Men in Black 3 video leans the unicycle

Columbia Pictures has released the first promotional clip from its upcoming action sci-fi sequel, Men in Black 3.

In this scene, J and K’s car is destroyed (in 1969) by a badguy on a motorcycle, when K reveals the emergency transportation stored under the chassis of the car, allowing the chase to continue.

A big part of Men in Black has been their use of odd techie tools, guns, and vehicles which are fanciful, and usually very yesterday’s-world-of-tomorrow looking. So what kind of toys do they get when the story goes back to 1996?

Well, it seems like most of their futuristic stuff should be items that people of 2012 already take for granted, but apparently it’s just a different set of fanciful stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing what other crazy things they have sitting around for J to be surprised by – as well as what cool things J is now used to that he’s going to be forced to do without.

It’s also nice to get a bit more of Josh Brolin as Young K here. I’m starting to get used to hearing Tommy Lee Jones’ voice coming out of Brolin’s face but when I first saw him in the original teaser, it just seemed too unnatural.

In addition, we get a bit of a clue to the main plot here (the going back in time bit is just a subplot, almost a gimmick). It seems that J & K have to stop an invasion and world annihilation by keeping a particular alien away from some dodad… Again. 

Of course the film will be fun to watch, but I for one already know I’m going to have to turn off my thinking cap while I watch. 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 hair-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 just a action-adventure buddy comedy, however, so turning off my inner nitpicker shouldn’t be too hard.

The theatrical trailer:

The official synopsis of the film:

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.


Two more clips showed up on the web just as we posted this one. You can watch them below: