Jump to content

Iron Man Three a.k.a. Iron Man 3


Peter T Chattaway
 Share

Recommended Posts

My review.

I love that Ken's review features a picture of a Tony Stark action figure instead of an actual still. (That is an action figure, right? That head looks plastic to me.)

Ken, I think your review is missing a paragraph, or half of one, near the end. The second-to-last paragraph ends with a comma. (I'll delete this note.)

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 169
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm starting to wonder more and more if I should just wait for DVD...although I do love big summer blockbusters on the big screen, and yes, when I was young these kind of movies did light up my summer.

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SPOILERS (It's too much work to tag everything.)

Where to begin? I guess with something positive: I really enjoyed Downey Jr.'s and Guy Pearce's performances. That's about it.

I can't believe that no one has mentioned the Syndrome-esque origins and arc of Guy Pearce's character. After being turned down by his hero, he sets out to destroy the hero by building bigger/badder weaponry and giving himself super powers. When we first discover the human bombs in Iron Man 3 the score briefly quotes Hans Zimmer's Batman theme almost note for note, which I thought was a bad way to reinforce the rip-off of the Joker's prison escape in The Dark Knight. The discussion at the end about a "clean slate" reminded me of the program that Catwoman wants in The Dark Knight Rises. Finally, the Mandarin's identity is the lamest, stupidest supervillain origin story ever. He ceases to even be a villain, and is no longer frightening or even a remote threat.

Questions to ask yourself while watching Iron Man 3:

1. Where are the other Avengers?

You know, at the risk of losing an hour to writing this post, I'm just going to stop there.

As soon as Tony's home is destroyed and he's presumed dead, you really start wondering that.

2. If Tony destroys the arc reactor, presupposing he doesn't die because he safely removed all the scrap metal, doesn't he lose his power and stop being iron man?

3. Re: #2, how can their be sequels if he's no longer iron man? (We do NOT want a Men in Black II type sequel.)

4. Wasn't the arc reactor working? Why did it all of a sudden become a big deal to get rid of it?

5. Why did Guy Pearce pause as model 42 flew in? He had more than enough time to kill Tony, and could easily have taken out one more suit, especially if Tony was dead. I hate how superhero movies always require the villain to pause for no reason at all, because it's the only way the scriptwriters can get themselves out of a dead end scenario that otherwise requires the hero to die. (I'd love to see Joss Whedon do a satirical take on the plot holes and clichés of the superhero franchise, the same way he did for horror films with The Cabin in the Woods.)

6. How come Tony occasionally has to call Jarvis for suits and wait an inconvenient amount of time for them, but other times gets a new suit instantly as an old one is destroyed? (I mean during the final battle, not while he's chained up.)

7. If there are hundreds of Iron Man suits, how can Tony really be Iron Man?

8. Wouldn't it be easy for someone to reprogram one of the empty suits and use it against Tony?

9. As SDG noted in his review, if Thor's lightning bolt charges the suit to 400% capacity, how come the electrical shocks shut it down?

I think that's enough for now.

So basically, the same complaint we heard from various quarters about the Dark Knight threequel: Bruce Wayne spent too much time outside of the Bat-suit.
I thought of The Dark Knight Rises while watching Iron Man 3 for this very reason, and made the connection in my review. However, it's worse in Iron Man 3, where Tony is running around being Tony Stark ostensibly because his busted-down armor isn't ready for action … but by the end it's clear that he, ah, had other options. If you've seen the trailers you know what I mean.

The reason that trilogies are trilogies is not because George Lucas made one. It’s because by the end of three, you’re pretty much done.
I don't think it has to be that way. A James Bond-esque franchise is at least a theoretical possibility. Nobody's managed to do it, though.

I think Nolan came really close to pulling off a completely successful superhero trilogy, at least closer than anyone else.

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Evan C wrote:

: As soon as Tony's home is destroyed and he's presumed dead, you really start wondering that.

It never occurred to me at all -- especially not with the trailer before the movie, showing that Thor is preoccupied with matters on Asgard. Who does that leave? Captain America is off on some road trip somewhere, and Bruce Banner seems to be taking as many opportunities as possible to lay low and not excite the beast within.

The real question, I guess, is where *SHIELD* is after Tony is presumed dead. Especially if the life of the President is at stake. (Doesn't SHIELD ultimately answer to the President? Or is it some sort of trans-national entity?)

But then, I spent part of The Avengers wondering where War Machine was.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The real question, I guess, is where *SHIELD* is after Tony is presumed dead. Especially if the life of the President is at stake. (Doesn't SHIELD ultimately answer to the President? Or is it some sort of trans-national entity?)

That is a good question as well.

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sidebar.

This may be the best movie marketing tie-in ever. Just got this press release from Disney:

Marvel’s IRON MAN 3: INVENTOR and INNOVATOR FAIR ANNOUNCES FINALISTS

12 Finalists to Display Projects at El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood, May 3-June 19

Grand Prize Winners to Receive Awards in Special Ceremony on May 3rd

BURBANK, CALIF. (May 3, 2013) –When Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” lands in theatres, it’s going to have company—some of the brightest young scientific minds in America.

Disney announced the 12 finalists in the Marvel’s IRON MAN 3: Inventor and InnovatOR Fair, a nationwide science competition held in conjunction with the release of “Iron Man 3”, sponsored by Discovery Science Center, Broadcom Foundation and Marvel Studios, along with Visa Signature and the famous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood., On the evening of May 3rd, at the 4:30pm screening of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” Grand Prize winners will receive their awards in a special ceremony onstage at the El Capitan Theatre, hosted by Asa Kalama, a Walt Disney Imagineer. All 12 Inventor and InnovatOR Fair finalists will have their projects on display at the El Capitan from May 3rd – June 19th.

Like Iron Man’s alter ego, Tony Stark, these young geniuses are discovering and creating the world for tomorrow. And getting to be a finalist hasn’t been easy. Sixth through ninth-grade girls and boys across the nation were invited to participate in MARVEL’S IRON MAN 3: INVENTOR and INNOVATOR FAIR and asked to produce innovative, inventive projects based on STEM themes from “Iron Man 3” — STEM: (science, technology, engineering and math). The competition encouraged students to submit projects that aligned with the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering™.

Earlier this month, after judges reviewed over 300 science projects from all over the country, 30 semi-finalists were chosen. From the 30 semi-finalists, the panel of judges chose 12 finalists, who will compete for the grand prize awards.

Following are the 12 finalists and their winning projects:

  • Anin Sayana, Cupertino, Calif. – “A Novel Configuration of Carbon Nanotubes to Inhibit ABCG2 and Selectively Target Chemotherapy-Resistant Cancer Stem Cells
  • Arjun Dhawan, Newburgh, Ind. – “Walking with Sensors”
  • Audrey Harris, Nokomis, Fla. – “Opening New Opportunities”
  • Cassie Drury, Louisville, Ky. – “Exploring Cell Signaling in Wound Healing”
  • Chase Lewis, Chapel Hill, N.C. – “Rescue Travois- Saving Lives”
  • Emma Christensen, Greenville, N.C. – “Saved by the Bug”
  • Galen Lee, Cottondale, Ala. – “Solar Funnel Cooler”
  • Justin Abrahim – Pittsburgh, Pa. – “Ouch! Helmets and Concussions”
  • Maya Patel, The Woodlands, Texas – “Gauging Inferno Sprawl”
  • Megan Swintosky, Hatfield, Pa. – “Novel Mutations in the FLCN Gene in Cases of Familial Spontaneous Pneumothoraces”
  • Shixuan Justin Li, Lynn Haven, Fla. – “No Mo Squites”
  • Stephen Coyne, Knoxville, Md. – “Robotic Prosthetics: A Hand Prototype”

I have no idea what some of these things have to do with, but it's impressive.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The intense negativity from some here surprises me. IRON MAN 3 is, well, an IRON MAN film, with everything that entails. I had about as much fun with it as I had with the original. Its storytelling is quite poor (what they did with the Mandarin is quite a shame), but that's practically true of nearly all of the Marvel films, and at least--like THE AVENGERS--it has enough energy to sustain a single viewing.

One note: in his review, Steven complains about the fire-breathers being too "out-there" for an Iron Man film. The Iron Man universe now includes a Norse God, trans-dimensional portals, and aliens. It will soon share that same universe with a talking raccoon. This is to say: it's only going to get much, much weirder from here.

Edited by Ryan H.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One note: in his review, Steven complains about the fire-breathers being too "out-there" for an Iron Man film. The Iron Man universe now includes a Norse God, trans-dimensional portals, and aliens. It will soon share that same universe with a talking raccoon. This is to say: if this is too out-there for you, it's only going to get much, much weirder from here.

Also: as to the question of where are the other Avengers? Is that a question anyone ever asks when reading the comics? I mean, all these superheroes struggle against national, international, galactic and inter-galactic crises all the time in that medium and I think it's just assumed the other heroes are busy fending off their own problems at the time. I guess this is the first time in the superhero film genre that there's a true shared universe where this question would come up, but the answer should be obvious to anyone familiar with the comics methinks.

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't mean to be intensely negative on it. It certainly had enough energy to sustain a single viewing, but for some reason the plot holes bothered me more for Iron Man 3 than plot holes normally do in superhero films, especially regarding the multiple suits. The Mandarin's identity was a huge letdown that really annoyed me. The multiple references to New York, is what drew my attention to the non-appearance of the other Avengers, and I felt at least some of them needed to appear to dramatically satisfy those references. But since the Mandarin Pearce was targeting the whole world, wouldn't some of them have appeared? I guess I felt the film stole from too many other superhero films without offering anything new (The Dark Knight, The Incredibles, The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers) FWIW: I'd still give it a C+ or 6 out of 10.

I can take far fetched story telling in a superhero film. I only ask that the story work within the logic of its own world. Iron Man 3 didn't.

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mandarin is the aspect of IRON MAN 3 that works least as a story component, but I'll say this: it's a bold move. IRON MAN 3's Mandarin is actually a parody of the forms in which "terrorism" has been embodied in our blockbuster cinema. This choice deflates the story, and this narrative strand never quite comes together to form an entirely coherent commentary on the superhero genre's engagement with the idea of terrorism, but it's certainly a more provocative creative decision than I ever expected to see in the made-by-committee Marvel franchise.

Edited by Ryan H.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Evan C wrote:

: . . . Pearce was targeting the whole world . . .

Was he? It's been only two days since I saw the film, and I don't have a clear vision as to what, exactly, Pearce was trying to do. Wasn't he just looking for a military contract? I mean, he didn't have any plans for what the government would *do* with his product once he sold it to them, did he?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Evan C wrote:

: . . . Pearce was targeting the whole world . . .

Was he? It's been only two days since I saw the film, and I don't have a clear vision as to what, exactly, Pearce was trying to do. Wasn't he just looking for a military contract? I mean, he didn't have any plans for what the government would *do* with his product once he sold it to them, did he?

Oops, you're right: it's not clear how large Pearce's target was, but I did think his target was large enough that someone from SHIELD should have appeared, especially based on Iron Man 2 and The Avengers.

I was referring mostly to Pearce's comment after taking the War Machine suit: "I'll have the world's most feared terrorist in one hand and the most powerful weapon in the other." (paraphrased from memory) From that I thought he was eventually planning to attack the world, but that's certainly not clear from his actions in the film.

The Mandarin is the aspect of IRON MAN 3 that works least as a story component, but I'll say this: it's a bold move. IRON MAN 3's Mandarin is actually a parody of the forms in which "terrorism" has been embodied in our blockbuster cinema. This choice deflates the story, and this narrative strand never quite comes together to form an entirely coherent commentary on the superhero genre's engagement with the idea of terrorism, but it's certainly a more provocative creative decision than I ever expected to see in the made-by-committee Marvel franchise.

It really didn't come across to me that way. I'll agree it was an *attempt* at parody, but it didn't work for me at all, precisely because it never connected with the rest of the narrative. It seemed to be a passing attempt at scoring a few cheap laughs and then dropped from the rest of the story.

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mandarin is the aspect of IRON MAN 3 that works least as a story component, but I'll say this: it's a bold move. IRON MAN 3's Mandarin is actually a parody of the forms in which "terrorism" has been embodied in our blockbuster cinema. This choice deflates the story, and this narrative strand never quite comes together to form an entirely coherent commentary on the superhero genre's engagement with the idea of terrorism, but it's certainly a more provocative creative decision than I ever expected to see in the made-by-committee Marvel franchise.

It really didn't come across to me that way. I'll agree it was an *attempt* at parody, but it didn't work for me at all, precisely because it never connected with the rest of the narrative. It seemed to be a passing attempt at scoring a few cheap laughs and then dropped from the rest of the story.

I'm not saying it worked, or the film supported it. But I didn't expect to see much of Shane Black's usual penchant for cinematic parody/satire crop up in a Marvel film, at least not in such a big narrative decision. I'm surprised he was able to get away with such a huge bait-and-switch (I mean, for crying out loud, the Mandarin is at the center of the film's advertising campaign!).

Even if the film kind of tosses it aside, the notion is still there that this "figure" of terrorism is really concocted--giving the people what they want (there's that line about how the Mandarin was designed to fit the template of what people would expect)--by a capitalist seeking a contract. That "figure" of terrorism is actually a send-up of many of he cinematic villains that have been identified as terrorist stand-ins so far (Ledger's Joker, Hardy's Bane, Bardem's Silva--all with very affected, outrageous performances). So, essentially, IRON MAN 3 presents a notion that the fears of terrorism have been inflated (IRON MAN 3 does acknowledge the possibility of real-world threats in its mentions of Bin Laden and Gaddafi, which shocked me, since I would think that Marvel would want to remain in a more fantasy world), and the real present danger is capitalism without conscience.

Of course, this idea has some troubling aspects in light of recent "false flag" complaints about the Boston bombing, as Steven points out, though the film was obviously written well before that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ryan H wrote:

: . . . there's that line about how the Mandarin was designed to fit the template of what people would expect . . .

Because people expect a terrorist to have a Chinese name and a Southern Baptist accent. Right.

Again, the parallel to Star Trek into Darkness, where everyone has been keen to assert that it's about present-day terrorism even though the villain is played by a guy so British his name is Benedict Cumberbatch.

: IRON MAN 3 does acknowledge the possibility of real-world threats in its mentions of Bin Laden and Gaddafi, which shocked me, since I would think that Marvel would want to remain in a more fantasy world . . .

That's a fair point, though the first film did take place partly in Afghanistan, yes?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ryan H wrote:

: . . . there's that line about how the Mandarin was designed to fit the template of what people would expect . . .

Because people expect a terrorist to have a Chinese name and a Southern Baptist accent. Right.

That's exactly the joke! The stand-ins for terrorist threats in superhero films so far have had often had a weird mish-mash of nondescript exoticism and, frequently, insanely absurd voices. It's an idea of a master supervillain terrorist that extends almost wholly from American blockbuster cinema. The Mandarin, in all his preposterousness, is IRON MAN 3's send-up of the superhero supervillain terrorist.

That's a fair point, though the first film did take place partly in Afghanistan, yes?

Yes. But I don't recall any direct mentions of real-world terrorist figures, though. I could be wrong; I haven't seen the first two in quite a while.

FWIW, when Favreau was in charge, he was intending that the Mandarin would actually have been behind the events of the first two IRON MAN films (there are little moments here and there in those films that suggest a third party is facilitating everything; for Favreau, that third party was the Mandarin's organization).

Edited by Ryan H.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ryan H. wrote:

: The Mandarin, in all his preposterousness, is IRON MAN 3's send-up of the superhero supervillain terrorist.

That's too meta for me, especially in a series that *has* been semi-grounded in the real world, from the Afghanistan setting of the first film to the Bin Laden and Gaddafi references in the current film. The Mandarin might work as a parody of what *the entertainment industry* wants, but he does *not* work as a parody of what "the people" want or expect whenever there's an act of terrorism.

Completely irrelevant side-note: this is at least the third film in the last few weeks to feature Miami-based criminals whose screw-up tendencies function as parodies of the movies; the other films are Spring Breakers and Pain & Gain.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ryan H. wrote:

: Well, this is a Shane Black film. Meta is his shtick.

I guess this is where I'm out of the loop.

To me, Shane Black is the guy who wrote the original Lethal Weapon (which was nice, but arguably not as much fun as its first sequel) and Monster Squad (which I disliked at the time, but I gather is somewhat popular now with the kids who grew up on it) back in the '80s, and who wrote The Last Boy Scout and Last Action Hero in the early '90s, both of which I found rather lame at the time. (I haven't seen any of these films since they first came out, with the possible exception of the original Lethal Weapon, which I might have seen a second time on video when it was only a few years old.)

Iron Man 3 is the first Shane Black film I've seen in 20 years, and I wasn't aware that he had much of a reputation, let alone a positive one, or a recognizable style these days. (Yes, I was dimly aware of the existence of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is the only film he actually *directed* prior to this, but that's only one film, and it was made eight years ago.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mandarin is the aspect of IRON MAN 3 that works least as a story component, but I'll say this: it's a bold move. IRON MAN 3's Mandarin is actually a parody of the forms in which "terrorism" has been embodied in our blockbuster cinema. This choice deflates the story, and this narrative strand never quite comes together to form an entirely coherent commentary on the superhero genre's engagement with the idea of terrorism, but it's certainly a more provocative creative decision than I ever expected to see in the made-by-committee Marvel franchise.

It really didn't come across to me that way. I'll agree it was an *attempt* at parody, but it didn't work for me at all, precisely because it never connected with the rest of the narrative. It seemed to be a passing attempt at scoring a few cheap laughs and then dropped from the rest of the story.

I'm not saying it worked, or the film supported it. But I didn't expect to see much of Shane Black's usual penchant for cinematic parody/satire crop up in a Marvel film, at least not in such a big narrative decision. I'm surprised he was able to get away with such a huge bait-and-switch (I mean, for crying out loud, the Mandarin is at the center of the film's advertising campaign!).

The problem is that my expectations were low for this film and it could barely even meet those low expectations. Sure, the twist and commentary makes the film a little more interesting that it would have been otherwise, but it doesn't make it any better. In fact, it makes it a lot worse because the real villain behind it all is ill-defined and exists more to preach a message than to be an interesting antagonist for the hero...which is basically what Iron Man villains have been for 3 movies now. That's what I expected, that's what I got, and I thought this was the worst implementation of it so far in the series.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The intense negativity from some here surprises me. IRON MAN 3 is, well, an IRON MAN film, with everything that entails. I had about as much fun with it as I had with the original. Its storytelling is quite poor (what they did with the Mandarin is quite a shame), but that's practically true of nearly all of the Marvel films, and at least--like THE AVENGERS--it has enough energy to sustain a single viewing.

I hope I've made it clear by now why I think the first two Iron Man movies work better than this one. If I haven't, I'll need more goading than this to make it clearer. smile.png

One note: in his review, Steven complains about the fire-breathers being too "out-there" for an Iron Man film. The Iron Man universe now includes a Norse God, trans-dimensional portals, and aliens. It will soon share that same universe with a talking raccoon. This is to say: it's only going to get much, much weirder from here.

Ah, but a) as phrased my complaint was with fire-breathing as an "unnecessary flourish," a random touch thrown into the film pretty much because it was in one particular comics narrative and for no other reason. Norse gods, trans-dimensional portals and aliens that are actually part of a coherent, integral narrative and mythological whole are one thing. Supervillains with poorly defined powers are something else.

When the Hulk can't pick up Thor's hammer in the SHIELD helicarrier, that ties in with an established mythology from the Thor film (as well as long-standing comic-book canon) and resonates with other elements in The Avengers (from Thor's godlike stature to the shot in which Thor casually drops his hammer during his initial confrontation with Loki, knowing that he's the only one who can lift it). When Killian breathes fire at Rhodey, it's just a moment of random weirdness for which we need a Wolverine-like reaction line to keep audiences on board.

Also, b.) I complained in my review, "For the uninitiated, the effects of the serum seem kind of random and … non-Iron-Man-y, somehow. Maybe it worked in the comics, but it doesn’t feel of a piece with the first two films." This is not a complaint about the larger "world" that now includes Avengers weirdness, but a complaint about the lack of thematic or aesthetic unity with the first two Iron Man fims. Iron Man 2 credibly extended and expanded the narrative and thematic territory mapped out in the original Iron Man. The existence of The Avengers would not have prevented anyone from making a third Iron Man film that continued this trajectory.

: The Mandarin, in all his preposterousness, is IRON MAN 3's send-up of the superhero supervillain terrorist.

That's too meta for me, especially in a series that *has* been semi-grounded in the real world, from the Afghanistan setting of the first film to the Bin Laden and Gaddafi references in the current film. The Mandarin might work as a parody of what *the entertainment industry* wants, but he does *not* work as a parody of what "the people" want or expect whenever there's an act of terrorism.

What Peter said; see comments from my review regarding the relative realism of the terrorists in Iron Man. At all odds, it's a) anticlimactic, c) contemptuous of the source material, and c) leaves the third film without a compellingly iconic villain of even the stature of Iron Man 2's Whiplash. Give me Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell in that film any day over Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce in this one — and that's not a commentary on the actors generally.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found it mildly entertaining, but it couldn't overcome its rough patches. Even the supposedly big finally wasn't all that big to me because by that time, as touched on above, Tony Stark wasn't really Iron Man. He was simply a guy jumping into different suits that were more the computer than him. From a screenplay point of view the protagonist has to be the main person that deals with the problem at hand, but in this film this is regulated too much to those remote control Iron Man suits. They were the calvary that came riding in, to save the hero.

As well, by the time I made it to the end there were too many glaring plot holes that I had fallen out of the film.

A few that haven't been mentioned. At least so far as I saw.

1) I gather that we are supposed to believe that the Iron Mans that came to the rescue at the end were trapped under the rubble and unable to get out to help until it was cleared. But that leaves question as to how powerful they were. I find it really hard to believe that they couldn't have made their way out. Why didn't Tony find his way back to his home and simply get them dug out quicker?

As well. If all of these suits are there, just waiting to be set loose. Then how is it that they couldn't have flown out and wiped out the helicopters that were attacking in the first place?

2) How did the master computer, which seemed to be in Tony's basement at first, survive the attack when his home was destroyed?

A simple answer for these problems would be to find out that their was another underground level to Tony's home, where the main computer was busy finishing off work on the suits in order to get them functionable as they were in a worse state than the malfunctioning suit that Tony had. When Tony calls these suits instead of saying "it's time" he could ask "Are they ready". They then could have played on the fact that some of these suits weren't quite ready either and were malfunctioning here and there. It could have been more interesting and maybe a little funny.

3) Are we really supposed to believe that Tony's suit scans Pepper's eyes before she can use the suit at the start of the film and then near the end any old person can use the Iron Patriot, a suit used by the American military? Then the guy that hops in it knows how to fly the thing without any training. Then then, they somehow know that it can be controlled by remote control, and do so, even though they have no remote control equipment.

Then then then. To top it off, at the end of the film Tony says that only he can use those new Iron Man suits. Thus again pointing to the problem. It's kind of like watching PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE where the dialogue in the film actually unintentionally points straight at some of the films errors, just in case one was to actually miss it. If they had never even touched on these suits needing to have eye scans they could have made the hijacking of the Iron Patriot at least somewhat believable. It was poor writing, especially when there was no reason to have the eyescans even mentioned in the film.

To finish my thoughts. I found it strange that at the end of the film Tony Stark says "I am Iron Man" when he'd just gotten rid of the suits and the power source for them. What does he really mean by that statement?

Edited by Attica
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You make a lot of brilliant points, Attica, but I especially love this one:

: 3) Are we really supposed to believe that Tony's suit scans Pepper's eyes before she can use the suit at the start of the film and then near the end any old person can use the Iron Patriot, a suit used by the American military? Then the guy that hops in it knows how to fly the thing without any training. Then then, they somehow know that it can be controlled by remote control, and do so, even though they have no remote control equipment.

And all this time I never got past wondering how the bad guys "fixed" the suit so that no one on the President's plane would notice that Guy Pearce had had to damage it to get Rhodey out of it.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right.

Also, to add to my previous thoughts. Having those suits at the end slightly malfunctioning could have taken them out of their calvary role to a certain degree (without taking away from the cool shot of them flying in) and put Tony back into a more central place as the hero that solves the problem at the end.

Edited by Attica
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ryan H. wrote:

: Well, this is a Shane Black film. Meta is his shtick.

I guess this is where I'm out of the loop.

To me, Shane Black is the guy who wrote the original Lethal Weapon (which was nice, but arguably not as much fun as its first sequel) and Monster Squad (which I disliked at the time, but I gather is somewhat popular now with the kids who grew up on it) back in the '80s, and who wrote The Last Boy Scout and Last Action Hero in the early '90s, both of which I found rather lame at the time. (I haven't seen any of these films since they first came out, with the possible exception of the original Lethal Weapon, which I might have seen a second time on video when it was only a few years old.)

Iron Man 3 is the first Shane Black film I've seen in 20 years, and I wasn't aware that he had much of a reputation, let alone a positive one, or a recognizable style these days. (Yes, I was dimly aware of the existence of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is the only film he actually *directed* prior to this, but that's only one film, and it was made eight years ago.)

Would-be screenwriters and screenplay enthusiasts (like myself) are probably more familiar with Black than most. He has a very distinctive writing style, so his scripts have received a lot of attention. The finished films of his work do not always reflect his original intent, but his scripts are frequently interested in parody and satire (Black even intended the first LETHAL WEAPON as a commentary on the action films of the time).

I hope I've made it clear by now why I think the first two Iron Man movies work better than this one. If I haven't, I'll need more goading than this to make it clearer. smile.png

You've made it clear. I think it's just that you and I have very, very different vantage points on the series. I thought the first two films were pretty mediocre to begin with (bordering on outright lousy). So all of these complaints about this new film having a clumsy story doesn't quite register with me. It's like hearing someone complain about poor storytelling in the FAST & FURIOUS films. My response is, more or less, "Of course the storytelling is pretty frustrating. What did you expect? It's an Iron Man movie."

Also, b.) I complained in my review, "For the uninitiated, the effects of the serum seem kind of random and … non-Iron-Man-y, somehow. Maybe it worked in the comics, but it doesn’t feel of a piece with the first two films." This is not a complaint about the larger "world" that now includes Avengers weirdness, but a complaint about the lack of thematic or aesthetic unity with the first two Iron Man fims. Iron Man 2 credibly extended and expanded the narrative and thematic territory mapped out in the original Iron Man. The existence of The Avengers would not have prevented anyone from making a third Iron Man film that continued this trajectory.

But my point is that THE AVENGERS is now part of the IRON MAN series trajectory.

At all odds, it's a) anticlimactic, cool.png contemptuous of the source material, and c) leaves the third film without a compellingly iconic villain of even the stature of Iron Man 2's Whiplash. Give me Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell in that film any day over Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce in this one — and that's not a commentary on the actors generally.

I can go with you on a) and cool.png, but not on c). Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell were so, so, so boring in IRON MAN 2 that I don't think they're any improvement over the villains of IRON MAN 3.

Edited by Ryan H.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...