Thursday, May 2, 2013




I never thought I'd have to type this statement. I joked about it, but was never serious. But, here goes: I hated Iron Man 3.

Let me preface this by saying I've been a giant fan of the Marvel films to now, and am a huge comic fan. This film was Marvel's first stumble in their universe. There were only a few ways to ruin what was surprisingly one of the best comic book to movie conversions, and they made sure to check every single way off of the list. The film was bloated with one liners (one every now and again is OK, but after every line is a bit much), contained unneeded plot twists, too many villains and so much CGI that the action scenes were confusing and scattered (a la Transformers).

This film was the first under the helm of Shane Black, writer of The Last Boyscout, the Lethal Weapon Series and writer and director of the majorly overlooked Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The script came off like Lethal Weapon in mech suits. The loose cannon hero that blows up a bit too much, but gets results. His black sidekick that is a bit more rooted, more trained and acts as the voice of reason. The wife that feels that she's losing her husband to his job. The villain turned snitch used purely for comedic effect. The huge climactic shoot out in a ship yard. All of this sound familiar?

The film starts great, and in the first 30 minutes I was enjoying it. The Mandarin was a great take on a Bin Ladden style terrorist hijacking the US's airwaves and publicly executing CEOs, with the world watching in terror. Unfortunately, this entire story thread falls apart for comedic laughs, as we realize that the true villain is Guy Pearce's over the top Aldrich Killian, a scientist who was spurned by Stark in Stark's younger, cockier years. He now has Extremis, an army of mutant soldiers that can radiate volcanic heat and shoot fire. If the last part reads like X-Men rejects, then, well, you get the drift.

There's a ton of side plots that are pulled out for seemingly no reason. Tony's PTSD brought on by the climax of The Avengers (and really, the only tie to any of the other Marvel films). His teaming up with a young science minded fatherless boy which does absolutely nothing. The unneeded Mandarin joke. And the suits, dear God, the suits. There is a seemingly unlimited supply of super suits now at Stark's disposal, which can now be ran by Jarvis, Stark's sentient AI butler. The first few scenes are fun, but get to be almost a cheap plot hole filler for action sequences. That, and a way for Marvel/Disney to churn out an extra 10 to 20 action figures. Also, don't bother hanging out for the post credits scene. It establishes nothing, previews nothing, and reveals nothing. It's just a vehicle to fit a few more one liners into a film already overstuffed with them. Top all of that with highly underused and flat 3D, and well, you can see why I was irritated.

The ending makes this seem like its the end of the road for the Iron Man franchise, and one can only hope. This film takes a great comic book to film series and makes it a by the book summer blockbuster. With the film to film declining quality in the series, I shudder to think what a fourth film would be like. This is possibly the worst time to hit a misstep in the franchise, with what might be DC's strongest film about to hit theaters (the Zack Snyder/Christopher Nolan Man of Steel) . Marvel's first film in their Phase 2 line doesn't start with an explosion, but with a meh.

RATING: 4/10

Drew Love  

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