IRON MAN 3 lacks any of the excitement, style and panache of the original. What’s missing most of all is IRON MAN himself. An empty suit of armor isn’t enough to generate the thrill of the original movie that made sparks fly and created an almost new genre of tech pron excitement, despite a poor third act. IM3 has TOO many empty suits of armor and too many empty plot holes left unfilled. Leaving IM3 misfiring all repulser rays, falling to the ground with an ringing empty thud, and the bad smell of fried circuits
The new Iron Man paint job doesn’t work on all counts, on the armor or behind the scenes. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss Jon Favreau. I didn’t like Jon as a director very much, it’s kinda personal and weird but after IM3, I miss the big guy. I miss his style, the heavy metal music and Stark doing cool things without whining. You never really appreciate someone fun until they’re gone.
After the lukewarm reception of IRON MAN 2, Downey Jr. stretches his box office muscle and brings in Shane Black to replace the original director Jon Favreau, but allowing him to fill in as a comatose buddy, Happy Hogan. Jr. even ousted his best pal Army sidekick Rhodes, for a skinnier, shorter more user friendly version. Just to make those two shots and OTS easier and to line a few more bucks into someones pockets. All was in place for a return to the original shocking success of Iron Man original flavor. But this new combo of ingrediants fails to add any spice to the series and in fact delivers very little in the way of actual IRON MAN. At least not in the manner that the original metal grinding fiesta managed to capture.
Of course there is Pepper as Iron Man, Rhodes as War Machine, even the President puts on the Iron and almost limitless empty Iron Men sadly blowing themselves up every few minutes in the senselessly poor third act where once again MORE equals so MUCH less.
No matter how many empty Iron Man suits they pile into the scenes of violence it never carries any gravitas or meaning and the scenes could have have been cut by two thirds. Empty suits don’t give the over the shoulder chilled look of gleeful menace Downey in the armor does when he’s about to open a tin can of Whooping.
What we do get is a confused Tony Stark, not charming but with anxiety attacks, supposedly some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after suffering through the destroy NY, bad third act of The Avengers. I don’t for a moment believe that Stark can suffer from PTSD. He’s just not built like that, he’s too damn jaded for such whiney acts, Stark would laugh it off and have a few more drinks. Grab a new temp girlfriend from the stripper pole and slam dunk another ego builder.
Tony Stark has been through far too much to let aliens and supposed high horsed, norse Gods shake his fixation on girls, cars and his engulfing tech addiction. Tony’s genius isn’t used well in IM3 either, the focus is mostly Tony’s dysfunction, a mistake because Stark being the heavy metal genius is a big part of Iron Man’s charm and a trip to Home Depot ala Hone Alone style, doesn’t equal the unbridled joy of Tony sarcastically creating a new element in IM2.
So poor Tony can’t sleep cause of his PTSD, yawn. It certainly makes me sleepy. So he’s supposedly working like a maniac on 52 suits. Late in the night as Pepper turned new live in girlfriend sleeps happily above his workshop completely unaware. Yeah I don’t believe that Pepper would let anything get past her, please respect the characters. If nothing could get past Pepper in the first two movies, how credible would it be when she is living in the house with Tony.
Tony’s newest tech pron is to have pieces of the Iron Man suit fly at him, magnetically attach and power up. Bingo instant Iron Man just add juice. The problem is, there isn’t enough juice in these scenes or any of the others. Iron Man has lost something, he’s lost his coolness and his guile. Stark seems confused and Jr. doesn’t play confused well enough to power up the scenes of trauma. Jr. works best at sarcasm, let the man do what he’s best at.
One of the biggest flaws of the film is that the Mark 52 is constantly out of power and Tony’s constantly trying to boot the damn thing up, strangely forgetting that the suit is actually powered by the arc reactor in his chest! Remember the arc reactor he invented in IM1 to save his life and power the original hunk of junk he crash landed in the desert. So why is he trying to charge his suit with a car battery?? Or some cheap wiring in a kid’s garage?
This image is the metaphor for the entire movie, Iron Man on triple D batteries while Tony wears an arc reactor that can power a city. I don’t think Shane Black meant it to happen this way but someone dropped the science ball in favor for hooking Jr. up with a kid. Underpowered and under used, Iron Man is on the sidelines most of the game and while I enjoy Downey as an actor, it’s the combination of Stark and his invention that created the lightning of the original Iron Man. Black Sabbath Iron Man theme song and grinding metal heralded the promise of mystic tech thrills in IM1. Now Iron Man sits on a couch waiting for Tony to man up and get in the suit and fight for what’s right.
Downey is being dragged down by foolish Marvel characters surrounding him. He’s losing his coolness and it’s not going to stop. This isn’t the right type of movie for Downey, he’s far too intelligent and when he’s surrounded by childish poorly thought out scripts his usual biting delivery sings a sour note. If it weren’t for the massive payday Downey would have left this vapid stream of career killing movies right after IM2 started to arc down. This movie signals the demise of Iron Man as the phenomenon it was, never to regain it’s glory unless Marvel lets some reality shine through so Downey can rise to occasion and create what he’s best at. Real acting and reacting to potentially realistic drama. As in the first Iron Man, torn from our headlines, responding to our world with genius and vigor. Not Norse gods and aliens, leave that for the abysmal Avengers movies.
Still there is supposed to be a plot, loosely held together by old Christmas lights. Someone is blowing up people and the Mandarin is taking responsibility for the terrorist acts via the usual interrupted cable TV communication. Does anyone use cable anymore, I’m Netflix all the way. So the Mandarin blows up Chinese Manns theater, ha, real funny, and Happy (Jon Favreau) get a bit bloated. Jon does a pretty good job in the role of Happy in fact I would say he’s more well rounded in Iron Man 3, by about 20 more pounds. At least he had a few beefy moments, and that is saying alot since I am not a fan of Jon’s acting.
Happy lies in a hospital bed comatose and Stark in his usual uncontrolled outbursts, which i wish this movie had more of, threatens the Mandarin, pivotal in all trailer viewings, to convince us a grudge match will ensue, wear your Iron Man colors. It’s personal now, it’s old fashion revenge. Which would have been great!
Tony on a righteous cause the old way, that’s the way Dad did it and there is not reason to change now. Here’s my address, come and get me. So genius that Tony is, he goes home, takes a nap and plays with some toys?
No worries cause there really isn’t any real Mandarin, there are no real terrorist.
Helicopters flown by Americans, assault Starks house, destroying it and nearly killing all inside. Pepper supplies some fun heroics as Iron Girl, saving Stark and his ex-girlfriend. The Mandarin turns out to be nothing more than a cheap actor played for laughs by Sir Ben Kingsley. Only it’s not so ha ha, it’s kinda slow witted and stilted. He can barely stay awake and screams out mid conversation distracted by a football game.
Tony himself can’t seem to grasp the whiney apologetic, half asleep Kingsley and doesn’t know where to aim his rage at. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a metaphor for American’s battle against terror or just bad scripting?
When the Mandarin is shown to be a false beard for Guy Pierce’s angry hot head, AIM think tank, nerd turned muscle man, wanna be Pepper’s boyfriend. The entire movie enters EPIC FAIL, all the wind is gone. IM3 is dead in the water and there is zero hope of resuscitation. Not even the Navy Seals could save this beached whale of bloated script mistakes.
The meaning and even the chill of a terrorist that could get to the President. Who could attack with impunity and make demands only to ignore the reply, proving that there will be no conditions of surrender, only war. Is a powerful concept.
So when the Mandarin was a real threat, it seemed like IM3 was heading to glory and a fantastic culmination. The Mandarin quoting the history of America’s evil acts against other cultures rang true. It hit a chord and set up the Mandarin as a tangilble viable threat physically and ethically. The Mandarin was the center of the movies context and soul. Diverting from Mandarin’s credible threat to some wimpy jealous nerd turned into a souped up comic villain because he wants a girlfriend, is plain stupid.
Reviews of the trailer now, are really pathetic.
The Mandarin was originally Iron Man’s greatest foe, with charged mystical rings, teased at in close up, could tear you apart with wind, fire, ice, you name it, he was a master of manipulation and without mercy. Magic vs Science, it’s a great idea but it’s only a tease, a loose thread. Now he’s some drug addicted actor who drinks too much diet coke and speaks with an English accent so he doesn’t offend the overseas dollars where Marvel movies really make money.
There is no terrorist threat, there is no one for Tony to be angry at. But who keeps attacking with hot-wired thermal freaks that can burn up or blow up, with regenerative skills, eyeballs that glow and super human strength? Yawn, it’s never really explained what the EXTREMIS drug that makes super volcanic soldiers is.
Only that some poor half paralyzed fan boy of Starks decades ago was left on the roof waiting for a cynical Tony who was bedding a biologist instead of running to talk to some soon to become supervillian and the head AIM, Advanced Ideas Morons. If every dweeb Stark ignored at conventions turns into angry super villains, every new chapter Iron Man will be very bad indeed.
All this is really boring and what i miss the most is the really cool heavy metal music and technological thrills TONY STARK got out of making the impossible possible and righting wrongs by defending victims. It’s hard to tell who Tony is supposed to be fighting and where Tony is while the armor is flying around empty.
I’m as pissed off as Pepper is, when she discovers she has been talking to an empty suit of armor while Tony was doing some chin-ups in the basement. The empty suit doesn’t carry any weight without Downey inside. Yes it’s very psychological but it’s also very human and true, what made Iron Man thrilling was the man inside. Once you know the armor is empty you just don’t give a damn anymore. Why would you? Who do you feel about Drones? Do they excite you? Do you hope they live well and get home in time for Scotch and Pizza?
Downey seems to be dozing through most of the scenes especially when he joins up with a kid after he is once again forced to fix his empty suit in a garage. His usual quips don’t really work very well with children and sound very monotone and noncommittal. Jr. Has no foil and lashing out at a small kid is just pathetic. I was actually a bit confused when dialogue became even inappropriate, considering Marvels fears of insulting anyone. How does this bad stuff make it past the director and the editor. Doens’t anyone say, “Hey, this is kinda weird, sounds kinda child abusive in tone? Something’s wrong, can we change this up a little?” That’s what the dailies are for!
The Iron Patriot is an unnecessary character, and Rhodes proves there is only one man for the armor and that’s Tony, as Rhodes serves only to make mistakes and hand over his suit to the enemy. Boring!
The gimmicks fail to excite and there is just too much Stark not in his armor again, playing at having anxiety or talking down to kids while trying to save his relationship with Pepper who is almost killed numerous times. So many times, it’s amazing she isn’t in the hospital next to Happy.
I know I wasn’t happy with this third installment of Iron Man. And the predictable third act mistake of piling the numbers of empty armor vs hot headed Extremis soldiers left me bored and waiting for the end. I have said it so many times and I will say it now again incase anyone is reading this.
More numbers and CGI explosions does not mean a good third act! Higher stakes and more difficult choices create higher drama. So you bypass the numbers game with unknown soldiers shooting, and punching endlessly. Create emotion and draw the audience in with personal drama and forcing the hero to choose between the lesser of two evils. Ending with punch out sequences is foolhardy at best and punching out empty armor is thrice as boring. Ever been to a wax museum? Boring. The figures never look quite right.
I know Black and Downey did their best to try and bring Iron Man 3 back to it’s original heights but it’s a miserable failure. Pacing between tech and the human elements was badly executed, reducing the Mandarin from villain to wild herring could have been comical but left Stark with no opposition other than Extremis super soldiers gone bad led by ex-goof ball turned handsome hunk who wants to steal Stark’s girlfriend, was really fumbling and best left for a guest artist issue of the comic.
You can see the charisma drain from Downey face, it’s rather a sad sight, and I wouln’t want to be Shane Black right now explaining to my friend Robert, what the hell went wrong?
DOWNEY “What the hell went wrong?”
BLACK “I don’t know. I can fix it in Iron Man 4″
DOWNEY ” Yeah, about that. That’s not happening”
BLACK ” Are you kidding me”
DOWNEY ” Yeah, sorry man, you suck, you sank my tent pole. We all know IM3 bite the big one and we only made money cause people are fucking bored and came anyway and we added some almost titty bra shots of Paltrow. Who people hate anyway so that was another dud scene”
Pepper in a black sports bra, heated up and punching wanna be boyfriends was the only scene that rang the bell. Even she looks surprised, “Whoa, I am feeling so cool, right now. I like being pissed off, I’m in my element now” Paltrow stole the show right from under all the male cry babies with anxiety, drug problems, inadequacies and screw ups. I mean it was a hot frame and I don’t like angry women. Even Tony wonders why she doesn’t wear the black number at home?
Of course the largest character developement for Iron Man in this movie is the removal of Tony Stark’s arc reactor. You know the reactor that actually powers Starks armor, not the car batteries but the incredible invention that Tony created in the IM1.
I can only guess it was removed because Tony was able to synthesize a compound that would heal his heart from the EXTREMIS drug but there was no mention of it, or maybe it was the powerful magnet that captured the shards during the operation? I really can’t understand how or why this is possible now but not in any of the other previous installments. How does the hole in Starks chest gets filled? Like the Tin Man maybe it’s left as empty as the place where this movie’s heart should have been. Ouch, that was cold hearted, sorry.
Iron Man needs real world villains to combat in as real world situations as possible. Part of us enjoying Iron Man is Tony enjoying Iron Man delivering justice the old fashioned way. It was Starks evolution in IM3 to fight for the weak instead of profiting from war munitions. If it’s just going to be virtual reality games from now on with joke villains, then count me out.
I would rather play Tetris.