The about-to-be-released Men in Black: International receives the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score of any movie in the over 20-year-old franchise. Those Men in Black, a secret organization of paranormal and alien investigators charged with protecting Earth, first appeared in comic book form back in 1990. The concept made the leap to the big screen in 1997, with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones playing a pair of bickering detectives dealing with the presence of an alien bug running amok in New York.
The original Men in Black went on to become a massive box office hit, grossing $589 million worldwide against a budget of $90 million, while propelling Smith to another level of stardom. Men in Black II followed in 2002, and was another solid success with a worldwide gross of $441 million. Smith and Jones teamed up one last time, and were joined by Josh Brolin, for 2012's Men in Black 3, which made $624 million worldwide (on a massive reported budget of $215 to $225 million). This year, the franchise has received a revival with Men in Black: International, starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as next generation alien-fighting, brain-eraser-wielding secret agents.
It remains to be seen if Men in Black: International will score at the box office like the original three films did, but if the early reviews of Men in Black: International are any indication, it will be an uphill battle. Thus far, the fourth movie in the Men in Black franchise sports a 30 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 43 reviews counted, the lowest mark of any of the four films. Under Rotten Tomatoes' new anti-troll policy, the film does not yet have an audience score. RT posted an official Tomatometer reveal on Twitter, which can be seen below:
Men in Black: International's 30 percent RT rating is a far cry from the original Men in Black, which carries a very strong 92 percent. The second movie in the series, Men in Black II, was a disappointment according to critics with a 39 percent rating (which is still better than the new film). Men in Black 3 was seen as something of a comeback movie for the franchise, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 68 percent.
When enough verified users post reviews, it will be interesting to see what Men in Black: International scores with audiences. Historically, critic and audience ratings for the Men in Black series have lined up pretty well, with the original film being considered far and away the best by both measures, the third movie coming in second and the second movie trailing by a long way. It remains to be seen what any of this means for the future of the Men in Black franchise, but if the box office numbers reflect the critics' scores, then it seems likely Hemsworth and Thompson won't get a second go-around together.
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019