I loved the Avengers movie. I thought it was the perfect superhero movie and can be summed up by a young boy moviegoer who was watching the movie next to me with wide eyes and exclaiming "wow".
It's pretty hard to reach perfection so I did not in any way believe that Iron Man 3 would have provided the same satisfaction as The Avengers did.
This is all to say that I went into this film with my expectations managed so when I say that I did not enjoy this film it has nothing to do with prior experience.
And enjoy this film I did not and boy oh boy do I wish Josh Whedon could have had a hand in the script in this one.
THE PLOTNow I plan to make this a spoiler free report on my movie experience so I won't give any of the major plot points away and will even shy away from the minor plot points. So you will be able to read this review without having to worry about me spoiling the movie.
Actually you won't have to worry about me spoiling the plot because the plot made no sense! This is largely due to the bastardization of the 3 act structure.
A film typically has three acts. The first sets up the film, the 2nd deals with some sort of conflict, and the 3rd resolves this conflict. This film seems to have very nearly skipped the first act and jumped right into the 2nd, dragged that out to the point that the third act ended up lacking as well.
You need that first act to make sense of the movie. But i'll go more into those details later. For now the story is basically Tony Stark is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of the events in The Avengers film, and has to stop a terrorist who is conducting numerous terrorist acts.
That's the basic plot but really I think this film is about making Tony Stark more real to the audience. If you go into this film with that belief then you will have a better time. Because nothing else about this movie makes any sense.
So like I said after the Avengers Tony Stark is now suffering from PTSD. Hes hit with recurrent anxiety attacks as well as bouts of crying. He kind of has to rediscover who he is by shedding his Iron man suit. He does this by remembering that it is not the suit that made him who he was. But instead it was who he was that made his Iron Man suit. It is that genius mechanical mind that makes up who he is.
Now this is only my interpretation of the movie but if it's incorrect then there is nothing in this movie that makes sense. Even as is they could definitely have accomplished this discovery with a much more coherent story line. Instead they try to add a bunch of other characters into the story that either have no background, little screen time, or serve no purpose.
Speaking of characters with no background. We have in the opening scene a sub character (Rebecca Hall) that is introduced, offered very little screen time, serves no purpose to the convoluted story and is killed anyway. Ok I spoiled that one but fuck it she serves absolutely no purpose to the movie so you might as well ignore her character from the beginning as if she were dead anyway.
Might as well go into the other characters now. I promise not to give anything else away.
Don Cheadle plays Tony Starks' sidekick. I actually kind of liked his character. I'm a sucker for pure moral people fighting for good, which is probably why I am one of the few who enjoyed the Captain America film. However because this film is trapped in the 2nd act we don't see too much of him.
Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Tony Starks' wife. Never really enjoyed the character (I mean why would a playboy choose to be married? :) ) but she did get more of a role this time around.
Ty Simpkins plays a young boy who helps Tony Stark rediscover who he is, which again is the only part of the plot that makes any sense.
And Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark. His acting was great as always. His on screen charisma has made him Tony Stark and there is no doubt that future Iron Man films will have to have him reprise his role. In fact he's up for contract negotiations and i'm sure hes going to make a killing.
His character away from the self discovery however seems to have had some other changes. And not for the better. Tony seems to go from charming and witty to using incredibly cheap humor and actually becomes downright mean. He is constantly being mean to his new young helper to the point that he even tells the kid to stop being a pussy just because his dad ran out on him 6 years ago.
Oh of course I almost forgot Ben Kingsley. In my opinion hes a legendary actor who is at the upper most echelon when it comes to acting. No matter what role he does I have no doubt that he will come out of it a shining star. And this movie is no exception. Unfortunately for us movie-goers he is offered very little screen time.
Plot Twists and Plot Holes
This movie is riddled with obvious plot twists and plot holes. The twists I won't go into because I want to keep this spoiler free. However I will go into the plot holes in minor detail.
To begin with the villain in this film has no background whatsoever. For some reason the villain became evil out of nowhere, is committing purely horrible acts for no reason and his current motive for his actions, while explained in the movie, still makes no sense.
Both the villain and Rebecca Halls character could have been served much better by actually having a first act. Instead the film dwells in the second act which allows for tons of plot holes and obvious plot twists. And again I wont go into the plots twists because I don't want to spoil the movie but i'm sure you will be expecting most of them a good 20-30 minutes before they even happen.
But back to the plot holes.
One of the earlier scenes involves Tony challenging the terrorist to come to his house and face him like a man. Remember Tony lives with his wife and yet he welcomes terrorists into their home. She actually says that it's time to go and he attempts to convince her to stay. We are led to believe that he loves his wife and yet he's willingly putting her in harms way.
What is particularly ridiculous about this is that the terrorist does take him up on his offer and Tony has absolutely no home self defense systems. Not only that but he only uses one of his Iron Man suits, in a house of dozens, and the suit used is only a prototype and is barely operational.
No. I'm convinced he hates his wife. Its the only explanation.
Now speaking of his suit. In the Avengers it was basically epic and could stop buses no problem. Heck it took on a hoard of raging aliens. But in this film its downright cheap and operates like a disposable camera. When your down with one you just discard and move onto another.
Another plot hole i'm sure has to do more with my tendency to notice and complain about everything then anything else. There was some weird Christmas theme in this movie that only manifested itself in short bursts.
You first experience this when Tony is trying out his new suit for the first time and is dancing sexy to a Christmas song. I was immediately confused because there was no mention of Christmas prior to this. A little ways later we see tony getting a Christmas gift for his wife and the terrorist vowing that he will end things by Christmas day, so I get the idea that it must be set during Christmastime.
However this film was shot mostly in North Carolina and Florida and so other then that there were no other Christmas elements. Why even mention or have anything Christmas related then? Seems incredibly odd as if they planned a movie during Christmastime but a quick wiki search seems that that isn't he case so it leaves me very confused. I'm sure this is a question that will lead scholars debating for decades to come...
Alright so thats basicaly the movie but i'll add just a couple more things.
-The action was incredibly boring. It could have been tons more exciting considering what was introduced in the final fight. In fact the movie was boring overall. There was one scene that had an important character die (not the one I spoiled) and the other character involved showed very little emotion considering.
-Don't bother on paying extra for 3d. It adds absolutely nothing and actually takes away from the film at times. Which seems odd to say considering how little I enjoyed this film. But at the very least it was shot well and looked good. The 3D took away from that because in one scene where Iron Man jumps out to save other passengers we see tons of blurring. The 3D was added in post production and not shot that way so it makes sense.
Now I should also finally add that my movie going experience was severely hurt by the movie crowd. I honestly think that theaters biggest problem of the future will be that the younger generations are unable to sit still and just enjoy a movie. The ammount of people checking their phones was astounding. I used to actually tell people to give it a break but with the vast ammount of peolple doing it I was severely outnumbered. Combine that with the constant talking throughout the film, and a curious lack of hygiene (bad bad BO), and I can see people like myself opting to just watch movies on demand at home with our ever increasing home theater systems.
That no doubt contributed to my movie going experience but I honestly think that this film had a dumb plot that should have respected its audience much more.
All I can say is that:
-God I hope this travesty isn't Disney's fault.