Monday, May 13, 2013

One Week Later: Iron Man 3

Hi all,

Decided to wait a week to write about Iron Man 3. I'm going to give the excuse that I wanted to wait a decent amount of time before posting spoilers, but I've just been really lazy lately. So yeah.

Oh, and spoilers below. If you haven't seen Iron Man 3 and want my reaction: I really enjoyed it. Definitely more than the second one, though it wasn't as life-changing as the original (that'd be pretty hard to accomplish anyway). It played very fast and loose with elements from the comic book, but as long as Marvel keeps the movie-verse and the comic-verse separate, that's acceptable with me.

--------------You shall not pass! Unless you're ok with spoilers, that is-------------------------------

This movie followed the Extremis arc in the Iron Man comics. I haven't read the arc (I'm actually NOT an Iron Man fan, beyond the movies), but I flipped through it quickly in Barnes and Noble after seeing the film and appreciated that some scenes in the graphic novel were directly translated to the film -- one page showed Tony headbutting the villain, which I remember vividly from the final fight scene in the film.

I'm still not sure how closely it follows Extremis, but there were two major changes that I imagine fans weren't particularly pleased with.

The first, which I was less enthusiastic about, was the change from War Machine to Iron Patriot. I think the Iron Patriot armor is fun and all, but I love it's comic origin so much more -- Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) becomes the Iron Patriot when he becomes the chief security officer for the world (basically, I'm trying to do this in layman's terms as much as possible). He's attempting to portray Iron Man and Captain America in his suit of armor to have better acceptance with the public. Make no mistake -- he's still a villain, just a high profile villain that has won over 'the people.' The movie intro wasn't interesting and it really wasn't used too much, which was a let down.
The comic intro for Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn)

The second change, which I think they nailed, was introducing the Mandarin... and completely changing the character. In the comics, he's a pretty severe villain and one of Iron Man's earliest arch-enemies. In the movie, he's a (hilariously) trashy actor hired by the true villain, Aldrich Killian. This is a huge shift from the comics, but I was overall happy with it and am glad that they weren't worried about switching things up (as long as they don't go the X-Men III or First Class route and ruin everything).

Ok, there's the major comic issues covered. For some more general thoughts:

Pacing: The movie's early pacing was done fairly poorly, in my opinion. It failed to be actively interesting and gave me conflicting feelings for the character. Tony was an especial douche in the flashback, which is acceptable, but I felt really bad for past-Killian. Then present Pepper almost immediately swoons for Killian because he got so much prettier. What's that about? She's having a few issues at home with Tony and falls for the first pretty face? Messed up, and damaging to the character. It does pick up maybe 45 minutes in, and that's about when the movie starts using humor well.

Humor: I laughed a lot during this movie. I especially loved the random kid, Harley. Oh, and Tony's relationship with his suit:

Action: This movie had more action and fight sequences than the first or second, and they were done really, really well. Love the final scene with the multitude of suits -- it was nice seeing the different models and seeing some that tied into comic arcs I knew (such as a brief glimpse of the God-Killer Armor Tony currently wears).

Marvel universe tie-ins: Tony is having panic attacks from the wormhole in The Avengers. The most interesting line is when a voice asks him how he got back, which I'm hoping is used well. I say that, because it was mentioned as an issue with absolutely no resolution. Usually this is an issue with movies, but Marvel is breaking new ground with their connected movies, so I'll simply say it's unfortunate we have to wait to see more. The after the credits scene was a much worse let down, however, and only showed Tony in a therapy session with Bruce, with no noticeable clues to any other Phase II movies. Not only did this lead to sitting through the longest credits ever, it has shaken my faith in post movie credits, which was already a tenuous thing!

Gripes: Actually, for this initial viewing, my only grip is really the pacing. I felt the scope was appropriate, the suspense and action done well, and it was an overall pleasure to watch.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I love Guy Pearce and think it's awesome that he was the villian? Yeah, major bonus for me.

I'd love to hear some other thoughts on the movie -- since seeing it, I've been hearing a lot of negative feedback and people saying they hated it. I don't fall into that category, as I'd give it a solid (arbitrary) rating of 8/10.

Star Trek: Into Darkness comes out this Friday, and I just happen to have the day off! Let's see if we can convince The Wife for a midnight viewing!

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