Written by Tyler Lamb; Media by Zach Bonner.
Marvel has really made a name for themselves outside of the comic book realm with their (mostly) tied together cinematic universe. It all started out with the amazing, and to this day, one of the best comic book movies of all time, Iron Man, back in 2008. Phase one was finally completed with The Avengers last May. This May, we are treated with the beginning of Marvel’s phase 2, which will end with Avengers 2, but is starting with Iron Man 3. Will Iron Man be able to carry his own film after the very successful Avengers? Can he come back from the bomb that was Iron Man 2? The short answer, not really.
The movie follows Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) after the events of New York(from The Avengers) as he deals with some sort of PTSD from the whole ordeal. His coping mechanism is in his work, and he continues to make suit after suit, feeling there isn’t enough to protect him from the unknown he encountered in Manhattan. Meanwhile, a man calling himself the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is wreaking havoc, claiming to have intent on bringing down the president himself.
Most of you who are reading this who know me may think I have a bias owards the adaptation, considering I am an avid comic book reader. However, Iron Man is not one of my favorite titles and I have not even read an Iron Man book for quite sometime. That being said, I loved the first movie and thought it grabbed the character perfectly. The second one was quite the disappointment, but I didn’t dislike it as much as most of the critics/fanboys. Giving the third outing a new director, Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Lethal Weapon 2,3, and 4), sounded great to me, and also the inclusion of a fan favorite and comic classic, the Mandarin, was an instant sell. If that wasn’t enough, the promise of the inclusion of his multiple different suits seemed completely amazing and the shot of the flying in during the commercials got me as giddy as a school girl. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Man of Steel trailer, but it did the job. It is safe to say, especially after reading a good amount of the great reviews, that I was looking forward to this movie’s release. I attended the midnight showing at the local theater and waited, ready to be treated by a good movie. Here’s where I was wrong.
Now here’s the thing that bothered me the most. This character is funny, but he’s a certain kind of funny. Most people will say that Tony Stark is a sarcastic and snarky guy, who is almost always a jerk to everyone, but is behind the veil of actually being a genius. These people would be right. Apparently, these weren’t the people who wrote the script for this movie. What I ended up having to endure was close to 2 hours of slapstick comedy and goofy interactions. Why is there crotch shot humor in my Iron Man?! This isn’t supposed to be a kids movie! Now, the movie exceeds 2 hours, so not ALL of it was filled with this. There was the promised darker tone from the trailers from time to time, and that was a great change of pace. Also, there are interactions with a child that may seem a little strange with how odd they seem connected, are 100% the Tony Stark character from the past.
I find it interesting how certain things make it into the script of movies like this. As if they were up really late writing it out and just really wanted to get the scene done so they forgot what the had written five minutes beforehand. A scene that really sticks out to me is when the kid is first introduced, he realizes Iron Man is in his shed, and says “you’re technically dead” while handing Tony a newspaper that says something along the lines of “Tony Stark presumed dead” as the headline. After a few lines of exchange between the two, Tony asks the kids name. The kid responds, and this is the doozy, “Harley…and you are?” AND YOU ARE?? You clearly just acknowledged the fact that you knew EXACTLY who he is. Other things that seem to be just convenient plot devices are what can and cannot kill the main set of bad guys. Apparently unless it is the second or third direct explosion, or a unibeam through the chest, they’ll come back. Also, those that cringe at the incredibad Subway commercials featuring Iron Man, fear not! The line “all I keep thinking is: where’s my sandwich” is in the movie! And, yes, you guessed it, is put during a part where no sandwich is mentioned! No one was expected to give him a sandwich, no one was asked to get him a sandwich, he didn’t say he was hungry or wanted a sandwich, he just says it. Screenwriting at its purest form, folks. Lastly, there is a twist at about the 3/4 way into the movie that was kind of a big deal, but was executed poorly. Those who haven’t seen much promotion for the movie, or haven’t read the comics may not even get it at first. Oh yea, also a missile almost hits Pepper(Paltrow) and Tony directly and does nothing but knock them back a bit. I could honestly go on for a while about this stuff.
As far as acting goes, I mean they really did the best with what they were given. I can’t harp on RDJ too much for playing himself, because he was born for this role. Stan Lee himself has been quoted in saying so, so you know it’s true. Also, this part pretty much saved not only his career, but his life. Gwyneth delivers a solid performance, as does Guy Pearce, but you’ll leave wanting more Ben Kingsley. However, Don Cheadle has to be the worst thing to happen to this movie. I’m not sure if it is him I dislike, or his character, but I just found everything he did to have just an extra dose of annoying with this movie and every second of screen time he had was time I wish I had back.
All in all, the movie wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen. I mean, if we’re talking about plot holes or things that just don’t make sense in screenwriting, there are some movies I could talk about for hours(I’m glowering at you Les Mis). After seeing it a second time, knowing how bad it was, I enjoyed myself a tad more with the film. Basically, what I’m telling you is if you go in expecting it to be worse than the second one, you may just come out pleasantly surprised. I’ll have my fingers crossed that maybe the fourth movie will reach the level of the first, but highly doubt it.
1 1/2 scratcher tickets Harley’s dad went to get, out of 4
BONUS RANT: I want to take a special moment to declare how horrible the audience was at my midnight showing of this movie. First and foremost, there was a row of girls, specifically 2 on the end of the row, who were giggling at everything the movie threw at them. This was annoying and won them multiple glances of disapproval from not only myself, but the people in front of me as well. Lastly the specific group I would like to address, were the gentlemen sitting behind me. They were talking so incredibly loud I could not hear the movie at points. They too received the glare of disgust from me on more than one occasion. I don’t understand how you can have enough interest in a franchise that you can not wait until the next day to see the movie, so go at midnight, but talk or giggle profusely throughout the entire experience. How can you fully take it all in if you do this? I just…I don’t understand. My love for movies must be far too much deeper than the common-folk.
I did get two different articles for this one, but due to the fact that I don’t have the room to publish both, I went with the author who talked to me first. However, for a different author’s view, feel free to check out Matt Harper’s review.