Iron Man 3 – CBG Complaints

We took in Iron Man 3 this weekend for family movie night.  Mostly, it was what you’d expect: a fun comics themed actioner aimed squarely at the mass markets.  The kids and wife enjoyed it.  I mostly enjoyed it.  And we understand and fully support Disney/Marvel’s approach here.  We’re glad to have shared-world Avengers movies with a sense of continuity, big budgets, and A-list talent.  However….

However, and not to go all Comic Book Guy here, because Iron Man was never a personal favorite or anything, but I do have to go CBG here.  Because just like Man of Steel, the writers/director sort of missed some key elements with Iron Man 3 and kind of blew it to the point of ludicrousity.

Which isn’t really a word, but you get our point.  Major spoilers below…

  • Get him out of the suit.  The biggest problem feeds into all the other problems, namely – the writers/director and (presumably) RDJr. feel they just have to get Tony out of and away from that suit.  Otherwise he’s just too tough and powerful and it’s lots of CGI fighting.  More to the point, the writers seemed to have reduced one of Tony’s major internal conflicts to a ridiculous level:  Am I or am I not Iron Man…  Because, you know, at the end of the first movie, I kinda told everyone…  They are trying real had to impart some sense of dark alter ego on the character – a kind of Batman identity question that really doesn’t work.  So between the physical conflict out-of-the-suit and the imposed internal out-of-the-suit stuff, we get a lot of the oddness that follows.  Such as…
  • Iron Drones.  He’s Iron Man, not Drone Man.  The virtual control of the suit, with Jarvis doing the heavy lifting; it’s just not warranted and not right for the character.  So we have these suits walking and flying around sort of independently but linked to Tony’s subconscious.  Yes, this set the stage for ‘House Party’, but at the cost of basic reason?
  • Iron Drones can’t protect Tony’s pad?  What?  Stark’s not smart enough to have perimeter defenses.  He couldn’t just send a few suits out there (see below).  This super genius has a single point of failure for suit deployment.  And it’s not like the Mandarin came in with some super secret stealth tech here – these were basic helos…
  • Panic Attacks.  OK, I like the idea of PTSD-type reaction to almost dying in an alien invasion.  But raise your hand if you thought Tony would have an actual panic attack when his stress levels were truly elevated in a show-down with the bad guys.  Nope?  Me neither.  Fortunately the kid gave him his psychiatric solution beforehand, right?  But the Heroes Journey method says we have to manufacture weakness (even if it’s not there), so panic attacks and slight existential identity crisis it is.
  • Flying Armor Parts.  No.  Just no.  This is a case of a cool-looking CGI capability really subverting things.  It’s cool to see the flying quick armor.  But it’s a horrible, horrible plot device.  How do they fly?  What’s their fuel?  If you can get flying, super agile mini-parts, just build a bunch of mini-drones and send them after the bad guys en masse.  Game over.
  •  Melty Guy.  Apparently Killian and his melty guys can approach nova temperatures, because the Iron Man armor just withered like hot candy there in Act 3.  Of course, with that kind of heat, they would have melted through the platforms, ships, etc. all around them, sinking into the Earth’s crust.  Again, cool CGI effect, bad plotting.
  • Armor Fireworks.  Awful.  Ridiculous.  Another horrible Heroes Journey metaphor taken to a mind-numbingly dumb extreme.  Tony Stark would never do this.  The Marvel Comics guys obviously lost any semblance of influence with this one, because I can’t imagine Stan or Avi Arad or Joss Whedon thinking this would work.  As those suits were exploding, my kids both asked why he’d blow up all his armor. Because this movie is bad.

There.  Don’t we all feel better.  Not so much.  But, hey, the Thor trailer looks pretty cool and at least they still have Joss on the Avengers sequel, right?  And IM3 did result in a damned fine HISHE short…


2 thoughts on “Iron Man 3 – CBG Complaints

  1. Pingback: By the Beard of Odin | Beemsville
  2. Pingback: Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Beemsville

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