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When I watched the first trailer for Men In Black 3 at an ungodly hour yesterday morning, I sat stone-faced for a while, waiting for the sense that it was worth making yet another movie in the franchise that seemed to run out of ideas with the second film almost a decade ago. There was a funky-looking alien, there was Will Smith being sassy… all par for the course, and nothing I felt like paying to see. Then in the last three seconds of the trailer, the clouds seem to break, and a glorious song came down from heaven. For one shining moment, the frame was filled with Josh Brolin's scowling face. Suddenly, Men In Black 3 had a reason to exist after all.
We've known since the first set photos that Brolin was an eerie dead ringer for a younger Tommy Lee Jones, crucial to the plot of Men In Black 3, which has Smith's Agent J traveling back in time and teaming up with a younger Agent K to solve some sort of mystery. Given that the previous two films relied on the odd and sometimes fractious chemistry between the jangly Smith and the tight-jawed Jones, Brolin was going to be in the tough position of playing a youngish man who still had Agent K's cranky charm. And yes, in the three seconds of time he gets in the Men In Black 3 trailer, we mostly see Brolin nail Jones's Texas accent and stony facial expressions-- but still, he seems to have everything he needs to pull the impression off marvelously.
Men In Black 3 suffered a notoriously tortured production process, and given how lame the second film was, there's no particular reason to believe they'll improve things with the third one. But even with such a brief appearance in the trailer, Josh Brolin has given me reason to look forward to the film, not just for his impression of Tommy Lee Jones, but for the chance to see Agent K transformed into something fresh. Even if it's the only correct choice the movie made, it might just be enough.
Vote in the poll below to let us know if you're feel equally optimistic.
Is Josh Brolin reason enough to look forward to Men In Black 3?