• Ben Erickson

Men in Black: International

The Men in Black series has yet to produce a competent sequel that was not a complete copycat of the original 1997 film, begging the question – as with so many other franchises these days – why is it still going? The only draw to Men in Black: International stems from the natural charisma between leads Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, making it feel like a cheap capitalization on the success of Thor: Ragnarok. Films like this are redefining what it is to take an "economical approach" in Hollywood today, scraping the barrel for every penny they can get from the desperate fans of this once descent franchise. Series composer Danny Elfman returned for MIB: International, joined by Chris Bacon, an otherwise unknown composer responsible for the Bates Motel television series music. Apparently Elfman could not go solo on this his fourth MIB film that incorporates all of the old themes (even the romantic guitar theme) with added electronic and jazz elements, amounting to effectively the same score he wrote for the former films. One could almost think of it as variations on a theme. It is boring for its conventionalism, the way the music has been penned in on itself, but also exactly what is to be expected of a gratuitous sequel.