You can still find “Men In Black 2” quite funny or quite okay – but let’s be honest: After the outstandingly entertaining “Men In Black” the sequel was at least a small disappointment! All the better that it’s original director Barry Levinson, along with his original stars Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones, ten years later managed to smash it again with Men In Black 3. Suddenly, the franchise seemed to be back on track…
But there was also a very central problem: “Men In Black 3” was mega expensive – and despite the good reviews and enthusiastic fan votes, the film did “only” fairly well at the worldwide box office. But with a mammoth budget of 225 million dollars, “fairly good” just isn’t enough, in the end instead of around 625 million dollars, the box office should have come in at 900 million dollars or more.
So the Sony Pictures studio decided to give it another try, albeit with a much reduced stake. The expensive stars of the predecessors were replaced by the Marvel shooting stars Chris Hemsworth (“Thor 3”) and Tessa Thompson (“Avengers 4”) – and otherwise franchise newcomer F. Gary Gray (“Fast & Furious 8”) had to make do with less than half the budget.
But neither the stars nor the budget are the biggest problems of the reboot – they lie somewhere else… and you can convince yourself of this tonight from 8.15 p.m. on ZDF, even if we don’t really recommend you to switch it on.
The bottom line of our 2-star review is: “Men In Black: International” is a half-baked spin-off that seems out of date with its inconsistent story and partly mediocre effects.
We were even comparatively generous with our 2 out of 5 stars – after all, the film stands by us Rotten Tomatoes with just 23 percent positive votes, which is a pretty devastating verdict for a blockbuster with such hip stars.
But why is it? Did those involved really just screw things up? Probably not: Instead, a lot of things went wrong behind the scenes in general. Normally, with such chaos productions, it always takes around ten years before those involved come clean …
… but in the case of “Men In Black: International” the first unsightly details came to light just a few days after the theatrical release. Among them for example:
- Director F. Gary Gray wasn’t happy that Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones didn’t even appear in a supporting role for cost reasons
- A first rough-edged and contemporary version of the screenplay, which was apparently so good that the stars and the director agreed to the film, was later almost completely canceled. Instead, there was a run-of-the-mill adventure from the blockbuster retort.
- Almost every day during filming there were apparently sudden changes to the script – this caused confusion for the actors and so much frustration for the director that F. wanted to quit Gary Gray several times.
You can read more about the behind-the-scenes mayhem at Men In Black: International here:
This is a re-release of an article previously published on DashFUN.