Esther McCarthy reviews Men In Black: Internatoinal and Diego Maradona
Men in Black International (12A) ***
CHRIS HEMSWORTH and Tessa Thompson’s onscreen chemistry and sense of fun is not quite enough to save this bland, forgettable summer alien flick. There are moments of humour, and a delightful new alien character, Pawny, but this effort at a reboot lacks the sass of the previous films.
The pairing of Chris Hemsworth’s Agent H and Tessa Thompson’s Agent M seemed like an inspired match. After all, their onscreen chemistry in director Taika Waititi’s hilarious Thor: Ragnarok was pretty strong.
They do their best here, and are always appealing on screen, and are aided and abetted by a good Rafe Spall in support. But the story and the script are very uneven.
MIBI aims to bring the series in a new direction. Thompson is Molly, a whip-smart young woman who wants to sign up and offer her services to the super-secretive alien-busting agency.
It’s not long before Agent M is doing her best to persuade one of the division’s top agents, H (Hemsworth) to allow her work with him.
But he’s an arrogant type who prefers to work alone, while recent incidents have highlighted his tendency towards cockiness and recklessness, and damaged his once-legendary reputation.
The scenes involving Pawny, a tiny alien creature reluctantly adopted by M, are the most fun, and kids will love the colourful, quick-witted character voiced by Kamail Nunjiani.
There is humour and action in here, but it’s just not consistent enough to make the movie memorable.
Diego Maradona (15A) ****
In the terrific Senna, documentary maker Asif Kapadia showed he could get inside the heart and psyche of a sporting icon and in Amy, that he could contextualise the troubled life and death of singer Amy Winehouse.
This documentary sees him take on a new challenge - to deliver a warts-and-all film about one of sport’s most controversial figures, with the assistance of the living man himself.
From the infamous hand of God against England to the drugs use to his alleged links to the Italian Mafia, Maradona has led a checkered and colourful life.
Using hundreds of hours of previously unseen footage from the records of the footballer himself, the film covers all these areas - and then some.
The film centres its focus on the young Maradona’s period in Serie A with ailing Italian football giant SSC Napoli, which of course also included his notorious involvement with Argentina for the 1986 World Cup.
His footballing genius helped kickstart a remarkable period for the side, but trouble was brewing and within years there was a focus on the child he denied, his connections with a local mob family, and his increasing drug use.
You’ll rarely hear this reviewer lamenting the lack of talking heads in a documentary, but the film could really have benefited from some context from football experts and historians. Still, it’s a fascinating account of one of sport’s most talented and divisive characters, and a cautionary tale about the downside of fame.