Columbia Pictures and Amblin Entertainment are banking on a new, controversial technology for their latest film release, Men in Black: International. The much-anticipated fourth installment in the blockbuster franchise features a fresh A-list cast, state-of-the-art CGI, and the use of actual working "neuralysers" -- once-fictional devices featured in previous Men in Black outings.
The device, known well to fans as a sort of "memory eraser," has so far operated as a cheap plot-fixing tool by which the writers can maintain the idea that the MiB organization and the alien life it regulates function outside the realm of public knowledge. Simply put, whenever characters in the story are unintentionally exposed to the truth, a neuralyzer is produced and activated, removing all memories of the unintended revelation and bringing the story back to square one, fresh and ready for the next episode of mayhem.
Incredibly, while constructing one of these "props" using materials donated to the studio by NASA, Amblin special effects designer Mark Thompson stumbled upon a way to make the neuralyzer a bona fide reality. When asked exactly how his astounding invention works, Thompson explained, "I have no idea what you're talking about."
Now, with the simple click of a ball-point pen, a flash similar to one produced by a 1960's Kodak flashcube will erase the recent memory of anyone directly exposed. Without spoiling any real plot points, it can be mentioned that the final shots of the film accomplish just that. (It is highly recommended that the seizure-warning disclaimer preceding the film not be ignored).
"We believe this will revolutionize the film industry," claimed Michael Wright, CEO of Amblin. "People will want to see this movie again and again. And again. And again. And again..."
Lead actor Chris Hemsworth -- speaking on behalf of the cast and crew just moments after wrapping up production -- said that everyone is anxious for production to begin.
Test audiences so far have expressed no complaints, and have described the experience as something they are looking forward to.
Finally, critics who were given an advance screening seem to have formed a consensus on their opinion of the film. One such critic claimed he could sum that consensus up in one word:
"Forgettable," he said.