Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3

Or, Why Can’t Marvel do 3rd Movies Right?

When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

Director:   Shane Black
Writers:    Drew Pearce (screenplay), Shane Black (screenplay)
Stars:        Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle

What was supposed to be the 3rd great film in the Iron Man series turned into a pile of crap for this fanboy.  In this film, we get a merger of Armor Wars and Extremis and AIM.  We get personal vendettas and intrigue.  And….We get mullets!

In what has become habit for Marvel (See X-Men the Last stand and Spiderman 3), they screw up in the 3rd installment of a series.  While this one did not suffer from an over the top amount of characters (XMen Last Stand) or too much musical crap (Spidey3), it suffered from too much material in too short a time.  Bottom line:  Marvel doesn’t know if Downey is coming back (contract negotiations) so this may be the last movie for a while of Iron Man.  Therefore, they decided to throw a whole bunch of stuff against the wall and see what would stick.  Sadly, for me, as well as the Boogeyman himself, what stuck was insulting and a bit ridiculous, not to mention politically motivated. 

This story suffers from too many subplots.  We have the Extremis storyline (which Marvel actually stuck to overall fairly well in terms of comics).  We have the Mandarin (sort of…more on that later).  And we have AIM.  Well, we have Advanced Idea Mechanics, but I’ll be darned if I see any yellow hazmat suits with egg crate helmets.  And Guy Pearce as Killian, well, this character and the motivation calls the whole Iron Man Movie story into question. 

For one thing, Iron Man should not still be a bumbling novice when it comes to handling the suit.  OK, this one is a prototype, but do we honestly think at this stage of the game that Tony would design a suit that was basically helpless even at the development stage?  Also, how is it that Tony Stark became such a master of Kung Fu?  While tony should be able to defend himself, doing Jet Li flips is a bit much.
OK, to be fair, I’m going to break this down into What This Fanboy Loved, and what this fanboy hated. 

So, here goes….

What this Fanboy Loved:

Actually, Downey’s portrayal of Stark is spot on as always.  He strikes the right cord between ironic humor and arrogance.  His relationship with the POV character of Harley is funny and poignant at the same time.  There are some great exchanges between Stark and Harley, and this is some good writing in the film (which there was not enough of, at least in terms of plot and treatment of certain characters).  Also, while they were not the AIM I knew, it is nice to see AIM represented as a group of scientists.  Although Killian really makes them smarmy, but at the same time believable as puppet masters who manipulates behind the scenes.  The Extremis story angle was surprisingly well done with some nice twists. 

Two words:  HOUSE PARTY!

And finally….MULLET!

What this fanboy Hated:

This movie is called Iron Man 3, not Tony Stark, secret agent.  I almost thought Ang Lee was directing this film, we saw so little of Iron Man.  Tony is a genius, but he is not the MFer of the universe, ok?  Him leading a one man assault without the armor or JARVIS on a compound just doesn’t jibe, ok? 
I cannot stand Gwyneth Paltrow.  Never have liked her.  Yes, she does a passable job as Pepper Potts, but it is passable.  Since the 2nd film, she has disparaged fans and the notion of doing any more comic book movies, but she still cashes the checks.  I was hoping she would be dealt with with extreme prejudice.  But no, it became Pepper saves the day!  Ugh!  Why couldn’t they marry her off to Happy already and let Tony, you know, get his beak wet?

The use of Iron Patriot is meaningless.  Other than an excuse to sell action figures with the patriotic paintjob, the name change means nothing.  It is War Machine in bright colors, that is all.  This was a minor affront to anyone familiar with the Invasion, Civil War, or Siege storylines in the books.  We really could have done without the name change, and like Tony, I think Iron Patriot is lame and War Machine sounds better.
Joss Whedon himself tweeted how this movie screws up plans for Avengers 2.  Whedon tweeted after seeing IM3 “What am I going to do in Avengers 2 now?”  The fate of IM and Tony is up in the air at the end of the movie, even as there is resolution. 

With revelations about the Mandarin, who is supposedly the head of the Ten Rings terror organization that kidnapped Stark in IM1, the whole story of what we knew about the movie Iron Man is called into question, and quite unnecessarily.  Why do what they did when there were any number of ways to say the same message or do the same shtick with other groups or characters?  Which brings me to my biggest hate:
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT ON THE MANDARIN????  I was concerned with Ben Kingsley in the role, but as I watched the film, it was ok…until we see the “true” nature of the Mandarin.  Many fans were looking forward to seeing some great battles between IM and the Mandarin ala the 90s storylines with Fin Fang Foom, or even some stuff like the cartoons, but nope….what we get…quite frankly, is a joke….Seriously.  And, when it comes to why, it is all about the political views of co-writer and director Shane Black.  Check out this article and read how Shane let his personal politics and his Truther/Illuminati conspiratorial beliefs ruin the Iron Man trilogy and throw monkey wrenches into the Avengers storylines:( ).  As Mark Waid told me at Dayton Gem City ComicCon, don’t write your politics into the story, just tell a good story.  Shane Black takes what could have been a great story and basically throws it all to hell.  And Ben Kingsley, please just acknowledge you were channeling Dudley Moore!  I thought I was watching a parody of “Arthur” on Robot Chicken and not Iron Man 3.  Ridiculous!

More issues:  1- Why does Tony Stark need to be saved by Pepper? 2-Why the heck does Mark 47 needs to be charged when Tony Stark is wearing it? The Arc Reactor in his chest is supposed to power the suit! 3 - the explosion at Mann Chinese theater... dog tags should have melted. 4 - Tony Stark going thru PTSD because of the Avengers incident was NOT believable AT ALL. It was unintentionally comical. Downey Jr. is a great actor...for it to come out like that...falls on the director. 5- If Stark has been making improvements in his armor, why do most of them get shellacked quite easily in this film? 
6- Not enough Silver Centurion Armor!!!!!

Now, I know, some out in the net are saying, hey, your Mandarin may still be out there, because after all, the “greatest trick the devil pulled was making the world believe he didn’t exist…”  No, folks, nice try defending the indefensible.  Marvel didn’t have the cojones to have to deal with charges of stereotyping by making the Mandarin actually Chinese (the Chinese market is emerging for Marvel and is very huge) or the Arab market by making a bin Laden like Mandarin actually the main baddie.  Pathetic and gutless…..


As a piece of film, IM 3 is visually stunning and fast moving.  Downey does a great job and Cheadle, as before, is acceptable as Rhodey in this film.  There are some unexpected twists, but the biggest twist is not only unexpected but unwanted.  It was a major let down for myself and even the Boogeyman himself.  While those who just like the movies and have no clue about the comics may like the movie, they are not looking far enough into the whole plot.  What Shane Black has done is throw Jon Favreau’s original vision into disarray as he decides to use this film as his own attempt at spreading the conspiracy vibe.  As a moviegoer, it was ok to good.  As a fan of the characters, it really pissed me off.

If I weren’t a fan and connosieur of the characters, I would give it a 3 out of 5. 

Knowing what I do and how Shane Black pissed all over fans and the source material, I give it a 1 out of five shields.

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:

  1 out of 5 Shields
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