We interrupt your regularly scheduled movie review to bring you…a movie review!
Namely of Iron Man 3 which I just saw less than 2 hours ago.
(I’m probably going to get a little spoiler-y so if you mind that sort of thing come back once you’ve seen the movie.)
*SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS*
*STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED!!! LIKE A ROTTEN EGG! SPOIL-ED! OR SPOIL’D (as Shakespeare would do)*
Here’s the trailer:
This movie is basically about stripping Tony bare, taking away his support (the suits, Pepper, Rhoddy, his fabulous house) and seeing what he’s really made of at the end of the day.
So, what did I think? Did it live up to the hype? Is it a worthy addition to the Marvel Film Canon?
Basically: yes and yes.
This is a very good film and they have most of the elements I think we want from Iron Man. There’s some good buddy-cop stuff between Tony and Rhoddy. (They were kind of frenemies in the 2nd one which didn’t really smooth the transition from the excellent Terrence Howard to the slightly miscast Don Cheadle)…(For what’s it worth, I think Cheadle did a really good job in this one and they do a good job of showing, yes, he is an active duty officer. He knows how to kick ass and shoot even without a fancy suit.)
Pepper gets to be feisty and competent and give back to Tony as good as he gets. Jarvis gets a slightly bigger part too, and I love me some Jarvis. There’s also chock a block of that wry humor we love so much. (There’s a great part when one of the henchman surrenders, “Don’t shoot! Seriously, I don’t even wanna work for them. They are so weird!” Hilarious.) And then, of course, there’s Tony being Tony. I think any fan of the Iron Man character will probably walk out of this film happy.
Also, for the feminists in the house, not only does Pepper not die (which I was a little worried about. How long is Gwyneth gonna wanna make these, y’know?) but Pepper gets some genuine kick ass moments of her own. Like, really kick ass. The moments are so kick ass I even forgive Shane Black for the part where he has her lying helpless for like fifteen fucking minutes waiting for Tony to dig her out from under rubble. (This is one of the screenwriting things: if someone, anyone, but especially if it’s your female lead, is trapped or held hostage or whatever you still have them doing something. Besides screaming. Screaming is not constructive. Even digging herself out or trying to would have been more constructive. But, like I said, that was a minor snafu in an otherwise excellent arc for a female character. /rant over.) But yes. GOOD Pepper stuff here. I hope the rest of the Marvel movies continue this trend of 1. Not killing off the female love interest. (All action movies don’t have to follow the James Bond example, you know.) and 2. Giving these lovely ladies some real, important, juicy, good stuff to do. Big round of applause for Pepper in this movie.
I also liked what they did with the Big Bad. Ben Kingsley was marvelous. Absolutely marvelous. As secondary villain, Guy Pierce is his usual smarmy, good-looking self. And I can’t say I minded the part where he was shirtless for the last half of the movie. (Yes, I’m shallow.)
So, what didn’t work? Well, at times this felt more like a Shane Black movie than a Marvel movie. For an Iron Man movie it felt like Tony didn’t get much suit time. Maybe this was them trying to give us more of the actors’ faces. Maybe they were trying to be different. I dunno. Oh, and WHY was this set at Christmas? Christmas is a crutch for you, Shane Black. You don’t need the holiday season to make a good movie. Let it GO, Shane. Don’t get me wrong, the action sequences were interesting and innovative and never really felt like action movie porn. But they also, about half the time, felt more like something from the Lethal Weapon series than a Marvel movie. I love Shane Black, don’t get me wrong, but there are enough tough/wry cop movies out there. When I go to Iron Man I want my f*cking Iron Man.
That said, they did find really interesting things to do with the suits, and there was a bit of musical chairs with them that I LOVED. (Pepper even gets some suit time.)
And now, the big blah: the kid. The freaking kid, man. WHY was he in the movie? What was that about? It didn’t really thread into the rest of the movie. It didn’t really fit with the rest of the theme. Was this a Jar Jar Binks thing? Did someone remind Shane Black it’s a “kid” movie and he decided he should have a kid? Really, the kid served no purpose and I was rolling my eyes through major portions of that whole sequence. Was Pepper pregnant in an earlier draft? Was this Tony working out his daddy issues? I just did not get it.
Also, I miss Coulson!!! 😦
(It’s just not the same universe without you, Son of Coul!)
Overall, though, the movie worked and worked well. I loved the airplane sequence. I love the destruction of Stark Manor. I love that Tony actually does have to deal with emotional fallout from having fought off an alien invasion and fallen through a wormhole. I love Tony/Pepper. I actually liked Don Cheadle. This movie helps restore the Iron Man franchise back to its former glory.
Now, I tend to rate Marvel movies on a scale of Captain America (the worst) to Avengers (the best of the best). Where did this fall?
Not as good as Avengers or the original Iron Man, better than Iron Man 2, slightly below Thor in terms of my enjoyment (and that might just be because there was no Tom Hiddleston in this. Hiddleston can vastly improve ANY movie, I’ve found).
I’ll tell you this, though, I’ll definitely be in line for the next one. 🙂
Overall rating: **** (I really liked it)