Men in Black: International

                               Paint, drying.

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONALmake that Interminable, wearing out a welcome before 15 of its 115 minutes have been used up, time swiped from the life you have left. The “neuralyzer” gadget the good guys employ frequently, that blue-light doohickey that erases memory?—the producers should have provided one to use on yourself.

Why mention the plot: just more comic book rubbish with a lot of noise and flashing lights. Another teaming of a been-there veteran and prove-yourself rookie. One more chase (or several, I forgot while watching) to add to the hundreds we’ve been bombarded with. Is this the 96th or 112th time we’ve seen heroes get pounded into pulp by bad guys/creatures before they finally defeat them? Don’t forget some ‘adorable’ little critters.

                              Hand me a hammer

The umpteenth waste-budget example of impoverished imagination, with something between $94-$110,000,000 thrown at a terrible script (culprits Art Marcum and Matt Holloway), wasting good actors in thankless supporting roles (Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson), killing whatever chemistry that leads Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson may have hoped to stir by overloading them with dialogue prattle that’s insufferably smug. Playing “cute” does not equal charismatic.

The only features of fleeting interest are the few moments of performance verve from villain Rebecca Ferguson and views of a couple of the locations: Marrakesh in Morocco and the Aragonese Castle in the Bay of Naples.

                     Credit where due: Rebecca Ferguson

With Rafe Spall. Directed by F. Gary Gray. Placing 36th in the States in 2019, a take of $80,000,000 part of the planetary rip of $253,891,000. To the cost factor mentioned above add another $120,000,000 to market the damn thing: hopefully the scathing reviews (it isn’t just me in a lousy mood) and sub-par performance will finish this franchise (yes, we know this is a spinoff: could care less) that might have stopped with honor intact after the first enjoyable installment 22 years earlier. Okay, okay, already, the third one was decent.

Make the world safe from crappy sequels: point them bug zappers at the screenwriters

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