Men in Black 3 trailer goes back

Columbia Pictures has released the first theatrical trailer for its upcoming action sci-fi sequel, Men in Black 3.

It includes the clips we we saw about a month ago when the extended trailer hit the web, but this is the version we’re going to be seeing in the preview reels at the theaters starting sometime this month.

I was hoping that this trailer would show us a bit more of young K. It’s strange to hear Tommy Lee Jones’ voice coming out of Josh Brolin’s face, and I want to see if catching some further scenes will make it a more comfortable fit.

Also, it seems like most of the film is going to take place in the past with Agent J working with a forty years past version of Agent K, and this trailer mostly just shows us the opening scenes of the film, which establish the mission. J is going to have to save K from something in the past, something only J knows has happened, since he seems to be the only one who is aware that K is ‘missing’. 

I’m not sure I like the premise. I love time travel stories, but Men in Black is not a time travel story, it’s an alien invaders story. Introducing the concept of time travel into a franchise which didn’t have it before is risky and almost always prompts savvy audience members to ask: “If you have a time-machine, why don’t you always fix everything with it?” Star Trek, Harry Potter, Supernatural. These are just a few great franchises with huge, gaping plot holes caused by the introduction of time travel to the plot.

Most stories adopt some kind of policy about time travel, and how making changes in the past is a bad idea, and Men in Black will likely be no exception. They’ll come up with some hare-brained explanation of why it’s okay “just this once” – probably that the bad guys changed it first and the good guys are only changing it back – but it still raises lots of questions and plot-holes.

It’s a science fiction comedy, however, so we’ll all have to try not to take it too seriously. 

The official synopsis of the film is thus:

In Men in Black 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back… in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K’s life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him – secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind.

Men in Black 3 hits theaters May 25, 2012.