Men in Black: International, the fourth film in the Men in Black film franchise starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, and Emma Thompson, finally arrived in theaters earlier this month on June 14. Bringing the Men in Black world into 2019 and pitting a whole new crew of MiB agents, aliens friends and foes on yet another almost impossible mission to save the world, Men in Black: International was a wild ride of a recent franchise entry.
Despite the rather lifeless run (so far) at the box office and middling to negative reviews, Men in Black: International does offer something fun and very much full of life within the movie itself: a fun, upbeat soundtrack featuring an eclectic mix of pop and techno. In addition to the two songs featured in trailers for the film — Missy Elliot & Pharrell's "WTF (Where They From)" and Fergie's "London Bridge" — Men in Black: International's soundtrack not only injects some life into the film but, because it features songs from the 1980s all the way up to the present day, there is a sense that the nostalgia-meets-modernity tone of the film has also carried over to the soundtrack.
In addition to Danny Elfman's instrumental score and the aforementioned songs from the trailers, these songs are featured in Men In Black: International and the soundtrack:
- "Sex Shooter" - Apollonia 6
- "Bubblin'" - Anderson .Paak
- "Elégie in E Flat Major, Op. 3, No. 1" - Sergei Rachmaninoff
- "I Got U" - Mike Sabath
- "Boneless" - Steve Aoki, Chris Lake, Tujamo
- "Diddy Rock" - Sean "Diddy" Combs, Timbaland, Twista, and Shawnna
Similar to the way Men In Black: International begins in the mid-90s and goes through to the present day, listening to the soundtrack is like taking a journey through recent pop and electronic music. With the notable exception of Rachmaninoff's "Elégie in E Flat Major, Op. 3, No. 1," which breaks through the pop milieu, the other five songs feel like a trip through recent pop music history.
The soundtrack starts off strong with the Prince-penned, Apollonia 6-sung "Sex Shooter", whose funk guitars underline the provocative lyrics of the song and give some panache to the earliest moments of the film. Anderson .Paak's "Bubblin'" also pops up early on in the soundtrack. "Bubblin'" is a song that brims with swagger, featuring lyrics like "Look at me baby/Look at me baby/Don't I look like a million/I'm 'bout to clean out the safe" which seem to mirror Molly's (Tessa Thompson) journey from an average citizen in search of the truth about the Men in Black to Agent M, the new recruit who is assured she will thrive in her new job.
Of course a dour bit of classical music in the form of Rachmaninoff's "Elégie in E Flat Major, Op. 3, No. 1" comes in when the Molly arrives in London and begins working with Agent H (Hemsworth) but things pick right back up when the new partners are put into a high-octane chase to take down the villains known collectively as The Hive. Things get a serious injection of life when Aoki's "Boneless", a techno song that's big on booming bass, comes on the scene and the soundtrack ends on a nostalgic, early '00s high note with Diddy's "Diddy Rock."
Between the riches of Elfman's score and the songs from the Men in Black: International soundtrack, getting into the right headspace to tune out the negative reviews and have some fun with Agents M and H is easier than ever.