May 18, 2013
Yes, this isn’t our regular style of movie. It has nothing to do with Korea. I just wanted to talk about Iron Man 3, because – even though people are really seeming to love it – I had a lot of difficulty enjoying the video as much as I wanted to enjoy it, and so, for an Open the Happy video, I wanted to talk about why.
Spoilers ahead, obviously:
I don’t want to give across the impression that this is a bad movie. It was enjoyable. I liked it, but I found myself let down a bit. It would have been a great movie if it wasn’t called Iron Man, if it was a standalone movie, but – I think – because of the context of Iron Man, the movie was disappointing. I liked it as a Tony Stark movie, but not as an Iron Man movie, you know?
Look at Iron Man 1. Remember how satisfying that scene was when he puts on the first proper iteration of the suit, and he busts in on the badguise and shoots them all? That was like a “FCK YEAH! MURICA!” moment. It was asskicking awesomeness. Don’t talk to me about Iron Man 2 I didn’t like it. BUT: in Avengers, when he’s flying around New York, and fighting off tons of badguise, that, too, was immensely satisfying as a viewer. Here, we didn’t really get that satisfaction. We saw Tony struggle with his PTSD and talk to a kid most of the time, and then he Macgyver’ed his way into the Mandarin’s headquarters. Meh. Not the same. Just not the same. We got small glimpses of that kind of ass-kicking satisfaction when the Iron Man suits were tag-teaming on the roided out soldiers, but that last scene was so complicated for me that I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
Now, I’ve read thousands of Marvel comics over the last couple of years. Seriously, the two of us are hardcore comic nerds. Martina mostly focuses on Wolverine and X-Men comics, but I’ve been going through just about everything since the House of M series. I’ve gone through a bunch of Avengers and Iron Man comics, as well as the whole Civil War and Dark Reign series, so I’m rather comfortable with Tony Stark and Iron Man. I was actually quite pleased with how the movie played with the source material. When I saw pictures of Iron Patriot, I was excited, because Norman Osborne is a badass, but he wasn’t part of it. I wasn’t disappointed when he wasn’t included, though. I chuckled a bit. The best part, though, hands down, was the reveal that the Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley, wasn’t the exceptionally scary badass that he is in the comics. He was just an actor. Did not see that coming AT ALL. Ben Kingsley looked like him, even with the rings and all. Even when he said he was just acting I was like “Nahh, this is part of Mandarin’s grand scheme! Shit’s about to go down now!” but it didn’t. Really quite hilarious, in fact.
More importantly, I was really happy with how they handled Tony Stark’s PTSD. Not from a scientific perspective, because I’m not sure how accurate that representation was, but simple because there was source material available for them to use that they avoided: Tony Stark is a recovering alcoholic in the comics, and that could definitely have been used instead of PTSD, but it wasn’t. I was happy with that decision, because I think it would be too difficult to tie in. It just turned out that Tony Stark’s nemesis, Mandarin, is the one who was the alcoholic. Brilliant!
Lastly, the inclusion of Extremis kinda confused me. Is there another iteration of Extremis in earlier comics? I’m used to Extremis being Tony Stark’s nanotech armor. He’s got a bunch of nanobots in him that form the Iron Man armor (totally effing awesome, by the way), so to hear Extremis and Iron Man together, that’s what I assumed would happen. Instead, it was the bizarro formula. Maybe in Iron Man 4, Tony Stark will have re-calibrated the formula with his nanobots to make the armor? I’m not sure, but it would make sense.
Anyhow, that’s it. Let me know your thoughts on it. I hope I didn’t come across as angry, though I do passionately talk about movies when they don’t make sense. I don’t want this video to seem like Iron Man 3 isn’t worth watching, because it is. I just found so many things wrong with it. That’s just how I watch movies: analyzing plot details and especially plot pushing. Don’t even get me started on the disaster of the Spiderman movie. Hey: how the hell does a giant gortdamned lizard bring millions of dollars of science lab equipment into the sewers? Did he just smuggle that in his jacket and take the elevator? And, what: he plugged it in to the outlets with free electricity available in the sewers? And Spiderman’s phone gets reception in the sewers? Phones in North America struggle to get signal ABOVE ground, let alone below it. Garbage!