predecessors, Men In Black: International is forgettable piffle.  

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