I really liked Pawney. This pocket-sized alien, voiced brilliantly by Kumail Nanjiani had the best lines and the best jokes and was, by far, the funniest character in this film. And the fact that a one-joke CGI comic relief character was able to upstage both Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, who formed such a great double act in Thor: Ragnarok, rather neatly sums up Men in Black: International.
Men in Black: International revolves around Agent M, played by Tessa Thompson, who has finally found her way into the MIB organisation after a childhood encounter with an alien. She is promptly sent to London where she manages to pair herself with the reckless but heroic Agent H (Chris Hemsworth). We have threats aplenty, a suspected mole in the MIB organisation and a whole bunch of subplots that don’t really go anywhere.
It’s been a few years since I watched the original Men in Black but if I remember correctly, that film didn’t make a huge amount of sense. What it did have going for it, however, was Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and — probably most importantly — a director that was willing to stand back and let the two leads develop a chemistry that is unforgettable.
The problem that Men in Black: International has is that there is just too much plot, which insists on constantly reminding us that none of this makes much sense. This is not helped by the fact that the scriptwriters don’t appear to have been able to decide whether the film is about the rookie Agent M or the failure and redemption of Agent H. Consequently, the focus keeps switching and the plot threads keep clashing in a manner that makes it a bit of a struggle to enjoy the ride.
Men in Black: International isn’t a bad film, it’s just not a particularly good film either. The film is at it’s best when Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are allowed to bounce off each other and recapture the sense of fun that so imbued the original film. But all too often they are dragged down by an overly convoluted plot that frequently serves only to suck any and all the life from the film.