Set for release this week, “Men in Black: International” attempts to revive the sci-fi action-comedy franchise by ditching its main stars and following two new agents within that universe.
Along with the notable change of actors, bar Emma Thompson returning from the third film, the new entry also switches out Barry Sonnenfeld as director, replacing him with “The Fate of the Furious” helmer F. Gary Gray.
The results? Not good say critics. With 38 reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes, the new film has garnered the worst reviews of the franchise thus far with a 34% (4.54/10) score. That’s well behind the previous nadir with the second film at 39% (5.24/10) and far from the heights of the first film with 92% (7.47/10). Here’s a sampling of review quotes:
“‘MIB International’ commits an even greater sin than being mind-numbingly dull: it squanders the chemistry between Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth” – Ryan Oliver, The Playlist
“Men in Black International is a particularly rough film to watch, genuinely unable to tell a good, even moderately entertaining story.” – Josh Spiegel, Slashfilm
“Gone is the social commentary, and in its place is globetrotting sci-fi super spy adventure, empty but entertaining, and carried almost exclusively on the multimillion-dollar charms of its stars.” – William Bibbiani, The Wrap
“In terms of basic execution, “Men in Black: International” is a mess, and if the film were being graded purely in terms of technique, it barely passes muster.” – Peter Debruge, Variety
“The delightful chemistry Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth displayed in “Thor: Ragnarok” is nowhere in evidence in “Men in Black: International,” a stunningly inert spinoff from a franchise that, long ago, was a sleek, breezy lark.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International
“What makes it all so extraordinarily frustrating is that there actually is a concept buried deep inside this disaster that reimagines the dynamic of the original film’s two leads in a clever and meaningful way.” – Todd Gilchrist, Nerdist
“Men in Black: International” opens in cinemas this Friday.