Men In Black International’s First Reviews Are Galactically Bad

Sony had high hopes that it could relaunch its Men In Black franchise with help from Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. However, with the first reviews for Men In Black: International, appearing online, there’s an interesting trend appearing. Maybe the forthcoming chapter isn’t as out-of-this-world as the studio was hoping it would be.

Let’s check out some of the reviews below:

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn gives the sequel a painful D+ score, calling the film a “misconceived attempt to bring new life to a tired franchise.” He notes that the film launches the stars “into a bland variation on the same MIB routine, lacks the energy or ambition to make its intergalactic stakes into anything more than baffling cash grab. This misconceived attempt to inject a tired franchise with new life ends up as little more than an empty vessel.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich was slightly more kind, noting International was better than Men In Black II– but not by much. “Director F. Gary Gray reduces his leads’ chemistry into action heroics,” Franich explains. “Gray films this whole globetrotting tale with little flair or feeling.”

The Atlantic’s David Sims doesn’t hold back in his review, noting the film “buries” its stars. “Where prior Men in Black entries relied entirely on their leading actors, and not on the narrative surrounding them, Men in Black: International throws as much unnecessary story detail and clanging combat as it can at the audience to distract from how fundamentally boring the whole ordeal is. If only the movie had succeeded.”

Related:The New Men In Black: International Trailer Is Here!

Julian Roman was slightly more positive in his MovieWeb review. “There are sprinkles of clever humor, but the chemistry between the leads falls flat. This is an entirely unexpected flaw.” He also noted that “several plot points feel plucked from the first film,” something that continues to come up in several other reviews as well.

The Chicago Tribute gave some nods with its review. Author Michael Phillips writes, “Some of it’s fun. But the action is more straight-up violence than comically tinged action violence. (Previous director Barry) Sonnenfeld found a magically right balance of tones and styles in that first MIB outing, and he never quite found it again. Director (F. Gary) Gray likewise struggles to locate the right mixture, though you can tell he appreciates what, and who, he has in Tessa Thompson.”

Meanwhile, The Wrap’s William Bibbiani gave the film a positive review, mainly based on the weight of its stars. “You could cast ‘Thompsworth’ in an educational film about sawdust, and they’d still find a way to make it fabulous. Put them in a film with slick production design, fun action and a highly conventional screenplay, and you’ve got a truly enjoyable, albeit superficial, summertime treat.”

At the moment, Men In Black: International currently holds a 31 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 42 reviews. It’s unknown if that score is likely to rise. But with the current issues being addressed in the reviews, it’s not likely. Now it’s just a question of whether Hemsworth and Thompson can draw in moviegoers outside of the MCU.

Men In Black: International opens this Friday, June 14. Will you be seeing the forthcoming follow-up? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Viewing: Men in Black Trilogy on Blu-ray