I think I always open movie reviews with, “I’m not sure how this is going to go,” but it’s because my movie watching experiences tend to vary wildly. This time around I saw the flick with the family. I have never before watched a movie for the first time with my wife and my son – not a grown-up movie that I actually cared about, anyway.
I forgot the lesson I learned with Avengers, which was that a five-year-old does not have the same standards of movie pacing that I do. While I thought that Avengers moved along at breakneck speeds the first time I saw it, I learned that there is actually an enormous amount of people talking and not doing superhero things while wearing superhero costumes. I know this because it was pointed out to me by a five-year-old. Every couple of minutes.
In short – go see the movie by yourself first.
That will also allow you to judge whether or not you even want your child to see it. Lil’ Troublemaker has seen all of the Phase I movies. Even Captain America against my better judgment (I didn’t want him seeing the scene where the Hydra guy gets diced by the airplane propeller for obvious reasons). He loves Captain America. I figured that Iron Man 3 would maintain about the same levels and tone of violence and language as the other movies, but it got a little heavier. For you parents out there, here’s a rundown of things that I wished he hadn’t seen/heard:
- “Pussy”, “son of a bitch”, and “g*ddamned” are each used once. Other than that there isn’t much bad language, but those are pretty bad (and unnecessary, though “pussy” was a pretty big laugh).
- Tony gets beat up a lot and there’s some minor bloodiness.
- There is a lot of graphic violence – including exploding people and dismemberment – but most of it happens to fairly cartoony supervillains. It’s still kind of rough, though.
- There are a few scenes of what basically amounts to torture. Also kind of rough. Not graphic, but definitely people in pain.
- Some scantily-clad ladies were also running around and there were a couple of references to adult naughty-time. Nothing overt. This didn’t bother me as much but your tolerance may differ.
Lil’ Troublemaker didn’t seem too upset by anything, though. He just wanted Tony to put on the Iron Man suit and punch things. This, honestly, is what we all want.
Since I didn’t get to pay as much attention to the movie as I would have liked, I’m going to avoid spoilers entirely and just give you an idea of what we all thought of Iron Man 3. I don’t have any business writing one of my full reviews until I see it again.
The story was very, very good. I think every choice made regarding the villain was a good one. I enjoyed the antagonist just as much as I did Sam Rockwell in the second movie. And there was definitely a thrill to seeing events unfold. There were plenty of things regarding the plot that I went in totally unaware of and enjoyed the movie that much more because of it. As a matter of fact, one of those things was revealed in the materials that came with the Phase I Blu-Ray set that I bought a few weeks ago and I didn’t even realize it at the time. If you really want to know, go check out my Instagram photos on Facebook.
The story of Tony and Pepper’s relationship post-Chitauri invasion is handled amazingly well. The characters behave in a realistic fashion that is dramatic and yet never gets too heavy. The weight of Tony’s heroism was communicated very well without ever bogging down the plot or making his character too dark. It took a combination of a strong script, good directing, and excellent work by the actors to strike the right balance for this portion of the plot and they all nailed it.
The villain is brilliant and that’s all I’ll say.
The supporting cast gets a bit more to do this time around. Happy Hogan gets some good, character-building stuff. Rhodey gets a good number of action-guy scenes and Don Cheadle handles them all like he’s the real leading man (which I still hope to see someday). There’s another supporting character that I won’t spoil that is a lot of fun. He meets Tony maybe halfway through the movie and actually adds a lot to the story.
Side Note: It won’t happen, but I think they should do a team-up movie with Cap and Rhodey. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Cap still enlisted? I think that would be a lot of fun and a nice, unexpected variation.
There is a lot of truly hilarious comedy in this movie. Lots of physical stuff. The whole theater was laughing out loud a bunch of times throughout. It was fun to be a part of. Oh, and we saw it at 2:30 on Sunday and the theater was packed. I think this thing might make a little money.
The effects were fantastic. There were some scenes with the Iron Man armor that were absolutely mind-blowing – unlike anything I’ve seen in a movie before. The way the suit interacts with Tony this time around is incredible. There wasn’t one moment in the movie where the CGI took me out of the story. It all looked amazing. There were other elements that were equally breathtaking, but I can’t go into them or I’ll spoil stuff.
Side Note: I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but I fucking hate movie trailers. They are destroying the intended momentum of many of my favorite movies. The scene in Iron Man 3 where all of the different armors showed up should have been one of the high points of the movie and such an astonishing visual that the viewer would carry that reveal with them for a very long time. The movie certainly set it up that way. Instead, we all saw it in the trailer and when it happened it was almost an anticlimax. This sort of thing absolutely fills me with rage. Do you know what kind of trailer Iron Man 3 needed? This:
Seriously. After the past five years of Marvel movies, do we really need anything more? And we certainly don’t need things that spoil portions of the movie. Although there were a good number of things that were kept secret (somehow). I wouldn’t be surprised if they come out by the time this posts.
The climax of the movie was one hundred percent satisfying, though I did have a problem with the very end. Something happened that didn’t make any sense. I need to talk about it a bit, so I’m going to surround it with spoiler warnings:
Okay, so the big conflict with Tony and Pepper is that he’s freaked out after fighting gods and aliens and has withdrawn and is spending all of his time working on armor. She hates it. At the end of the movie, he blows up all of the Iron Man suits for her. It’s stupid and pointless because we all know that Avengers 2 is happening and that he’s in it. And we also know he’s not going to stop being Iron Man. And at the very end of the movie he even repeats the post-cut line from the first movie – “I am Iron Man.” So what the fuck? I didn’t like that and neither did Lil’ Troublemaker.
We all enjoyed the movie. When I asked Lil’ Troublemaker what his favorite part was, he said, “All of it.” Eventually he narrowed it down to all of the suits fighting. I had a great time watching and can’t wait to see it again. It created a new story while building on what has come before. I had a few minor quibbles, but the only major flaw I perceived was that it in no way – that is yet apparent – set up any of the rest of Phase II. So don’t go in expecting the first chapter of a new story. Iron Man 3 actually felt more like the epilogue to Phase I. But an awesome epilogue.
4 out of 5
Go see it as soon as you can and don’t let it get spoiled. The things that surprised me were great surprises.