Posts Tagged ‘Iron Man 3’


Y’know, we always do this – post-game analysis of summer movies that make it seem like we didn’t like them (or, in Braak’s case, make it seem as though Joss Whedon has become his arch-nemesis, which…I mean, it’s a one-sided nemesis-ness? But it’s there).

So let me get this out of the way: Iron Man 3 is a fun movie, not least of which because it is very much a Shane Black movie, down to his very specific Black-isms that, during the stretch in the middle where Tony doesn’t have access to his armor, make it feel a lot like an amusing hybrid of Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

Iron Man 3But of course, once you leave the glamor of the cinema, questions arise. This is a normal reaction, once entertainment-brain shuts down and critical faculties reassert themselves. Sometimes, it’s a harsh and irreversible process – what I like to call the “Signs Effect,” after walking out of that particular movie and going from a feeling of terrified excitement to the realization that that was the dumbest, most insulting motherfucking movie I’d seen in quite some time, in less time than it took to reach the car.

Anyway, Iron Man 3 isn’t one of those. It’s pretty good, there are some flaws, but nothing that’ll stop you from enjoying yourself. All the actors are top of their game, there are a couple interesting twists, it’s considerably funnier than Iron Man 2 (which, even if you’re willing to forgive everything else – which I largely am! – does have some serious groaners). Won’t change the world, and (ideally) won’t even be the best superhero movie this year (Man of Steel and The Wolverine kind of NEED to be very good, to make up for their previous attempts). But worth the money (don’t – DON’T! – see it in 3D. For christ’s sake, 3D adds nothing to a film, it’s just there to get $3 more out of you, seriously, plenty of 2D screenings, don’t encourage this nonsense) if you’d like to catch it in theaters.

Now then! Questions and observations but mostly questions because as I go through it in my head there are a few things I’m not clear on (and from here on out, Spoilers Are Go, but if you saw the movie now is the time to assert your knowledge):  (more…)

(Continuing our discussion from Tuesday about how to make likely IM3 villain the Mandarin a little less silly.)

From a storytelling standpoint, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 lead into the Avengers movie. Tony Stark becomes a superhero (IM1), battles his own demons (IM2) to the point that he can join an organization that fights the creeping evils of his world (Avengers). That’s where the Iron Man story would logically conclude, right?

But with the conclusion of that story, announcing Iron Man 3 is basically forcing out a new narrative, and by extension, its new villain: Iron Man’s generally-agreed-upon arch-nemesis, The Mandarin. And…hoo-boy, is that a problematic villain to stick into the end of a trilogy (quadrilogy?) of movies.

Let’s go back a second and talk about arch-nemeses. As the logic goes, the best heroes are defined by their villains, and that’s usually true. The villains are, as dark reflections, great storytelling engines. They answer questions about the hero’s motivations by showing what happens when that reasoning goes wrong.

It’s a broad idea, but look how well it works: (more…)

On Thursday, I’m gonna tell you about how Iron Man 3 should handle what will inevitably be its main villain: The Mandarin.

But before that happens, I need you to understand why, despite his being inextricably tied to Iron Man in terms of “arch-nemesis,” there are some very, VERY good reasons they didn’t use him in the first two movies*.

With that, I present: