Sorry for the no-post last week, I’m working on a review of a really shitty movie (Not this one! NOT THIS ONE!) and I’m getting a little carried away.
So: saw Iron Man 3 this last weekend. Naturally, being a dork and being in love with RDJ, I loved every second of this movie. Top notch acting, a great script, funny, dramatic, tense, a wonderfully delightful post-credits scene, the whole shebang. 9.5/10 on anybody’s scale.
However, reflecting on the movie, there’s something missing. The first movie was about the rise of Iron Man, the events that shifted him from playboy millionaire to crime-fighting superhero. The second movie was about growing Tony Stark as a character- even though he’s started acting as a superhero, he’s still obsessive and egotistic, and movie 2 is about Stark understanding the consequences of his actions and learning more about what it means to be a hero and not a playboy with a trillion dollar suit. The events of the second movie are what let Tony Stark save the day in the Avengers movie.
The third movie is, *mild spoiler* about the fall of Iron Man, about how Tony Stark wants to get out of the hero business because he starts to recognize that his actions as Iron Man are self-indulgent. He’s not a hero because he feels moral obligation to save people. He’s not a hero because the world needs a hero. He’s Iron Man because he gets a huge kick out of the attention that heroes get. That realization that he’s not a hero tears him apart, leading him to insomnia and panic attacks. This third movie is about how Tony Stark moves on from being Iron Man.
This is where things go a little wrong. While I’m getting bits and pieces of what I talked about above, Iron Man 3 suffers from too much market research. Somebody looked at a bunch of people who saw Iron Man 1 and 2 and asked them what they liked and what they didn’t like, and the surveys showed that people liked the funny scenes, and they thought the action was cool. Anybody who didn’t like the movie cited not liking Tony Stark. Thus, we end up with a movie that is action and humor focused, and less focused on Tony Stark. That’s the kind of content division that I expect from the second movie of a mediocre trilogy, not for the end of a highly publicized, anticipated, and funded trilogy.
Ultimately, the movie is a good movie. Any fan of the series can tell you why it’s a good movie. But I don’t feel like it’s a great movie. I won’t be watching and re-watching this movie, not like I have for Iron Man 1 or The Dark Knight. Action is a great element of any superhero movie. Humor is a defining element of the Iron Man series. However, what really makes Iron Man stand out above other movies, especially other superhero movies, is that Robert Downey Junior does an incredible job of bringing Tony Stark in a way that no other actor can. The creator of Iron Man told RDJ after one of his movies (don’t cite me on this, it’s word-of-mouth sources only) that when he was creating Iron Man, the persona that RDJ gives to Iron Man is exactly what he was looking for. RDJ makes a better Iron Man than the creator could write for him. Thus, when I see a beautiful, successful trilogy come to a close, I want to see and feel Iron Man grow. I want to be driven to feel and understand Tony Stark in a way that I cannot get from the comic books, that I could not get from Iron Man 1 or 2. I’m disappointed that Iron Man 3 went with a straight action film over additional character development, but I’m not writing the movie, and all things considered, the movie is damned good.
That’s all I got!