Monday, 29 April 2013

Iron Man's Contractual Obligation Movie (Iron Man 3 Review)

Allow me to be the dissenting voice again.. (MINOR SPOILERS)

Iron Man 3 - In which Robert Downey Jnr and co finally reveal their  impatience with finding themselves in hero movie franchise (which always seemed a little unlikely) by leaving the stage in a much more predictable Hollywood explosion fest.

There are occasional flashes of brilliance in dialog and direction
and the players are as engaging as ever but, despite the hype this is
a tired going through the motions movie that feels more like a 80s 90s
action pic taken out of a freezer. It is hardly surprising mainstream
film critics are over-praising this movie, it looks more like a very
conventional sequel to Shane Black's Last Boy Scout and Long Kiss Good
Night (both classics IMHO BTW) than it does to one of those
embarrassing yet thematically innovative super hero movies.

Billed as the first movie of Marvel's Phase 2 it has only token
references to rest of the Marvel universe (now firmly established in
The Avengers) and bizarrely makes even no attempt to mention the Ten
Rings reference in that first classic Iron Man movie - the terrorist
group working with Jeff Bridges's villian is referred to as the Ten
Rings, then thought to be a clever reference to the Mandarin. This is
completely ignored in Iron Man 3, or at least the version I saw, which
is minus the extra 20 mins apparently film for the Chinese release.

Warren Ellis's brilliant Extremis storyline becomes a plot device to
provide superpowers in a pretty predictable script that could have
been kicking around for about a decade. It does for Extremis what Joel
Schumachers infantile Batman and Robin did for the Bane storyline
(since powerfully told Dark Knight Rises). It also irritatingly
hovers around the themes of enhancements and the next stage of human
evolution without mentioning super soldier serums or mutation. Maya
Hansen (the ridiculously young looking Rebecca Hall, who in the 15
year span of the movie events seems to be imortal and stands next to
Paltrow looking more like her daughter) is shot and crawls off
stage... presumably into the Chinese version of this movie?

Players are all good but mostly wasted, Paltrow and Cheadle look
peeved throughout and I don't blame them, both had better scenes in 2.
The much hyped Pepper Pots in a suit scene lasts seconds before it is
taken off her - Tony apparently can't spare one of his other hundreds
of suits for this purpose. Cheadle spends half the movie in his own
suit yet is allowed to do nothing in it again.

I found the technology in Iron Man 3 the biggest disappointment of
all. In the first movie we have a very smart script dealing with real
technical issues. The "plane without a pilot - what about the pilot
without a plane?" scene touches right on the current debate about
drones and modern aircraft. From that, almost Tom Clancy techno
thriller plot in the first film, this movie franchise this has now
descended to Harry Potter levels of stupidity, with wizardy suit
nonsense taking place that seems ridiculous even in a world containing
Thor (component suit parts fly across a room.... ok.... Fly from
Tennessee to Florida?)

Kid sidekick alert. Tony Stark can't be playboy enjoying himself (even
in a stable monogamous relationship) all the time so...

Ending on a positive note, as I like to.. Gwyneth Paltrow still has
the grace charm and intelligence that made her the hidden gem of the
Iron Man movies - and if offered a Pepper Pots movie (PEPPER STARK :
DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D.?) I d watch it, where I'd pass on more of
Robert Downey Jnr's disinterested Tony Stark.

Perhaps that was the point of Iron Man 3.

A better movie

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