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Monday, May 19, 2014

Movie Review:Iron Man 3

Premise:Tony Stark challenges a terrorist threatening the country.

Cast:Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Ben Kingsley as Mandarin, Guy Pearce as Aldritch Killian, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, Paul Bettany as Jarvis, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, William Sadler as President Ellis, Ty Simpkins as Harley Keener

Director:Shane Black

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content

Genres:Action, drama, sci-fi

Notes:This is technically the fourth Iron Man movie (the third being The Avengers). Images taken from IMP Awards and Rotten Tomatoes and belong to Marvel.

Pros:Pepper Potts and Tony's relationship with her. JARVIS is snarky.

Cons:Plot holes galore. Villains are done badly. Several twists make no sense or are otherwise awful.

Following the alien attack on New York, Tony Stark is not quite the same. And now there's this Mandarin guy threatening to teach America a lesson. Time to dust off the old suit and get to work.

From the trailers, you'd expect an angsty movie about Tony being emotionally destroyed from the inside out. That was not the case. I had heard this movie wasn't as good as the previous films. Okay, so I expected something like Daredevil or The Incredible Hulk. That is to say, not great, but I can still enjoy it if I don't expect it to be. That didn't work for me here. (Prepare yourselves for an angry rant.)

One of my (and many other people's) biggest complaints about this film is the deal with the bad guys. Aldritch Killian is yet another business villain who wants to bring Tony down. Like we didn't get one of those in the last movie, or the one before that. And they could have done so much with the Mandarin. He could have been up there with Loki  in terms of threat and coolness. Without spoilers, I'll just tell you he ends up being much less menacing than you might have hoped.

It turns out he's just a goofy actor being tricked by Killian. Is the guy really so oblivious as to not realize there's something fishy going on? And why can't we get an terrestrial terrorist motivated by something other than money? Oh, and the vice president is in on the villain's plot. The last one comes out of nowhere and shows up at the last minute.
End spoilers

There were a lot of twists, several of which seemed to exist just for the sake of twists. Here are some more things they pulled out of nowhere and just made the movie worse. Some I thought of on my own, others I got with help from viewers like Cinema Sins.
Spoilers again
Supposedly, the suits work only for Tony (meaning Rhodes can't use them), yet Aldritch and Pepper both put them on with no trouble. In that area, the president can't use the Iron Patriot armor, yet it works fine for Rhodes and the villain who stole it. Speaking of which, why didn't they verify the Patriot's identity before they let him board Air Force One?
Tony gets surgery and finally has the shrapnel removed from his chest. You have it there for a couple years and you're only now getting it out? After the surgery, he tosses the reactor into the ocean. Because that's going to be great for the marine life. Earlier, he destroys his suits to make Pepper happy. But consider the fact that he has spent all of his movies fighting terrorists and aliens with those suits. What happens when the next villain decides to attack?
Okay, last of the spoilers

The only things I liked that much were Pepper Potts and the fact that Tony's relationship with her is finally official (I know it was official in Avengers, but we didn't get to see it for very long). There's also JARVIS at the beginning.

Overall, I'd recommend against seeing this.

Sex:Several women appear in just lingerie. Guys are shown without shirts. Pepper flirts and makes known her desire to kiss Tony under his armor and announces she's going to shower. When Tony doesn't get the hint, she tells him he's going to join her. The next scene shows them sleeping in the same bed clothed. A man sees his girlfriend in a sports bra and wonders why she doesn't dress like that around the house. A henchman trying to distract Tony asks him if he favors either woman in his bed.
When Ho Yinsen cameos, Tony jokes he finally met a man called Ho. He also says a woman will need a cardiologist when he's done with her. There are various references to Tony's past as a playboy. Killian flirts with Pepper and even kisses her on the cheek. A female hostage's top is removed offscreen.

Violence:Plenty of explosions, of course, and some gun play. Bad guys blow up buildings full of civilians. In one case, the massacre of military families is compared to a similar one of Native American tribes while the braves were away. Tony's Malibu house is destroyed with Tony and Pepper inside. The villains have given themselves heat-related superpowers that allow them to endure fire and use it as a weapon. A few of them explode.
Tony mocks Happy, telling him to taser the girl stealing printer ink. Soon after, Happy is thrown into glass, wounded in an explosion, and winds up in a coma. Suicide is mentioned, once assisted with a bomb. Tony sedates, shoots, and tasers henchmen. Wounds appear on people's faces and bodies.
Tony blows a hole through a villain's stomach. His flying armor trashes his lab and injures him. A guy is shot on live television. Before that, he's crying and clearly terrified. Pepper is grabbed by the throat and later injected with something that causes her pain and may kill her. She beats a guy to death to protect herself and Tony. A hostage falls into a fire and is presumed dead. A villain shoots one of his underlings. Tony slices someone's arms off (because of superpowers, it promptly grows back).

Drugs/Alcohol:In this universe, super drugs seem to create supervillain after supervillain. That trend continues here and at one point, the drugs are used against a sympathetic character.
One lackey is a drug addict that the villains offered to help. Not by curing him, but by giving him more drugs. He sips a beer while talking to someone. A woman looks to be drunk when Tony points a gun at her. Characters drink. One scene takes place in a bar. Oddly, Tony's alcoholism is never brought up. Someone wonders if Tony is on or if he needs medication for his anxiety.

Language:One "g*dd*mn" and "sh*t". Also "G*d", "d**k", "bloody h*ll", "piss", "w*nker", "son of a b**ch", "a**", "yutz", and a non-sexual use of "p*ssy".

Gross Humor:A guy wanders out of a bathroom and warns his two female companions not to go in there. Tony soon interrogates the guy and tells the ladies to get in the bathroom, where they comment disgustedly on the smell.

Spiritual:At the beginning of the movie, Tony mentions a quote about creating your own demons. Later, he says he can't explain gods or aliens and this is why he's so stressed. He and A kid named Harley look at a memorial at a the site of a bombing decorated with crosses. The victim's shadows are on the walls. According to an old story, the shadows are the marks the souls left when they went to heaven. When Tony points out there are six victims but only five shadows, the story continues with the bomber going to hell. Tony wonders if Harley actually buys that. Earlier, when Tony makes a deal with Harley, the kid wonders what's in it for him. The sarcastic response is salvation.
Incidentally, none of the villains are religiously motivated. They blow up a church full of military families to make a point. Mandarin calls the people working for him his disciples. A man on a cross is burned alive during a broadcast. Tony remarks the Mandarin talks like a Baptist preacher. He says of the villains "It's Christmas, take them to church." He also says stuff like "I wake up with someone who still has their soul," "The prodigal son returns," and "You scared the devil out of me." Rhodey frees a room full of women in burqas. The human mind and DNA are said to be "destined" for an upgrade. Extremis soldiers are called the next step (or something like that) in humanity's evolution.

So what did you think? Did you like it? Or did it leave a bad taste in your mouth?

For theories about this movie, look here.

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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