A Chris Hemsworth Bomb Is Blowing Up On Netflix

People apparently love it now?

By Vic Medina | Published

chris hemsworth

Considering he has so many hits on his resume, it’s easy to forget that Chris Hemsworth has had a few bombs on his ledger. No, we’re not talking about 2016’s Ghostbusters – we’re talking about Men in Black: International, a big-budget misfire that will leave you scratching your head as to how a sequel in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time could have gone off the rails. It’s not a bad film, mind you, but it is often underwhelming. If you haven’t seen it, you can decide for yourself what went wrong. It bombed utterly in the United States, but folks with Netflix subscriptions in Mexico and points south are watching it so much, it’s in Netflix’s global list of Top 10 movies right now. Sadly (or thankfully, depending on your point of view), it’s not streaming on Netflix in the United States or Canada, but t’s currently available on basic cable – specifically the FX network.

Released in June of 2019, a couple of months after Avengers: Endgame set box office records, MIB: International should have been a summer smash. It starred two of Endgame’s stars: Chris Hemsworth (Thor, in case you need reminding) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) as the newest neuralyzer-carrying secret agents fighting extra-terrestrial threats. It had an impressive supporting cast, including Emma Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, and Liam Neeson. And yet, it seriously underperformed at the box office, with an $80 million domestic box office total. That may sound decent, but when you consider that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made $90 million on its opening Friday, you can see how the film fell well short of its potential. With a reported budget of $110 million, it needed its foreign box office receipts to barely make it into the black. By Hollywood standards, that makes it a flop.

So what went wrong? That is a really long discussion, but it starts with the script, which is basically a clone of the first film. A new recruit (Tessa Thompson instead of Will Smith) teams up with a seasoned veteran (Chris Hemsworth instead of Tommy Lee Jones) to save the world from an alien threat. It sticks with the same formula, with no real twist or update to make it feel fresh. Film fans weren’t exactly clamoring for a Men in Black sequel, much less a reboot, so without something new to interest moviegoers, the film didn’t set the box office on fire. Sadly, the one plot twist that might have sold tickets never happened – a crossover with 21 Jump Street. Sony wanted Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to cross over into the Men in Black universe, but when that idea fell apart, the movie became a spinoff with Hemsworth and Thompson.

Having Thor stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson leading your film will sell tickets, but apparently, only about $80 million worth. It needed a good script, but according to a story by The Hollywood Reporter, the movie often didn’t have a script at all. The initial script by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway was described as “edgier” and “more timely,” but it underwent major rewrites, including reports that actors were given new script pages every day. Hemsworth and Thompson even hired their own writers to punch up the script, and director F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) clashed with producers over the direction of the film. He even tried to leave the movie several times, and the chaos surrounding production showed on screen with an uneven, unfunny mess. That is one of the biggest crimes of the film; it is far too serious, and the jokes seemed to have been abducted by the alien stars, never to be seen again.

Critics, to put it bluntly, were not kind. They scored it a miserable 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, although moviegoers liked it far more, but still at a mediocre 66%. Angie Han of Mashable called out the terrible script that wasted the talent in the cast. She stated “For all its oddball aliens and fantastical technology, the most unbelievable thing about Men in Black: International is just how thoroughly it wastes Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth.” Matthew St Clair of Cinema Sentries used the film’s own words against it, saying “To quote Emma Thompson’s character, Men in Black: International feels like a case of deja vu dismissed just as quickly.” Still, the movie isn’t totally unwatchable. It’s worth a watch, and thankfully, you won’t have to pay extra to see it, if you have FX on your cable service. You can also argue with your friends which Hemsworth brother starred in a worse sequel of a Will Smith film: Chris in Men in Black: International, or Liam Hemsworth in Independence Day: Resurgence.