So you may have noticed that we have been a bit M.I.A. lately eh? Well needless to say things have been busy so get off our backs!!! Just kidding, but there have been new jobs, houses purchased, bones broken and healed, jobs, vacations, holidays and just life in general! And while we may sound like children on the Cinema Recon podcast (Paul I’m looking at you), I will remind you that in REAL life we are very much responsible adults (somewhat) with boring stuff to take care of just like the rest of you! We are trying our hardest to get back on track and bring you more of what we do best… yelling at each other and drinking beers. And I think there might be some discussion of movies in there too, not sure.
Anyways, I wanted to take a quick minute to hammer out some thoughts on Iron Man 3, which I saw last night at the lovely Regal Cinemas San Ramon. Needless to say I was stoked for Iron Man 3, and so were a lot of people, after all Iron Man 1 was what kicked off this whole superhero fiasco that we see ourselves in. Iron Man 2 had a decent shot at being good, but in my opinion they just went too far with the massive amounts of CGI and all the different suits and huge incomprehensible battle scenes. But now that I think about it, I think there are ways in which Iron Man 2 is better than Iron Man 3… but we will leave that for another day.
Iron Man 3… where to start. To be honest I cant even remember how the movie opens… it’s Tony Stark doing something Tony Stark-ish… or maybe its with scenes of The Mandarin doing his terroristic threats. Anyways, I think the movie opens up on a very serious note, very heavy and very deep, and then it cuts to Tony and Rhodes just sitting at some dive bar having a beer, and Tony asks “so who is this Mandarin guy anyways?” It’s a total change of pace that immediately through me off. This was the exact moment I knew this movie was going to be garbage. Oh yeah, spoiler alert if I didn’t already say it, I think this movie sucked. They took no time building up the Mandarin or making him a serious threat to Tony… at all. Maybe that was for a reason to be revealed later in the movie? Yeah they reveal something all right… oh boy.
So basically Tonys house gets blown up like we all saw in the thousands of trailers, features, behind the scenes shorts, TV Spots, and every other damn piece of marketing that was released for this movie. I am not sure who had a bigger marketing budget, Iron Man 3 or the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Anyways, so his house gets blown up, and the only way they know about the attack is because they see it on TV…. as they are watching a live feed of their own house on the news they see a missile shooing towards their house. Keep in mind this is AFTER Tony says their house in on high alert lock down because the Mandarin knows where Tony lives. So lets get this straight, the man with the most advanced technology in the world, doesn’t have an alarm system on his house? He cant tell when 3 heavily armed helicopters are headed straight for him!? I call bullshit. Hey Tony, I know a good guy over at ADT he can hook you up with a nice alarm system on the cheap. Tell him Jake sent you and you get 5% off.
So Tony falls into the water but ends up flying to Tennessee or somewhere that doesn’t really matter anyways, befriends a little boy (awkward) and tinkers in his garage because his Iron Man suit is ruined. He finds some clues about the bad guys and decides to invade the bad guys compound. This is where MacGyver… errr I mean Tony Stark does what he does best… makes weapons and escapes situations using common household items!!! So anyways Tony Stark invades the Mandarins compound using a modified Nerf gun and a gardening glove. I am not kidding folks I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!! CAUTION!!! I’M NOT PULLING ANY PUNCHES!!!
So Tony (obviously) defeats all thugs guarding the compound easily and finally finds the Mandarin!!! OH NO! TONY WATCH OUT ITS THE MANDARIN YOUR ARCHENEMY!!! Yeah… no. Turns out the Mandarin is a complete phony. Just some washed up drunk actor named Trevor Slattery who is just playing the role of this made up terrorist named the Mandarin because he was hired by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to do so, in order to instill fear in the world so he can… do stuff, or, whatever. I honestly don’t even know. I literally don’t know why he was in this movie at all. There is no Mandarin, no Ten Rings, and as far as I can tell, no plot to this movie.
Anyways, Tony finds out that Guy Pearces character, this Aldrich Killian, is creating some sort of superhuman person by altering their DNA or something?Sure lets go with that. I don’t know actually, that was something else that was kind of just thrown in there. So he injects people with this stuff and it makes them glow orange and they burn really hot and are super strong and they blow up if they get too angry or something along those lines. Basically more stuff that makes no sense whatsoever.
So Tony goes to fight Aldrish Killian and because he has this agent orange flowing through his veins apparently he is a really tough opponent for Tony Stark. So Tony has to call on ALL of his different Iron Men armors to come save the day!!! THIS IS AWESOME RIGHT!?!?! Wrong. Typical marketing bait and switch. I know I was really excited to see the different armors in action and up close, see the differences of each one, ad what their specialties are. But this is something I also told Paul I was hesitant about.. having Iron Man 3 fall into the same trap as Iron Man 2 with 20 different Iron Man suits flying around everywhere during the action sequences to the point where you can’t tell what the fuck is going on, which suit is which, how are they different, or what the hell is happening on the screen at all. So Tony calls all his Iron Man suits, they all fight Aldrich Killian and his couple of glowing orange thugs, then they defeat them and Tony has the main face off with Killian. Somewhere in the mix, there is Pepper Pots (oh yeah she was injected with the orange soda concoction too, I guess I forgot to mention that) and she falls off a catwalk thing into a fire. So long, Pepper. So Tony is fighting Killian and out of nowhere Pepper is now wearing the Iron Man armor (yeah, they went there) and helps save the day, I don’t really remember. Then Killian reveals that he is the Mandarin!!! Oh ok… cool? Who knows, who cares. Somehow they defeat Killian and everyone is happy and then the movie closes with some horrible credits that should have been better saved for a remake of Shaft. Worst. Closing. Credits. Ever.
I think overall they just missed the mark on so many levels. Notice in my write up how I say “Tony” more than “Iron Man.” That is because there is barely any Iron Man in this movie. They (Kevin Feige and Shane Black) said they wanted to bring Iron Man back to his basics, where its just Tony Stark using his genius mind to build awesome things. Well you know what, we already saw that in the first one and that is why we liked it so much! Plus, if you want to do that more, cool, but don’t have him tinker around in some kids play shop and come out with some generic shit, it just looks stupid. Plus, no Mandarin!? WTF!!! You took someone who was supposed to be Iron Mans archenemy, a genius, and have super awesome magical power rings, and turned him into no more than a bumbling drunk washed up actor. And you thought in place of that, it would be better to have Guy Pearce glow orange and want to (enter any generic bad guy plot/motivation here) and then try to twist it up by having him reveal that HE is the Mandarin? Weak.
They had such great opportunity to make this movie a final and a serious installment in the Iron Man series but they just missed the mark every time they tried. The movie lacked the overall serious tone that it needed and I think that viewers were expecting based on how they marketed the movie. The plot had so many holes I couldn’t even tell you what the main story line was, the villains were unmotivated and weak, there was not very much “Iron Man” in Iron Man, and to be honest it kind of felt like Robert Downey Jr. was phoning it in. I think he is done with Iron Man. I think he had a great run but its time to hang up the boots RDJ, or more likely, pass them on to someone else to re-boot (get it?) the franchise in another 3 years. Also, after this movie I think its very obvious that director Shane Black should stick to writing action movies and not directing them. Sorry buddy, fail on this one.
In summary, as I said on our Twitter page… Iron Man 3 is like a bright new shiny toy… The packaging looks sleek and amazing, but when you open it up you find out that it was made in China and half its parts don’t work.
What did you think about Iron Man 3? Did it live up to its hype or fall short of expectations? Let us know in the comments!
October 20th, 2014 at 11:54 AM
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May 4th, 2013 at 8:57 AM
Liked it a lot more than the second one, but the first will always rank highest in my book. Nice review Jake.
May 3rd, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I’m sad you hated it, I enjoyed myself. While I don’t think all of your gripes are unfounded, I think that you kind of go off the rails on some details. Like, who cares that he didn’t know 3 helicopters were on their way? That was an awesome scene. Tony’s advanced tech is only so advanced as to move along the script..
My biggest disappointment was also with the Mandarin… This was not the movie I was expecting, lets just say that. I think had it gone the other route you were alluding to, this would have went from a good movie to a great one for me. It almost felt like a zany alternate reality when Sir Ben Kingsley turned into comic relief. I couldn’t help but wonder what this movie would have been if they had kept the Mandarin a serious threat and let Kingsley go nuts with the character. That’s the movie I was hoping to see.
Still, the movie I got was fun in its own way. I thought it was far and away better than 2, but not as good as 1. I won’t go into the remaining complaints I had with the film because, really, they weren’t deal breakers. What we got was an attempt to try something different with a sequel to technically two franchises, as well as bring closure to the Tony Stark character. It took a different route than what I would have voted for, but ultimately arrived at being entertaining.
May 3rd, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Really, I am just mostly disappointed that we didn’t get the big, serious, powerful movie with a great villain. We got another “take” on a character, that went wrong.