I was really looking forward to Iron Man 3, I got quite attached to the character of Tony Stark, in particular the way he evolved in the Avenger Movie. Joss Whedon did a great job juggling with a group of characters, some of which completely absurd, but this movie clearly concentrated on only one of them. The trailer was also promising more development around Pepper, so this was a movie I started watching with a very positive outlook.
Director: Shane Black
Shane Black did the obvious thing, demolish the character to make him more human, but forgot to have an actual plot for this – if you pretend to make a character grow-up, you need a plot that does not have holes a five year old kid could see. I would also help if the better human was actually vaguely interesting. The basic premise of the movie is already sketchy: Tony Stark has psychological problems following the New York events depicted in the previous movie, and picks up a fight with a bad guy called the Mandarin that blows up random stuff in the US and personally threatens the US president, and the Avengers do nothing: they let a guy they considered unreliable before he went through an alien wormhole, and the government that was willing to nuke New York to get rid of the aliens handle the crisis.
I’m not completely sure what kind of film this was supposed to be, it felt like some cinematographic Frankenstein had assembled parts of various movies:
- The flashback set at the end of the XXth century felt some James Bond like thriller.
- The episode in the Tennessee felt like Spielberg had redone a weird version of Rambo, cum cute kid.
- The Florida episode felt like some cheap TV show, or maybe the movie Charlie’s Angels.
- The various fights scenes in between felt like some Transformer knock-off, with some vague reminiscence of Adam Warren’s Iron Man ideas, badly understood.
- I don’t even want to talk about the beauty pageant / hacking part.
One of the strengths of the previous movies was the quick wits of Tony Stark and the bickering between him and Pepper, here we get none of that: Jarvis, the computer, and Harley, the cute kids are the only entities smart enough to hold a conversation with Tony. Were in the previous movies there witting banter about technology, we get lame jokes that could only come from a committee or a person with no love or understanding for technology. The conclusion of the movie says it all: Stark’s technological heart is removed and he ditches the Iron Man suit.
The end really felt like something rushed, after the final fight scene, major plot elements are kind of put back into place with a few seconds of screen time and the off-screen voice, I suppose this was for contractual reasons, it did not make much sense to me, but then again, at that stage, the movie felt completely hollow, as even the plot holes had their own plot holes. The movie would nearly have made sense if Iron Man would not have come back to earth from his wormhole voyage, but instead to an alternate earth modelled after Idiocracy. The end credit confirmed my Frankenstein feeling, as they are done in style reminiscent of the TV shows of the 80s, including images from the previous movies.
Without a doubt, this was the worst Iron Man movie of the Marvel franchise, the plot is a bad as a Transformer movie, the film style inconsistent and boring, and done with no love or interest in the subject. I can be avoided without any hesitation.