“Men in Black: International” (Columbia)

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson star in a scene from the movie "Men In Black: International." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Sony Pictures)

By Catholic News Service

Amusing and stylish sci-fi comedy teams an avid rookie (Tessa Thompson) and an experienced agent (Chris Hemsworth) on the titular secret force dedicated to regulating human interactions with aliens as they hunt down the extraterrestrials who assassinated a royal visitor from a distant planet.

Director F. Gary Gray’s globetrotting reboot of a franchise that kicked off in 1997, which also features Liam Neeson as the head of the agency’s London office, is a pleasant, lightweight diversion bristling with fun gadgetry and populated by off-beat creatures, including a pawn from a chess set (voice of Kumail Nanjiani) who aids the main duo. The combat is thoroughly stylized and the mutual attraction between the leads never even reaches the hand-holding stage, though Hemsworth’s character has a bizarre encounter with an alien offscreen.

While that, together with the sometimes-dicey dialogue, indicates this is best for mature audiences, it’s possibly acceptable for older adolescents.

Much bloodless violence, a couple of gruesome images, implied nonmarital sexual activity, a few mild oaths, occasional crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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