Tag Archives: Kumail Nanjiani

Men in Black International (2019) Review

Time: 114 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Science fiction themes & violence
Cast:
Chris Hemsworth as Henry/Agent H
Tessa Thompson as Molly Wright/Agent M
Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny (voice)
Liam Neeson as High T
Rafe Spall as Agent C
Rebecca Ferguson as Riza Stavros
Laurent and Larry Bourgeois as The Twins
Emma Thompson as Agent O
Director: F. Gary Gray

The Men in Black have expanded to cover the globe but so have the villains of the universe. To keep everyone safe, decorated Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and determined rookie M (Tessa Thompson) join forces — an unlikely pairing that just might work. When aliens that can take the form of any human arrive on Earth, H and M embark on a globe-trotting adventure to save the agency — and ultimately the world — from their mischievous plans.

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Men in Black International was a movie I was cautiously optimistic about. The idea of making a Men in Black movie and not having the iconic duo of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith seemed like a disaster. With that said, Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth were the leads, and they seemed to be a good pairing, especially as the two have worked together before. Additionally, the movie has Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson and more. On top of that, at least it was expanding on the Men in Black universe instead of flat out being a remake/reboot of the original movie. Even though the trailers looked a little generic and familiar, I was willing to give it a chance. Men in Black International is one of those movies that’s incredibly just above average in just about every aspect. There’s not a lot here that’s actually bad, but there’s not a lot here that’s good either.

The plot is reasonably easy to follow but you’re not really invested in it, or its characters despite their performances. It doesn’t even necessarily feel like a Men in Black movie, more like a modern blockbuster with a Men in Black skin. Much of the writing and especially the humour certainly feels like it’s from a passable sci-fi flick released today. As for the humour, it isn’t embarrassingly bad, but more often than not it misses than actually hits. It starts off a little rough too, jumping back a couple years for a scene with Chris Hemsworth and Liam Neeson, jumping back even further with Tessa Thompson’s character as a child, before then jumping back to the present. Then there’s the whole bit about Thompson finding the MIB and somehow convincing them to make her an agent which I didn’t completely buy. After that point the movie picks up a little. There’s also a twist that happened, and somehow I managed to figure it out months ago before learning that the movie actually had a twist at all. By the time the first act is over, it’s incredibly obvious what it is, it’s honestly kind of embarrassing how easy it is to figure it out. It’s not necessarily a major issue, but it goes to show how familiar the plot is. In terms of what it actually adds to the Men in Black universe, it’s in a new setting, and I guess you get some new gadgets/weapons in a couple scenes. However, it honestly feels like they did the bare minimum with the plot, kind of a wasted opportunity.

Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are the leads, and while they don’t rival Smith and Jones they are charismatic and likable, and among the better aspects of the movie. They really end up carrying much of the movie. Other cast members like Kumail Nanjiani (voicing an alien), Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson (reprising her role from the last movie), Rafe Spall and Rebecca Ferguson do alright in their roles. The villains aren’t really bad but nothing memorable either. Also I should probably mention that there’s no cameo from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, so don’t wait through the credits expecting a scene with them, because that doesn’t happen.

After the opening credits and the movie starts, you can definitely tell this movie was not made by original Men in Black director Barry Sonnefeld. International is directed more as a much more modern and conventional action movie. F. Gary Gray directed The Italian Job remake, Law Abiding Citizen, Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious, and now it’s him who’s directing this movie. He’s a pretty good director and to be fair his work on Men in Black International isn’t necessarily bad, but it lacks style and personality. The visual effects are pretty good, again typical blockbuster effects but better than those in the previous movies. The alien designs are fine but at the same time they’re a little basic. There’s very little that’s impressive, just reasonably competent.

Men in Black International is just okay. Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth and the rest of the cast are pretty good, and the visual effects and action is decent, but outside of that there’s not much to really say about the movie. The plot is fine, the direction is fine, it’s competently made, it’s rather forgettable, and there are very little surprises. It’s a reasonably entertaining 2 hours of your time but nothing more than that. If you’re a fan of the movies, then maybe it’s worth a watch, but don’t expect a lot going in.

The Big Sick (2017) Review

Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive Language
Cast
Kumail Nanjiani as Kumail (based on himself)
Zoe Kazan as Emily Gardner (based on Emily V. Gordon)
Holly Hunter as Beth
Ray Romano as Terry
Adeel Akhtar as Naveed
Zenobia Shroff as Sharmeen
Anupam Kher as Azmat
Director: Pete Travis

Kumail Nanjiani is a Pakistani comic who meets an American graduate student named Emily (Zoe Kazan) at one of his stand-up shows. As their relationship blossoms, he soon becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of her. When Emily suddenly comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a bond with her deeply concerned mother (Holly Hunter) and father (Ray Romano).

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The Big Sick was a movie I heard about only recently, I heard that it was a romantic comedy that a lot of people really loved. I really didn’t know what to expect, the trailer was funny and looked like it had potential, so I was cautiously optimistic before seeing it. The Big Sick surprised me on many levels, it surprised me how funny it was, it surprised me how emotional it was, and it also surprised me how great it was overall, this is probably one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen (then again it’s not saying a lot).

I won’t lie, I really am not a fan of romantic comedies, save for a few like 500 Days of Summer. In order for a romantic comedy to really get me to like them, they have to really be well written and something different from all the countless generic romantic comedies that are dumped out every year, and it really does. The Big Sick is a very unconventional romantic comedy. This movie is written so incredibly well, the movie is absolutely hilarious with every joke hitting hard, the dialogue fantastically written. At the same time though you actually care about what’s going on with these characters. It felt so real and genuine and not fake at all. To summarise, this movie isn’t pretentious, it doesn’t succumb to any typical lines or moments that are in typical romantic comedies movies. Like don’t expect a montage of someone being sad with a cheesy sad song, when the film is emotional, it feels earned. The Big Sick also has some social commentary about many things including interracial relationships and religion, especially with Kumail’s family, and how Kumail has to abide by his family’s rules, as otherwise he might be removed from the family and never spoken to again. The drama and comedy are balanced out very well. If there are any potential flaws with the movie, the 3rd act does go on for a little too long. As for how accurate it is (as it’s based on a true story) I can’t comment, but given the people who wrote this movie, I’ll just say that it’s highly likely that its true.

The acting overall was really good for the movie. Kumail Nanjiani was hilarious and likable in his role (as himself), but also handles the dramatic scene very well, you really care about him. Equally as great is Zoe Kazan as Emily, Kumail’s girlfriend. The chemistry between the two is perfect, they are so likable and fun to watch. The supporting actors are also great, particularly the parents of Emily, played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. They were also so entertaining and also have some great moments.

I am truly surprised at how much I loved The Big Sick. It is fantastically written, hilarious, emotional, real, unpretentious and its just so great overall. If you don’t like romantic comedies, I still recommend seeing it, as someone who doesn’t like romantic comedies either, I thoroughly loved this movie, it is a lot different than you’d think this movie would be. The Big Sick is one of the best films of 2017 and is definitely worth checking out.