Monday, May 06, 2013

Review of Iron Man 3

Not many plot spoilers below, but I might give away an emotional epiphany or two.

Kristin and I went to see Iron Man 3 on Saturday.  While I greatly enjoyed it, Kristin found the plot confusing: I was surprised at some of the things she didn't follow.  Now my wife's very intelligent and a talented writer, so it had me wondering whether the movie was more confusing than I realized.  It may just be that I have an easier time dealing with leaps of Hollywood and/or comic-book logic, including a very questionable hacking scene, or maybe I got distracted by the pretty explosions and didn't pay as much attention to the plot as she did.  But be aware that the movie may not make much sense to everybody.

Which is a shame, because otherwise it was a lot of fun.  Aside from the aforementioned explosions, there were some nice character notes for Tony and his relationships, especially with Pepper, Rhodey, and the cute kid.  Yes, there's a cute kid.  Surprisingly, his presence doesn't turn the movie saccharine.  Tony Stark is just as abrasive and snarky with the cute kid as with everyone else, and the kid held his own.

Which brings us back to Tony.  Tony Stark dominates the Iron Man movies.  Which isn't too surprising, as he's the main character, but he owns the movies in ways that other main characters, even superheroes, don't.  Villains, like Loki in Thor, can often steal the show, but with the Iron Man movies the villains are bit players, and it's really about Tony and his personal demons.  In the first movie we saw him becoming a hero, while in the second we saw him backslide, as being a hero went to his head. The third movie is a bit different. He's still arrogant and larger than life, which he'll no doubt always be, but he's also more mature.  He met the price of being a hero in The Avengers, and any mention of the events in New York brings on a panic attack.

What brings him resolution is realizing that whether he's fighting without the suit (which he does very effectively) or whether he's using a ton of suits (which he also does by the end), it's not the armored suit that makes him Iron Man.  And that, I thought, was an epiphany he very much needed.

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