“R.S Belcher has done a tremendous job of novelizing the film’s screenplay and should be commended for what really is a sterling effort”
I’m so happy that the movie tie-in novel is having a comeback. Years ago, the bookshelves were full to the brim with them. The latest blockbuster film is about to open at the movies? Here, buy and read the tie-in novel! Most were shameless cash-ins that had nothing to do with the film (I’m looking at you, Lethal Weapon) or had been renamed to attach themselves to the new film (Walther Wagers novel 57 minutes was re-released and had its title changed to Die Hard 2) but some were diamonds amongst the coal. They complemented the film perfectly and even added to it. Recently, novelisations of ‘The Predator‘ and ‘Halloween‘ (2018) have hit the bookshelves and not only enhance the film but they added to it. ‘The Predator‘ gave us a version of what we would have seen on the screen had 20th Century Fox not interfered and changed a lot of what we saw on screen. And it was miles better than the finished product. ‘Halloween‘ gave the reader an insight into the thoughts of Michael Myers and enhanced the film by including scenes that were edited from the final film version. Both are worthy of spending your cash on.
Men In Black International: The Official Movie Novelisation | By R.S Belcher
Now we have the novelisation of this years ‘Men In Black International‘. Written by R.S Belcher based on the screenplay by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the book is a pleasant little time waster and a really good read. Ok, it won’t win any literary awards or become a best seller but its worthy of sitting down and reading nonetheless. The novel also has the bonus of including a prequel short story at the end of the main text which is a welcome addition and worthy of inclusion.
The story is simple. We start back in 2015 and meet two of our main characters in High-T and Agent H. Both men are in Paris to investigate and to prevent an invasion by the alien entity known as ‘The Hive’ (Weren’t they the villains in Star Trek: Beyond?). After battling to close the portal through which The Hive attempt to start their invasion and destruction of the Earth, High-T and H successfully prevent the alien threat from their deadly mission. This earns High-T the promotion to become the head of MIB operations in London and brings almost godlike hero status to H.
We are then transported back twenty years to Brooklyn, New York. It is here we will discover our third main protagonist in the shape of a young girl called Molly. Molly’s parents have called in the authorities after seeing something not of this world in their backyard. Of course, the Men In Black arrive instead of the normal authorities and neuralyize Molly’s parents into thinking its nothing but a racoon. Molly, however, has been studying the earth and outer space and is believed to be asleep upstairs. She isn’t however and is missed by the MIB’s which, even though they are not named but is rather implied, by Agents J and K. Molly also has the alien in her bedroom and is shielding it from the agents. She lets the alien creature, a small furry thing escape, to which the creature says something in its own language (This is important later on) and escapes into the night.
Returning to the present day, Molly is obsessed with finding the Men In Black and has tracked them to a deserted street that runs parallel to the Manhatten Bridge. Here she discovers that her obsession isn’t fruitless and leads her to follow some of the agents back to their HQ. Attempting to infiltrate the facility in her own version of the MIB uniform, she manages to get inside but is discovered and is brought before Agent O, the head of the New York branch. Managing to convince O that she could be a MIB agent, Molly is sent on a probationary posting to London and to High-T. At first, her duties are on a switchboard, taking calls from Earth dwelling aliens but one day, she comes into contact with H. Forcing her way into being sent on a mission with him, she is present at the assassination of an alien royal in London by two shape-shifting alien twins. The alien royal hands Molly, Now known as Agent M, a small puzzle box, telling her to trust no one and to keep it from H as he isn’t the man he used to be and cannot be trusted.
The rest I shall leave for the reader to discover but the book is really entertaining, amusing and worthy of the reader’s attention. It’s not a long book by any means but what it contains is a fun, thrilling ride. And to Belcher’s credit, he doesn’t skip on detail, managing to project the images into the mind of the reader to great effect. The novel skips along at a good pace and never wears out its welcome. The author has done a tremendous job of novelizing the film’s screenplay and should be commended for what really is a sterling effort. There are no real surprises contained within the pages but what is presented will appeal to all. My opinion is the book is aimed at a mid-teen market or a collector of movie tie-in novels but it doesn’t make much difference in the end. The way R.S Belcher presents the facts and the events to us in the book is a welcome distraction for a few hours or at the most, a few days and is worth reading before joining your collection of books on your shelves. Short, memorable for a while but completely harmless fun nonetheless.
Men In Black International: The Official Movie Novelisation by R.S Belcher is published by Titan Books and is available to buy NOW!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Indiana Jones and Horror movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!