Unfortunately for Chinese ticket buyers, they haven't actually seen "Men In Black 3" -- at least in full.
Thirteen minutes of "Men In Black 3" were cut out of the film by the Chinese government.
According China's Southern Daily newspaper (via The Telegraph), a large section of "Men In Black 3" was discarded by officials because of how it portrays the government's position on Internet censorship. (Censorship about censorship -- it's all very meta.)
The offending scene takes place in New York City's Chinatown, and features Agent J (Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) fighting with a bunch of disguised aliens. As is "Men In Black" franchise custom, when the battle stops, innocent bystanders -- in this case, a group of Asian-Americans -- have their memories wiped clean to prevent stories about the aliens reaching a wider audience.
"This could have been a hint on the use of internet censorship to maintain social stability," the paper wrote.
It's not the first time China has censored a U.S. import: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" was famously cut because of how it portrayed Chinese pirates, and Kate Winslet's topless scene in "Titanic" was removed for the 3D release.
Of course, there could be a silver lining to the "Men In Black 3" censorship: by cutting 13 minutes out of the film, Chinese theaters can screen the movie more times per day -- which might potentially lead to higher grosses. Considering the film was a slight disappointment at the U.S. box office, every little bit helps.
[via The Daily Telegraph]
Rafer Guzman (Newsday)
The franchise is no longer the zenith of blockbusterism, and the gooey effects from Hollywood veteran Rick Baker look overly familiar, but "Men in Black 3" <a href="http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/movies/men-in-black-3-they-re-back-in-time-1.3736649" target="_hplink">remains an amiable comedy with some fondly familiar faces</a>.
A.O. Scott (NY Times)
"Men in Black 3" arrives in the multiplexes of the world with no particular agenda. Which may be part of the <a href="http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/movies/men-in-black-3-with-will-smith-and-tommy-lee-jones.html?partner=rss&emc=rss" target="_hplink">reason that it turns out to be so much fun</a>.
Moira MacDonald (Seattle Times)
You may be wondering what thrilling, creative idea caused the filmmakers and stars to resurrect this franchise. <a href="http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2018272584_mr25men.html" target="_hplink">The answer: none</a>.
Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
<a href="http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120523/REVIEWS/120529988" target="_hplink">It's better than the first one</a>.
Ty Burr (Boston Globe)
Brolin's performance is funny, masterful, confident, and more than a little unsettling. If one human being can sample another, <a href="http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2012/05/24/special_k/?rss_id=Boston.com+--+Movie+news" target="_hplink">that's what's going on here</a>.
Nathan Rabin (AV Club)
Sonnenfeld's mildly overachieving film isn't essential, but it finds just enough ways to justify <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/men-in-black-3,75576/" target="_hplink">its existence beyond the insatiable demands of commerce</a>.
Lisa Schwarzbaum (EW)
Sonnenfeld and Cohen move their baby along with an integrity and gait that ought to serve as a blueprint for other filmmakers <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20483133_20587728,00.html" target="_hplink">faced with the particular challenges of reviving big-ticket and time-dated hunks of pop culture</a>.
John Semley (Slant)
More like an attempt to reenergize a franchise than <a href="http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/men-in-black-iii/6302" target="_hplink">rebottle the lightning that electrified the original</a>.
Christy Lemire (AP)
When even the most charismatic actor on the planet can't fake excitement, <a href="http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/movies/152772905.html" target="_hplink">you know you're in trouble</a>.
Trevor Johnston (Time Out)
I'm still not convinced anyone really needs it, <a href="http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/90467/men-in-black-3.html" target="_hplink">but this is a respectable effort in the circumstances</a>.