H. A. R.
Berg here! Welcome to my innagural review to the newly renamed reviews page of the FUNNY website. We tried ManDate and Shitty Movie Friday but they didn’t necessarily work. I hope in the future weeks and months to have plenty of reviews here ranging from movies and music to concerts and books. Hopefully with reviews coming from the rest of the crew as well as some guest reviewers. Enjoy!
Iron Man 3
In the Avengers there is a scene upon the SHIELD hover-carrier where Captain America (Chris Evans) asks Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) if you take away the armor than what are you? To which Tony replies, “billionaire, playboy, genius, philanthropists.” Iron Man 3 attempts to answer this question. [get exact quote here]
In Iron Man 3, the first follow up to the Avengers, we get a different Tony Stark. A man profoundly affected by the events in New York and coming to terms with the “new” world in which he lives. Gods and super-humans seem to go against all that Tony believes in, but he must adapt and move on to stay relevant and useful. So, the movie....
This is not your typical Marvel movie. I would say that this is less an action movie and more of a psychological thriller. In fact, I would say that for about ⅔ of the movie it’s more Tony Stark than Iron Man. He appears in the suit only briefly. Focusing more on that question asked by Captain America. Who is Tony really? As he calls himself in this movie, “the mechanic.” The guy who is good at fixing things. That includes eventually fixing himself and his fractured sense of reality.
The acting! Everyone appeared to be on the top of their game. Stellar performances from Guy Pierce and Gwenyth Paltrow, Ben Kingsly and James Badge Dale as well as the expected snarky and quick witted performance from Robert Downey Jr. keep this movie flowing all the way through. It appeared that all the actors were relishing their roles. Sometimes in the past with comic book movies actors seemed to take their characters over the top and give campy performances. It seems the legacy of Nolan’s Dark Knight series that even if you’re in a fantastical reality you can still have a sense of realism. I think my favorite performance in the movie was given by Don Cheadle. It appeared that he had grown in the Col. Rhodes character and played off of Downey better than in Iron Man 2 where I felt he was too cardboard. Some might say he was the straight man to Downey’s more colorful add lib persona and it worked.
Shane Black. How hard was his task of following up the Avengers, completing the Iron Man trilogy (which is debatable), taking over from Jon Favreau, and avoiding the third act (movie) pitfalls. (See all horrible third entries: X-Men, Spider Man, Superman). Director and co/writer Shane Black, hand picked by Downey, took Iron Man and put his own spin on it. From the opening it was evident that this was his movie. Starting with a black screen and a monologue, set during Christmas, and the focus being character driven as opposed to situational. Black seemed purpose driven to give a different kind of comic movie that didn’t end with everything being status quo and “hunky dory.” Black also gave several unexpected plot twists. It was refreshing to not see the hook coming for a change.
The liberties taken that diverge from the comic. It is hard to write this section while avoiding spoilers. Let’s just say that by the end of the movie many story threads from the comic are discarded or altered. Though this is normal in the Marvel cinematic universe it appears that they took it to extremes with this movie. The need to wrap up Iron Man, Downey has contractually fulfilled all his obligations to Tony Stark/Iron Man, meant that they took story leaps that will forever change the character from what he is in Marvel’s comic universe. As well as overarching bad guy threads. However, for me, this didn’t take away from the movie as much as through the future into question.
Where the hell was AC/DC? For three movies, Iron Man 1 and 2 and the Avengers, AC/DC was the soundtrack to Tony/Iron Man. Nowhere in this movie did any of the bands songs get played. Granted, it being set during Christmas meant Christmas music but come on! Even I, not being the biggest fan of AC/DC, felt there should be at least one sonic appearance.
Happy’s mullet. In the opening flashback to Bern, Switzerland Jon Favreau’s hair was atrocious. The comedic effect was evident and Stark did make fun of it but wow.
The Wrap Up:
I really did enjoy this movie. I’ve seen it twice already and will probably see it one more time. My favorite scene involved Tony and a young boy in the Tennessee sequence where a joke was thrown at the young man involving his father leaving. I will not spoil it here and you’ll have to see it for yourself to get it.
Lance commented to me that this was less Iron Man 3 and more of Tony Stark 1. I tend to agree but also wonder aloud if we’ll ever get another Iron Man solo movie? Will Downey return to the character? He has said that he is getting rather old to keep up with the younger actors that are the principles in the other Marvel franchises. With the amount of money this movie has made and the faith placed in Joss Whedon for Avengers 2, I can see Kevin Fiege throwing gobs of money at Downey for him to make at least one more journey as Tony Stark.
As this is the first movie into Phase II, I’m left with the feeling that this is the beginning of several films that will throw all characters into disarray and ultimately ending with some resolutions in Avengers 2. I’ve long since had the notion that Marvel’s phases are in fact apart of a greater scheme that this is really one giant movie with the phases actually being the acts. As with all plays that are divided into three acts the middle is usually where the protagonist(s) are in chaos and doubt. I believe that before we, as an audience and fans, get to the Avengers sequel all the universe will be in question. Like at the end of the Empire Strikes Back with the revelations and our heroes in jeopordy we can only guess as to what is coming next. (For a good take on what’s to come check out Entertainment Weekly’s piece in the May 10th, 2013 issue #1258).
So that is my take. But, hey, what do I know....I’m only half assing it!