Iron Man 3, because it had to happen eventually

Saw the latest Iron Man last Friday, in 2D–I heard the 3D wasn’t really worth it from some trusted sources. This made getting the ticket interesting, because the regular 2D version was noted as “Iron Man 3 D”. Apparently the “D” stands for digital. I think I can be forgiven for being confused, though.

Borrowed from marvel.com/ironman3

Overall verdict: The movie was pretty good, but flawed.

Pros:

– I can’t talk about the part that I liked best, because it’s too spoilery. People who saw the movie (which by now might be half of America, for all I know) should be able to get it from this: the villain’s reveal. Because we have expectations, and it’s about time a movie used them to play us, just to let us know how silly we are.

– Almost all of the (many, many) jokes were genuinely funny, even to me. There was a lot of laughter in that theater.

– War Machine. No idea why, but for some reason, I really liked him in this movie.

– There were a couple of inventive action scenes that caught my eye. They weren’t necessarily realistic, but who goes into an action movie expecting that?

Cons:

– There was a little too much focus on substance over style. I wasn’t getting enough emotion or characterization from the story.

– The jokes were all individually funny, but together, they were too many too often. It was overkill. Moreover, they were prioritized above pretty much any other part of the story. Some jokes that they made were funny, but didn’t belong in the story. They weren’t glaringly out of character, or anything, but they were just off enough to mess with my suspension of disbelief. I laughed, but while I was laughing, I knew that this joke was made at the expense of realism. Because in a realistic situation, it should never have been made and was an inappropriate thing to say to a kid like that (yes, even for Tony Stark). Okay, yeah, I’m thinking of one in particular. Tony met a kid who’s dad had walked out on him, and subjected the boy to his own personal brand of comfort.

While Tony Stark isn’t my favorite character by any means, he wouldn’t make such a good hero if his characterization was that he was just an asshole. He plays up his own personal brand of douchiness because that’s how he wants to come off, but he’s out to annoy people rather than to seriously hurt anyone. And that’s a distinction that didn’t come across in this scene, or anywhere else in this movie, for that matter.

– One of the characters had no place being in the movie. She literally did nothing significant. Yes, there were a couple of nice scenes I really did like with her. But playing up a character like that, making her seem like she’s going to have any impact on the plot at all–maybe some follow through would have been nice. It wouldn’t even be that hard. They had a perfect opportunity for her to actually do something that was more than talk that never amounted anything. I was sitting there expecting it. I’d have preferred it if they kept the character and just changed that scene to make her matter, but if she had to be insignificant, I’d rather her not be in the movie at all.

Some instinct tells me this is the kind of character that usually gets cut before making it into books.

And there’s my run down. Anyone else see the movie? What did you like or dislike about it?

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3 Responses to Iron Man 3, because it had to happen eventually

  1. Psycho Gecko says:

    I did not care for their treatment of the Mandarin, so I have to disagree with you about one of those.

    Kind of an odd thing to play against considering that Iron Man has had to fight off aliens alongside a Norse God, a Gamma-irradiated superstrong monster, and an unfrozen WW2 super soldier wearing a red, white, and blue outfit.

    Also didn’t much like them turning War Machine into Iron Patriot.

    Considering what they did with that one organization in there, and that one virus in there, and the characters that invented it, it seems like this person wanted to give a very shallow shout out to the comics without actually giving a damn about them.

    Then again, that’s normal for them at this point with Iron Man. I mean, his origin is naturally subject to change given the sliding calendar for comic books, but after awhile, doesn’t it turn into the movie equivalent of “Harry Potter and the Wolfman Save Kwanzaa”? At some point, don’t the movies sound more like fake Chinese versions sold to people who don’t know any better?

    And come on, people, they can’t even bother with the Demon in a Bottle stuff or Armor Wars?

    • Marie Erving says:

      NOTE: Spoilers in this comment.

      I’ve actually heard differing opinions on the treatment of the Mandarin. I go with it being a good thing because I was watching them build up the terrorist thing with a character most audience members would probably interpret as Muslim, and was thinking “this again…?” Him turning out to be a British actor, much like the actor playing him, contrary to expectations–that was a good thing reminder for a big movie like this to make in today’s America.

      For most people who didn’t like the Mandarin story, it seemed to be because of the departure from the comics. That brings up the question of whether or not this character should have been called Mandarin at all. The problem might be that they were trying to tell a modern story for today’s audience by adapting a character made in the 60s. They could have just made him a totally new character. I guess maybe that seemed riskier to them?

      At least one person I know didn’t like the Mandarin story because it meant the villain was a scientist, again.

      • Psycho Gecko says:

        I guess I can see the idea of changing the character so much because of it being a sign of the times. After all, he was a Fu Manchu ripoff. That’s why I thought their design of the character was done so well at first.

        But Tony Stark does tend to have scientists in there. Justin Hammer, for instance, wasn’t supposed to be an incompetent weapons designer. In the comics, he was basic an older, much more secretive version of Stark who had begun to secretly upgrade supervillains’ armor and weapons while also finding a way to remotely control the Ironman armor to frame Ironman and create more favorable situations for his own company.

        The Mandarin was also always a scientist. Not perhaps explicitly so, as a guy studying at so and so university (go fighting So and Sos!) but he did use up his family’s fortune having himself educated in science, and then he extensively studied alien technology he found, including his ten rings, all of which give him a different power. They really had to nerf the guy for the movies though.

        The Living Laser was a scientist who specialized in lasers who developed them for offensive use, as well as to project illusions and make himself invisible, up until his entire body got converted to laser somehow.

        There’s also the Porcupine, a scientist who designed armor in imitation of well you know what. He created a suit that could fire quills or weapons through quills, and then, sure the government wouldn’t compensate him for his brilliance, set out to a life of crime. So there’s that.

        There’s also Blizzard, a Hungarian scientist who studies cryonics at Stark’s company and is fired after attempting to embezzle from the company to fund his research even more. Then he creates a suit with all kinds of cold technology in it.

        Another foe of Iron Man is the Ghost, although his origins are a bit more ambiguous, partially because he’s covered it up a lot, but he was supposedly a programmer/engineer/researcher at some IT company who figured out some new kind of processor. After a messed up series of events that fused a bunch of the processors to his body, he grew to hate corporations in general and became an anticorporate criminal. Stark’s villains tend in some way to be involved in a corporation, after all. Even in the movies. 1st movie? Stane’s looking out for the bottom line. 2nd movie? Hammer’s looking out for the bottom line while using a guy from Russia whose dad tried to be a Soviet defector. 3rd movie? Whatshisname was looking out for the bottom line of AIM. Anyway, Ghost’s suit does some odd things. He and anything he touches can be either intangible or invisible, but not both at the same time. He’s also great at hacking.

        There’s also Ezekiel Stane, the son of Obadiah. Another scientist type, the creator made a big deal of him being the next generation of Tony Stark, though he’s a villain. He uses bioweapons and research into biology to upgrade his own body. Because of what he’s done to his own body, he doesn’t need as many calories, instead being able to use them to fire repulsors from his fingertips and regenerate himself.

        Finally, since we’re talking AIM here, let’s mention the guy I thought might make an appearance in the movie. MODOK. Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. He’s the giant floating head with amazing psychic powers and tiny arms and legs. Originally a technician for AIM, the scientists there decided to alter him and turn him into a vastly intelligent living computer in order to study the Cosmic Cube. It then took over AIM. Was more of a Captain America villain, but I’d say he counts in here too.

        I’m sure if I wanted to, I could dig up even more scientist villains, and that’s without even touching DC, but probably best to end it there. It’s not uncommon for Iron Man to face down scientists, however.

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