Friday, 26 April 2013

Iron Man 3

The end of a Saga. Or is it? Btw, spoilers abound after the page break. 

So Iron Man 3 is finally out. We begin with an image of the iron man suits blowing up and Tony Stark narrating before we get a flashback to what's really happening. 

Turns out there's a new master of terror in the world and that man is called the Mandarin. He's apparently been behind a series of bombings that have targeted Americans. And after every bombing, he broadcasts a really obnoxious video on American public TV. Warmachine and Ironman discuss this while in a bar somewhere and Tony volunteers to go and find Mandarin but Rhodes says 'No, it's classified' (really, then wtf are you discussing it in a PUBLIC sports bar??) We find out Tony's also been suffering from some form of PTSD thanks to the events in the Avengers, having panic attacks every now and then. To cope with this, he tries to distract himself with his hobby, which basically involves building variants of the Iron Man armor. He's up to MK52 in the film. 

Shit happens and during one of the latest bombings, Tony's good friend Happy Hogan is caught up in it and injured severely. As revenge, Tony publicly calls out the Mandarin, taunting him to come after him and stating his address on public TV. That very same day, he and Pepper are attacked at their house by helicopters who then proceed to launch multiple missiles at them. They both escape although Tony is knocked unconscious and sent to Tennessee thanks to his suits AI. There, he finds out the truth behind the bombings and why no bomb remains were ever found at the scene.

Meanwhile, the villain captures Pepper and Rhodes and repurposes the Warmachine for his own needs. Tony goes to rescue them and there he discovers the truth behind the Mandarin, which to be honest, was a mindfuck. I totally DID NOT see that coming. Although it explained a lot of things. Like wtf he was called the Mandarin when he obviously isn't chinese, his shitty video editing and his patronising lessons. 

The villain ends up capturing the President of the US and plans to execute him on public TV. Iron Man and Warmachine goes to save them. I've got to admit, it was extremely cool seeing all those Iron Man MK suits line up and be controlled via remote. 

At the end, the heroes save the day and the villain is defeated. Tony learns a life lesson and decides to blow up all the Iron Man suits, get his heart fixed so he doesn't need to wear the ARC reactor anymore, because as he says he doesn't need it to be Iron Man. He IS Iron Man. Then extra long credits, after which fans of the Science Bros will be extremely pleased.

Overall, the film was good. It was a lot better end to a trilogy than another recent Superhero film trilogy that ended last year. Yes, I'm talking about the Dark Knight Rises. You know, when it's already been a year since I've written my review for the 3rd Batman film AND I can still get google searches leading to my page with the words 'dark knight film choreography sucks', you know something is wrong. 

However, that's not to say that the film doesn't share some similarities with TDR. Both films have the hero being attacked in their home territory after being too arrogant, being humbled and then coming back to finish the job. However, that is really just a common variation of the Hero's Journey. Just that IM3 sadly makes a lot more sense than TDR. 

Not to say there weren't a lot of moments that made me go WTF in the film. Just a quick few in bullet point

  1. WTF is Shield? I would think the Mandarin would be a big enough threat for them to go after him
  2. Does NO ONE in the movie understand the concept of secrecy? Rhodes tells Tony classified information in a crowded sports bar. Happy tells Tony over a skype video chat on his tablet that the suspicious guy in front of him is suspicious and he's going to try and tail him. While the suspicious guy is seated nearby. 
  3. Why is no one protecting Tony after he calls out the Mandarin. You'd think Shield would since he's one of their Avengers and a national asset. Same for the President since a local celebrity just called out a very dangerous terrorist on TV and taunted him
  4. WTF is Tony not wearing his best armor after taunting the Mandarin to come after him? Instead, he wears a prototype armor that has issues flying at first. If he had worn an actual armor capable of flight and missiles/lasers, he would have owned the 4 helicopters sent to deal with him
  5. WTF is the extremis thing? Is it nanotechnology? Is it biological modifications by using a virus as a medium? Wtf is it?
  6. So the villains had years to get this top secret file from the dead soldiers mother but they had to wait till Tony discovered the link, went to the dead soldiers mother and then asked her to bring it to a bar instead of just visiting her at home to get it? Wth?
  7. Pepper Potts after being told by someone that her boss works for the Mandarin; the super bad terrorist villain, decides to bring the person to a hotel to ask her about it. Instead of calling the FBI. Or y'know, Shield...
  8. When Iron Man calls all the variants of the suits he's built so far to deal with the extremis superhumans, he doesn't order them to laser them to death from the sky. Instead, they go up close and melee them...Wth
  9. Pepper Potts killing the villain instead of Tony Stark. Seriously wth. Unexpected but also somewhat anticlimatic.
  10. Blowing up all those Iron Man suits at the end. Holy crap, how many billions did Tony just flush down the drain? Especially since he's going to be building more of them.
  11. Where are the Avengers? Seriously, I think Captain America would at least be involved if a terrorist was threatening America. And I would think the black ops of Shield; Black Widow and Hawkeye, would be frantically hunting the Mandarin down
Though to be fair, from a casting perspective I can understand why the rest of the Avengers weren't in the movie. But if you're going to have a shared universe mythology, then it doesn't make much sense because if things happens, people will react. Ignoring Thor, who's probably off doing Thor things, you have to wonder why Tony suddenly seems to alone during the film. Steve would help him since they are friends. Same for Bruce Banner and Black Widow. Again, one of the parts that doesn't make sense if they're all in the same universal continuity.