The Men in Black 3 trailer: 4 talking points

Will Smith returns as a suave, wise-cracking alien wrangler for the blockbuster franchise's third installment. Are critics jazzed?

Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and a crew of impressive-looking aliens are back for the third installment of the blockbuster franchise "Men in Black."
(Image credit: YouTube)

It's been nearly 10 years since the last Men in Black film, and almost four years since box-office juggernaut Will Smith was last seen on the big screen. Now, both are back in the new trailer for Men in Black 3. (Watch it below.) Just like the first two films, which together grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, the two-minute clip revisits Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as alien-monitoring agents, complete with classic buddy cop repartee and big-budget effects. The trailer also introduces a time travel plot, and sets up the reveal of a particularly inspired bit of casting. Men in Black 3 is set to open May 25, 2012. Here, four things critics are buzzing about:

1. The aliens still impress

The Men in Black franchise has always delivered the coolest looking aliens, and the latest installment will be no exception, says Kevin P. Sullivan at MTV. Case in point: The graffiti alien disguised as street art. Another "particularly nasty" E.T. with "an ugly set of choppers" also makes an impression, says Josh Grossberg at E! Online.

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2. But the time jump plot seems problematic

It's worrying that the majority of the trailer is spent revisiting the elements of Men in Black that audiences already know and love, says Katey Rich at Cinema Blend, waiting until the last 30 seconds to introduce the potentially wonky time travel plot. The "mediocre" trailer "makes me wonder if they're still working out the plot kinks in the editing room." I actually like that the trailer didn't reveal too much of the plot, says Mike Lee at Fused Film. The mystery makes me more interested in the movie.

3. Josh Brolin's casting is the highlight of the trailer

Brolin is "perfectly cast" as the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K, says Sullivan. The brief glimpse we get of Brolin is the "best reveal of the trailer," says Rich. It was smart to save it for the clip's final moments. With just one line, Brolin "nails the delivery and the grim facial expression" of Jones. The success of the Brolin reveal also proves that Men in Black is a strong enough franchise that it doesn't necessarily have to star Smith and Jones to get audiences excited, says Drew McWeeny at HitFix.

4. This may not be a worthy vehicle for Smith

Will Smith's "smartmouth shtick" can be grating, says George Wales at Total Film, but I suppose enough time has passed since the actor's last film to make it "seem charming again, rather than aggravating." Indeed, Smith slips back into the role seamlessly, says Rick Porter at Zap2it. Actually, I'm worried, says Oliver Lyttelton at Indie Wire. There were widely reported production issues on this film. Smith may not have been wise to choose this particular movie for his return to the big screen. The film's underwhelming trailer proves that "there's a long way to go before we'll rest easy." Judge for yourself:

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