'Men in Black 3' Reviews Not As Terrible As Its Troubled Production Had Suggested

Men in Black 3

Even thought Men in Black II was a box office success, earning more than $440 million at the box office world wide, it received mostly poor reviews from the critics (Tomatometer 39%).

Sony must have known that moviegoers who saw the second movie must not have high opinions of it either because they're allowing publications to release their reviews early for Men in Black III, hoping that the positive ones can help tip the scale in the movie's favor.

After all, if Men in Black III is to succeed at the box office, it will have to counter people's memories of the second movie and the negative press surrounding the third's trouble production.

In Men in Black III, Will Smith returns to reprise his role as Agent J who has to travel back to 1969 to save Agent K, played by Josh Brolin, from an alien out to kill him. Tommy Lee Jones is still in the movie, but given the premise, his screen time is limited. Rip Torn, who played the head of the MIB organization in the previous two movies, has been replaced by Emma Thompson.

So what do the critics say about Men in Black III?

Variety's Andrew Barker says after a difficult development, “the sequel survives with the original's spirit largely intact,” but it “does betray a few saggy, sloppy edges, and reigniting interest in the property may be a difficult task...”

Comingsoon's Edward Douglas thinks the third movie is “a harmless bit of summer entertainment that doesn't require a lot of heavy thinking and should offer fans of the original enough of what they hoped for to not be considered a dud.”

John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter thinks Men in Black III is a return to form for the franchise. He says the movie “easily erases the second installment's vague but unpleasant memory” and “recovers the original's magic.”

Village Voice's Nick Pinkerton thinks otherwise and says “one can pluck out a few pleasing distractions here,” but the “bland formula” of the movie won't leave a lasting impression.

Hitfix's Geoff Berkshire agrees with Pinkerton and says the special effects are squandered on a story that's “just OK.”

As of this writing, Men in Black III has a Tomatometer of 63% at Rotten Tomatoes, with 30 reviews counted, which is a huge improvement over the second's 39%, but is still short of the first's 91%. I expect the movie's Tomatometer to fall 5-7% on Friday when more reviews are counted.

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