Iron Man 3 (2013)

Before Watching the Movie:

Iron Man 3 the first movie in the “Phase 2” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What does that mean? Maybe that it is a jumping on point, but I hate that idea. Where the first phase was a set up for Avengers, the second phase, with this movie, doesn’t seem to have a focus. Iron Man 3 is a stand alone adventure. It wraps up some elements of the first two Iron Man movies, but not many. It has some easter eggs from the other two Iron Man movies, but none that are too relevant to the plot. It is a nice break from the continuity we’ve had to be aware of. It has Shane Black as the director who brings with him a particular stylistic way of making movies and that smashes into the Disney/Marvel Studios system. It misses out on the Infinity Stones hype, but I think that gives us the opportunity to see what a Marvel movie is on its own. This one is hard to discribe.

Notes While Watching the Movie:

  • Starts with voiceover and flash forward
  • Marvel logo
  • Paramount hanging in there
  • Flashback to 1999
  • Johhenson “Perhaps another time?”
  • Follow the mullet.”
  • I don’t like the abuse “dummy” gets.
  • This is a Christmas movie
  • Superhero landing
  • Mandarin is actually scary
  • What is the deal with “Iron Patriot?”
  • The Iron Man suit with motorcycles.
  • DNA upgrade
  • The Superfriends
  • Lots of talkie parts
  • PTSD Tony… just a man in a can.
  • Looks like a larger budget than the others… a Marvel sheen
  • Like the Terminator
  • Tony Stark CSI
  • Big action scene 34mibuted in
  • Rescue? Probably as close as we’re going to get
  • Getting his but kicked by three helicopters after Avengers.
  • Dummy!?!?
  • Mandarin 1. Tony 0
  • Why is Jarvis malfunctioning?
  • Telephone booth and no Superman reference?
  • Iron Patriot is not way cooler.
  • Does Hydra have a television crew? Who else would be loyal enough to shoot a television message for a terrorist? How much money does that pay?
  • Not sure if Tony without the tech is all that appealing… but I guess Robert Downey Jr wanted to act outside of the suit.
  • Ice machine shield
  • Whose car is that?
  • Tony Stark’s road trip is fun.
  • Tony needs Gary.
  • Tony Macgyver
  • Mandarin twist… I like it… but am also disappointed by it.
  • Who is this henchman?
  • Big dude with a hammer subtly had its day. Marvel movies are less realistic in since Thor?
  • Rhodes wears a polo shirt while in his suit.
  • Is the Vice President Hydra or just AIM?
  • It isn’t suspicious that Iron Patriot doesn’t speak?
  • Hey! It’s that guy!
  • When did he put that bomb there?
  • Tony Stark skydiving coach is awesome.
  • Comes together at the end.
  • What does AIM get from having the president on its side. This is a lot of work.
  • I guess the Patriot is for this ending.
  • Who needs Avengers?
  • Hulkbuster prototype
  • God damn Rhodes
  • Shave them down a bit.
  • There has to be a more efficient way to destroy these suits. Less messy.
  • Is this kid the prototype Peter Parker?
  • The “Will return” is very James Bond

After Watching the Movie:

Iron Man 3 is a isolated from the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, which should be more of a strength, but coming a year after Avengers it fights against the my desire to see how the events of that movie are effecting the world. When last we saw this world it had been attacked by aliens and the world’s mightiest heroes came together to battle the monster. And now we’re being introduced to the story of terrorist attacking America and for some reason that involves Iron Man.

The Mandarin should have appear as the villain of Iron Man 2. The Tony Stark story has started to transition from fighting earthbound threats, like terrorism, and shifted to super threats. What they do with the Mandarin is pretty great. I don’t have a problem with the bait and switch. Making him a ridiculous actor that is a front for AIM. However it just seems like we’re taking a step backwards from where Avengers left off. And maybe it isn’t fair to the Iron Man series of movies that their arc be impacted by the events of a movie in another series. However isn’t that the point of a cinematic universe? I mean from a creative perspective.

Iron Man 3 takes a while to get started. Momentum doesn’t quite pick up until after the attack on Tony’s house. When he and the kid are solving the mystery of the first Extremis victim, the momentum starts to build. The back half of this film is much stronger than the front.

The “Barrel of Monkeys” scene always makes me tense. It is a great superhero moment that is full of action but doesn’t directly involve a villain. There is no battle. It is the hero saving the day without violence.

Iron Man 3 is a decent enough movie, but coming on the heels of Avengers it fails to meet certain expectations. Maybe unfair expectations, but I didn’t choose to make a universe of movies.