Howdy there, Scream Freaks! While things haven’t exactly slowed down ’round here with us deep in production of our next excitin’ episode of Screaming Soup!, we did manage to break away long ‘nough to check out the newest Men In Black sequel, M.I.B. International. Fans have always judged the sequels ‘gainst the filmmakin’ ingredients that made an instant classic of the original ’90s flick starrin’ Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as buddy space cops humorously bustin’ e.t. baddies, but this latest entry is the most susceptible to critics’ venom ’cause it abandons our favorite agents for all new characters we hope can even be half as entertainin’.

In a nutshell, M.I.B. International is ’bout Agent M, the newest rookie to join the world’s only defense ‘gainst intergalactic scumwads, and her first assignment is at the M.I.B.’s European branch where she meets Agent H and investigates a suspected mole in the organization who’s aidin’ an e.t. invasion of Earth. The newest M.I.B. partners are played by Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, and this duo is brilliantly written as clever role reversals of Agent J and K from the earlier movies. Rather than a mouthy street smart rookie bouncin’ off a weathered straight man, the rookie is now the straight man (er, woman) havin’ some fun friction with glory boy who’s still ridin’ a wave of fame he earned from stoppin’ a major invasion three years earlier. With the leads already provin’ their onscreen chemistry and natural knack for comedy in Thor: Ragnarok, and the filmmakers keepin’ the M.I.B. world and mythos familiar while still providin’ an adventure more epic than the previous films, this flick should be a slam-dunk, but somethin’ just doesn’t click for us.

While the movie is as far removed from suckage as you can hope for, it still has a lot of sours we think contribute to it’s lackluster appeal. For one, Agent M’s whole character feels as underdeveloped as her social life. When she was a young’n, she witness the M.I.B. nueralizin’ her parents while lookin’ for a fuzzy e.t. she found hidin’ in her bedroom. She helps the outer space critter escape (despite the agents never botherin’ to search her house) and starts a lifelong obsession huntin’ down the secret organization to join its ranks. Flash forward years later, she’s interviewin’ for jobs with all these different branches of government she hopes will lead her to the M.I.B. all the while workin’ some IT hotline job where she hacks into NASA satellite feeds for clues to alien activity. So — we get she’s smart, but what’s exactly her expertise? Even when she’s in the hot seat with the M.I.B. grillin’ her for reasons why they should recruit her, she never says if she’s multi-lingual, a computer whiz, Mensa member, professional kickboxer – nothin’! Her initial M.I.B. trainin’ montage even goes by in a blip, givin’ us a bleak understandin’ as to how long they groom her ‘fore sendin’ her to Europe. All we see are a few test scores showin’ she’s smart and can kick ass. Well, what part of any of that covers how she knows all ’bout thermo-dynamic doohickeys later on in the movie and where’d she learn that kinda stuff?!

The rest of the sours are pretty trivial, but doesn’t help things when there’s too many of ’em. Like (spoiler alert) if the big bad guy is this e.t. that’s like John Carpenter’s The Thing, copyin’ folks from the inside out and whatever, then why does it only take over the head of the M.I.B. office in Europe ‘stead of all its agents in body snatcher fashion? Would have certainly made the fizzle of an endin’ more excitin’! And speakin’ of the endin’, what’s with all those silly melodramatic voice overs forced in there that don’t really match what’s happenin’? And couldn’t Agent H do more than just get bitch slapped ’round the whole scene and repeat the same tired dialogue over and over again?

But the saddest thing, above all else, is the movie just isn’t funny. Crazy, we know, given all the ingredients are there to guarantee at least a solid chuckle, but — nope. We didn’t laugh one time. We can tell where the filmmakers want us to laugh, but it just never connected with our funny bones the way they supposedly intended. And that really sucks, too, ’cause we would have overlooked and forgiven so much of the sours we mentioned if it only made us laugh. It’s as if the movie maybe took itself a little too serious, or just lacked that touch of panache that made director Barry Sonnenfeld’s flicks so special.

Overall, a content way to spend a rainy afternoon, but nothin’ special ‘nough to rewatch anytime soon . . . 3/5!

Other than that, be sure to catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our video channels, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail comin’. You can also warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV and Sluggo’s The Vortexx!

TwitterFacebook Youtube