The Miserables Review: Iron Man 3 (or “Three” for Andrew…)

Fallon: This month we’re approaching our film reviews a little bit differently. All of us review Iron Man 3 and give you our own unique experiences in one post. Enjoy!

*******THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*******

Ashley: May is the start of my favorite time of year. I think about everything that comes along with this magical month: spring, baseball, summer break, etc. Yes, I love seasonal changes and all the newness of everything around me. I enjoy watching my nephew out in right field looking off into space. I live for the anticipation of the last days of school when summer break is in sight. But the thing I love most about May is the beginning of…SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER SEASON!!! As soon as I get my Entertainment Weekly Summer Calendar, I immediately start planning the next three months around premieres and opening nights. It sounds lame, but that is a bit of truth from my sad life.

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I kicked off the season by watching my second favorite Marvel superhero on the big screen. I’m a huge fan of the Ironman series and have been a faithful follower for many years now. I will say that my journey with Tony, Pepper, Hap, and Rhody has been somewhat disappointing at times…cough… Avengers…cough. But after leaving the theatre tonight, I was very pleased with where we left Tony Stark. SPOILER ALERT: We are promised that we will see Iron Man again, but if this is the last installment of Stan Lee’s masterpiece, it went out with a bang!

Hillari: So, I liked it. A lot. Robert Downey Jr. is just — fantastic (and seriously sexy)! If the man told me he was Barack Obama, I would believe him. The dude is good. Go see this movie because Robert Downey Jr. is in it.

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Andrew: There are a lot of things within Shane Black’s Iron Man Three (that’s how it’s spelled in the credits!) that would normally be considered red flags for me in any given superhero film. It’s a movie that takes Iron Man’s archenemy and turns him into a…well, I probably shouldn’t give that away I guess…but see it and, if you know anything about the character, you’ll understand. It also fulfills some unnecessary character clichés (did Guy Pearce really have to be that nerdy?) and takes a lot of chances (a somewhat supernatural villain storyline) that do not all pay off. This is why that when I came to the realization that I enjoyed the hell out of it, I even surprised myself.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the film is that although it comes from a major movie studio, it is essentially very much a Shane Black film. For those of you who don’t know, Jon Favreau directed the first two entries in the series and then handed over the reigns to Shane Black for this one, who had worked previously with Robert Downey Jr. on his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). He was also known as Hollywood’s go-to action screenwriter for a period of time following his debut script, Lethal Weapon, in 1987. What he does with Tony Stark in this case is essentially place him in the world of a 1980s action film. He then just unleashes Downey, who subsequently commits to making you laugh for what seems like the entire film’s running time (“Where’s my sandwich?”). Apparently Black’s mantra in taking control of this massive franchise was simply ‘entertain at all cost’, and for the most part he really does. He doesn’t seem to care about enraging the comic book nerds, but rather fully commits to the film he wants to make. This film happens to be an action comedy, and yes, it delivers on both fronts in spades.

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Now, I wouldn’t say Iron Man Three (yup, I’m committing to it) is one of Marvel’s absolute best, but it’s certainly a massive improvement over the lackluster second entry in the Iron Man franchise. The best compliment I can give it is not that it’s a great film, but that it’s an entertaining one and quite possibly one of the ballsiest superhero adaptations ever (The Mandarin…yeah). Shane Black isn’t scared of the fanboys; he just wants to entertain you, and hey, I really was entertained. Fancy that.

Fallon: I have mixed feelings. I wanted to be entertained and I was… half entertained and yet, half annoyed. RDJ *is* Iron Man (well done you) and quite entertaining. But, it felt like Stark’s character changed from the last two films, from cocky but well-meaning, to just plain a-hole (like did Stark really need to tell that kid not to be a p***y about his dad leaving him? Eh…).

Pepper got to kick more butt and that was kinda cool, though I did have flashbacks of X-Men 3: The Last Stand and thought maybe Tony would “have” to kill Pepper, but I was pleased she didn’t beg him for death. However, flags on the movie field for representation of women. Seriously guys, are we still confined to angels or monsters? Pepper is “perfect” and Maya, the one night stand/villain, is… how did Tony say it? “Soulless.” Blegh! penalty of ten yards.

Also, I learned something from this movie: release dates really do matter. I was distracted by the Christmas element, taken out of the story with thoughts of why it didn’t come out in December (…Downton Abbey had their finale on Christmas Day…oh hey, Happy watches Downton… I wonder if people are going to Google it after the movie like they did shawarma after Avengers…).

I also couldn’t get passed the fact that Iron Man’s suit was seemingly indestructible against Ivan Vanko’s electric whips in Iron Man 2 and yet, he went through how many suits (like tissues!) against some genetically altered internally combustible people in this film. I’m just saying… they really needed to explain how these souped-up people could out do a couple of whips attached to an arc reactor. Are we forgetting that Thor’s lightning bolt *charged* the suit in Avengers, not destroyed it. But a little hand heat melts the darn thing? Since when is Iron Man’s suit made like an M &M?

Moving on… Yay or nay? If you’re an Iron Man fan, into action flicks, or otherwise want to sink into a pseudo reality where there are terrorist attacks against the U.S. but a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist comes to the rescue, then you should watch this on the big screen as filmmakers intended. Otherwise, you could skip it and see The Croods while it’s still out. Yep, that’s my recommendation. Go see The Croods.

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Fallon: To sum up: Ashley was pleased, Hillari less than threes Robert Downey Jr., Andrew was surprisingly entertained, while I was mildly entertained. We hope you enjoyed our first collaborative review! Up next, The Great Gatsby

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