Okay, for me personally, the first Men in Black is one of my favorite films of all time. Sure, like any film, it has its flaws that can no doubt be pointed out and I won't argue about, but it just worked for me on so many levels. I loved the concept and the world it created, and the visual effects were great at time time (and still mainly hold well.) The humor was close to perfect and the film was filled with plenty of great lines. Vincent D'Onofrio was a perfect creepy (and humorous) villain. Tony Shalhoub shows up as an alien pawn dealer who gets his head blown off, only to regrow it again. Frank the Pug! And last but certainly not least was the perfect casting and chemistry with/between Tommy Lee Jones as his crusty, cranky best and Will Smith at his most charismatic. In short, I loved it all (including Smith's rap in the end credits!)
But then came the second film that disappointed me on every level and I barely remember anything about it except that Rosario Dawson was wasted in it, they decided that the villainous alien would be Lara Flynn Boyle in lingerie, and someone apparently thought it would be a great idea to have Johnny Knoxville in it. The third one fared better thanks to Josh Brolin's pitch-perfect imitation of a younger Tommy Lee Jones, Bill Hader's cameo as Andy Warhol, and Michael Stuhlbarg's compelling performance, but still a step down. So, in short (or long), it feels like a franchise that peaked with its first film.
And Men in Black: International certainly doesn't change that viewpoint. It wasn't bad, thankfully, but it truly was generic, forgettable film that seemed to not want to try anything new, and just was banking on Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson's chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok to transfer over here. And to be fair, they were highlights as they really do seem to enjoy working with one another and, again, I think Hemsworth really is showing that comedy is where he thrives, but it didn't make up for the underwhelming story, boring action and set pieces, and basically not taking advantage of its new setting to expand upon the world and make it interesting.
I seriously can't believe that they went the obvious route and made Liam Neeson's character the villain. Most everyone called that when he was first cast, for goodness sakes! Granted, Rafe Spall would have been too obvious as well, but I would have enjoyed it if it was actually Emma Thompson's character that was bad the entire time. That might have been interesting.
Also can't believe they squandered the awesome Rebecca Ferguson in a throwaway role. At least the Mission: Impossible franchise seems to know how to use her.
Kumail Nanjiani was fun at least.
So, yeah, I kind of wish they just quit after the first film. At least no forgettable or mediocre sequel/spinoff will ever ruin that one for me!