A Bit of a Detour – Thoughts on Iron Man 3

This is going to be a bit of a change from the usual stuff around here, so bear with me, guys 🙂

I went and saw Iron Man 3 today, after some rather urgent pleas from SM to do so. I’ve been excited for the movie for a while now, but was trying not to expect too much. First movie following the Avengers – that’s a pretty hard act to follow in my book and not everything can manage it. I was just hoping to be entertained and for a good story. I got that…for the most part. Spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want any spoilers, please don’t read any further!!

Coming out the movie theater, I was on a bit of a high! I loved so many things about this movie:

  • The interaction of Tony and Harley was hilarious and just went to cement Tony’s general state of being. He is always himself, and that doesn’t change even for a kid.
  • Tony and Rhodes’s scenes together were hilarious – WARHAMMERROX (I died when this came out…)
  • The twist for Ben Kinglesy’s character and having Killian be the actual Mandarin- Did not see that coming at all, and wasn’t sure I believed it even after it had come out. Probably not something some fans are going to like, but I thought it was really clever.
  • Jarvis’s moments – Flying to Tennessee after the house was destroyed, when the suit drained and he had to “sleep”, not being quite awake and replacing ‘words’ with ‘cranberries’
  • The fight scene where Tony only had a glove and a boot from his suit – that was REALLY well done
  • The scene after the credits – Banner as a therapist – That was pure gold. I died laughing.

So, for the sheer entertainment factor, this movie won. Those little moments were exactly what I was looking for, and there was some interesting character growth for Tony all throughout the story. When I got home, though, I really started to think about it, and there were a lot of things that came up during this movie that either weren’t that good, or just didn’t make sense.

  • What was Killian’s plan again? I know he was trying to get the president to follow him and making a fake terrorist in order to control…something – it sounded like it was supposed to go back to a business deal (something about controlling supply and demand) but we were never really given a clear sense as to what that was. 
  • I am not a fan of how Pepper was portrayed at all. 90 percent of the movie, she served as nothing more than an object for motivation for Tony. She’s the reason he made the multitude of suits. She’s dangled in front of him when he’s captured as extra motivation to escape. She’s the only reason he’s at the docks (you know Tony isn’t there for the President…he was Rhodes’ motivation…) There were two instances where she was more than an object. First was when the house was being destroyed, and she jumped in and ‘saved’ him from being crushed. But take into account that Tony created that – he sent her the armor and gave her the ability to ‘save’ him and Maya. In a way, he created his own salvation. And then he promptly took that ability away when he took the suit back. In the final battle, Killian turned Pepper into this crazy strong fighter by pumping the Extremis solution into her – creating his own demon, as it were – and when all is said and done, the assumption is that Tony took that away from her too. Pepper never does anything under her own power or her own ability in this movie. It’s kind of sickening when you think about it…She was just a trophy to be won that was turned into a weapon when it was convenient.
  • On that same thread, I’m not a fan of Maya in this movie either. Really, outside of the flashback to 1999 so we could learn about Extremis, what was the point of her even being there? At most, she was a temptress the rest of the movie – getting Pepper captured, trying to convince Tony to join AIM, and then being killed when she has a change of heart – but she imparts no knew knowledge nor does anything important after that flashback. And really, those actions could have been done by a multitude of other minor characters. So what was the point of having her character there? She was completely two-dimensional – After she was shown as a serious scientist with this amazing idea, they never really gave a good explanation why she’s actually helping AIM turn people into bombs. What explanation we did get was really more of an attempt to lure Pepper in than actually explain why. She just is a bad person…for no reason. I almost think the story would have been better served if Killian had simply stolen the tech from Maya and she wasn’t a part of this…
  • I don’t understand why we can take the shrapnel out of Tony’s chest now…and we couldn’t during the first movie. That was never really explained…I got the impression that it had to do with the fact that Tony was leaving the suits behind (that he had kept the arc reactor to power the suits and still be Iron Man, and now he was leaving that behind), but that’s just silly. Rhodes’s Warhammer/Iron Patriot proves you don’t need an Arc Reactor in your chest to control a suit. So what was the point of the reactor staying for so long, other than there was no other way to get the shrapnel out? That was never really explained…

So yeah…rethinking just how much I liked this movie. There are aspects that are awesome, and there are aspects that bug the heck out of me. Unfortunately, me being me, I’m probably going to lean toward the later. Which is sad – I only hope some of the other Phase 2 movies can compensate.

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