Now that the MIB 3 trailer has dropped, the movie doesn’t look that promising. None of the punchlines land with much of a wallop, the younger version of K (Josh Brolin) doesn’t seem to add anything new to the character, and there definitely isn’t a new twist on time travel to speak of. So with a trailer (and possibly a movie) that seems to play it horribly safe, it’s time to dig deeper into the preview for the faintest hope of what could make this film something more than a crash-and-burn cash-in. Below are the three frames that hint at the most potential for a satisfying Men in Black finale.
1. The big gross computer mice thingies floating over New York City.
The key to the MIB’s success is the organization’s secrecy, which has been burned into our heads since the first movie onward. As “big” as the climaxes of the first two movies were, their climactic showdowns took place in relatively quiet places, and out of sight of the ignorant masses. It’s hard to tell whether this shot of giant space ships wreaking havoc on New York City is from a scene in 1969 or present day, but in any case, it seems that even if the Men in Black defeat these ships, they’re going to have a huge problem on their hands in terms of keeping themselves or any alien invasion a secret. How the Men in Black could possibly neuralize millions of people to make them forget what they saw remains a tantalizing mystery, and could invite an epic effort we haven’t seen from the good guys in these films before.
2. The hamster wheel bikes.
From the short taste we get of the bike sequence, it looks like the adrenaline is back. Remember that rush of fun we felt from watching the black car go turbo (and upside-down) in the first MIB? It looks like someone remembered the appeal of having more than just gunfights and snark to keep the third MIB afloat. Because the vehicles used here are smaller and more prone to weaving between obstacles, there’s a possibility for having more close calls and overall suspense than the clunkier car of the first installment allowed. Let’s hope the bikes signify the kind of action that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
3. The world-weary look on Tommy Lee Jones’ face.
Miraculously (or not, if you’re at all familiar with the acting abilities of Tommy Lee Jones), Agent K is almost always stone-faced yet never a dull character. Jones has shown us that world-weary look before–in MIB 1, and it led to a plot development that was suddenly painfully personal and engaging. If K, whose steeled expressions often signify an iron grit, can look this visibly upset, then maybe we can count on seeing something that has a real emotional impact on the story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing much of Jones in the movie, but if what little is offered comes with the kind of character depth this frame hints at, then it’ll be well worth it.
Men in Black 3 opens nationally on May 25.