Escape to the Movies: Iron Man 3

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Iron Man 3 is not a good movie. Some spoilers follow, so skip if you don't want to read them:

Now, regarding Bob's review, it has to be said: The weird hate crusade against Nolan and the Batman trilogy has gone from quirky to juvenile. It's at a point where Bob is clearly trying to come up for post-fact rationalizations as to why these weak "real" comic movies, are somehow better than the Batman movies. They're not. Between the constant bashing in the reviews, his columns, and in twitter, it's clear that Bob is just carrying out some extended meta-argument with someone/something. The movie reviews are coming secondary, and his quality is drastically suffering because of it.

kordan11:
Shane Black man... Respect. When the film started with the narration, I couldn't help but smile like an idiot. :D The humour was just so good, along with almost everything else. Only thing I didn't like:

Otherwise it's just very very good. Not Avengers good. But still very good.

And for the record: I loved the Avengers, think Captain America was the worst Marvel film (and I think that Bob has a HUGE bias whenever it comes to characters he loves and the US, and it just explodes for this film), find TDKR to be pretty darn good though not TDK good, and think Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a MASTERPIECE.

I was a bit confused about that too, but here's what I think has happened.

SixShooter:
snip

You should really put those in spoiler tags unless you want a bad time

Spoiler: I'm about to discuss a few quibbles, including my own:

irishda:

ShadowHamster:

Allow me to summarize both of these posts for people who thought TL,DR. "I don't know shit about comic book movies and resent that a product based on previous products would expect me to be familiar of the original. Every movie should consider my ignorance, and make up for it! That's how we get awesome superhero movies like Tim Burton's BATMAN!!!:D Also Poop!" Your welcome.

Correction: I resent that a medium based on previous mediums is trying to introduce their worst tropes (Bucky breaks his own fucking rule for god's sake) to this medium, and one critic in particular is showing his bias by giving that medium a pass for shit he usually takes other movies to task for. Every movie should NOT be given a pass just for sticking to something in the source material for the fanboys even if it's a really terrible idea (like how Bob wants everything to look like the Silver/Golden Age of comics). That's how we get shit movies like Captain America!!! :D Also Poop!

None of those "worst tropes" you listed have appeared yet. These movies are embracing the comic-book STYLE of over the top energy and humor, not constant convoluted retcons to keep the status quo (in fact this movie in particular makes a big deal out of the fact that they are changing that status quo in the end). Cameos occur but not in a way that breaks up the flow or narrative.

Bob has not been biased in his reviews of these movies. He may overall forgive them for some things and enjoy them none the less for what they are but if a comic-book movie is bad he calls it out just like he would any other movie. If you want to accuse him of bias then you can at least do a better job of it by not just calling a movie he likes shit without explaining why.

Gorfias:
Spoiler: I'm about to discuss a few quibbles, including my own:

I've made my own review of the movie, here: http://unbalancedopinions.blogspot.com/2013/05/iron-man-3-detailed-review.html
(it's long and SPOILS EVERYTHING)

and I have to say that I don't agree with Bob on this one occasion The movie is completely weak, if it wasn't for the action sequences. Definitely weakest recent Marvel movie yet. I know that opinions are greatly diverging, but apart from the fact that it's the first post-Avengers Marvel movie, I really don't get the excitement.

undeadsuitor:

Gorfias:
Spoiler: I'm about to discuss a few quibbles, including my own:

That's pretty good. Not perfect, but I buy it. Other than that, while people can quibble, I think I'm largely OK with this movie. Bummer about the big twist but like movie bob says, good story over fidelity. I guess it works pretty well for me. I'll take it as my own shortcoming that I missed this particular plot point.

I never saw Iron Man 2, and my girlfriend never saw the first two (we did see the Avengers). Is Iron Man 3 still worth seeing right away, or should we get caught up first?

Silverspetz:

Bob has not been biased in his reviews of these movies. He may overall forgive them for some things and enjoy them none the less for what they are but if a comic-book movie is bad he calls it out just like he would any other movie. If you want to accuse him of bias then you can at least do a better job of it by not just calling a movie he likes shit without explaining why.

He calls them out for being bad...unless they're Marvel.

Very well, let's look at Captain America. Here's Bob's video for it. Now, right off the bat, he says he's tempted to call this the perfect movie. That right there should set off some warning bells that a critic can't find any fault with any movie, but let's dig deeper. There's no mention that the entire third act once Captain actually starts fighting the Nazis completely devolves into a series of rapid-fire montages (which is exactly how they manage to cram this into a "history-spanning epic" that covers the length of the war). There's no criticism that Captain inexplicably has four random guys following him around now. I'm pretty sure they never even said their names, much less got anything remotely close to characterization for them. But Bob undoubtedly loves them, because, as Bob says in the review, he grew up reading about them, so he knows exactly who they are.

But the biggest tell is his highest praise for the movie. In his words, it's a "lack of irony and cynicism". The movie is perfect because it doesn't make fun of his precious source material. In Bob's own words, it's so great because it doesn't try to have complex characters or subvert the source material in order to try to have depth. It's so great because it keeps exactly with the source material for flat, uninteresting characters. "An uncompromisingly good guy versus an evil with a capital 'e' guy." Normally, movies with flat, 1D characters get a word or too about how boring the characters are. But it's okay in this case because they're based on characters Bob likes.

Kataskopo:

The Deadpool:

Kataskopo:
Meh, I actually didn't like it. Mostly because of the motivations of the villian, they were so flimsy and "yeah, because I wan't to fuck things up" compared to the other two movies, especially the second one.

I don't think you understood his motivation...

Well, no I didn't.

So we see that Tony Stark dissed Guy Pearce a long time ago but he made a comeback. Did he wanted revenge?

Or was it about creating terrorists and becoming a defense contractor at the same time? That's... just evil. Why? Didn't he wanted to conquer the world too?

Well...

Gorfias:

undeadsuitor:

Gorfias:
Spoiler: I'm about to discuss a few quibbles, including my own:

That's pretty good. Not perfect, but I buy it. Other than that, while people can quibble, I think I'm largely OK with this movie. Bummer about the big twist but like movie bob says, good story over fidelity. I guess it works pretty well for me. I'll take it as my own shortcoming that I missed this particular plot point.

If you want something to quibble over:

It's a MINOR quibble, but a pet peeve nonetheless.

Best Christmas film since Die Hard.

I enjoyed the twist, although I went with two comic book lovers and they hated it because it wasn't true to the comics.

I really loved the after credits bit as well... It was all a story he was recounting to the Hulk as therapy.

Although they could have expanded the villain's role and motive a bit more, especially with the Mandarin at the beginning, apart bit more narrative and threat from the few confusing 'America must die' videos would have been nice. The threatening message in the trailers didn't even make the final film, and there was nothing similar to replace them.

Flatfrog:

Not in my opinion. Easily the best of the Marvel movies so far, better than Avengers even. Good story, good characters, good action, good dialogue, good spectacle, it just works. I wasn't a big fan of either of the first two Iron Man movies, but this one is definitely worth a watch. And the twist, while not exactly original, is beautifully done.

This is more or less what I was going to say. I found IM3 to be as good as the Avengers, maybe better, I'm not sure yet.

There's only 2 issues I really have with it, but they're minor spoilers so...

irishda:

Silverspetz:

Bob has not been biased in his reviews of these movies. He may overall forgive them for some things and enjoy them none the less for what they are but if a comic-book movie is bad he calls it out just like he would any other movie. If you want to accuse him of bias then you can at least do a better job of it by not just calling a movie he likes shit without explaining why.

He calls them out for being bad...unless they're Marvel.

Very well, let's look at Captain America. Here's Bob's video for it. Now, right off the bat, he says he's tempted to call this the perfect movie. That right there should set off some warning bells that a critic can't find any fault with any movie, but let's dig deeper. There's no mention that the entire third act once Captain actually starts fighting the Nazis completely devolves into a series of rapid-fire montages (which is exactly how they manage to cram this into a "history-spanning epic" that covers the length of the war). There's no criticism that Captain inexplicably has four random guys following him around now. I'm pretty sure they never even said their names, much less got anything remotely close to characterization for them. But Bob undoubtedly loves them, because, as Bob says in the review, he grew up reading about them, so he knows exactly who they are.

But the biggest tell is his highest praise for the movie. In his words, it's a "lack of irony and cynicism". The movie is perfect because it doesn't make fun of his precious source material. In Bob's own words, it's so great because it doesn't try to have complex characters or subvert the source material in order to try to have depth. It's so great because it keeps exactly with the source material for flat, uninteresting characters. "An uncompromisingly good guy versus an evil with a capital 'e' guy." Normally, movies with flat, 1D characters get a word or too about how boring the characters are. But it's okay in this case because they're based on characters Bob likes.

Unless that Marvel movie happens to be Amazing Spider-Man, which he's STILL making occasional digs at every once in a while because he hates it so much, and for reasons that aren't even valid, at least not the reasons he actually gives, most if not all aren't actually true.

Not being a comic book nerd I found the twist to be a relief and quite engaging.

The Deadpool:

If you want something to quibble over:

It's a MINOR quibble, but a pet peeve nonetheless.

Good one! I recall that and didn't understand why they said that was so (the choice that had to be made) and I quickly forgot anyone mentioned it.

The uneven tone is problematic. Some silly stuff I know my teenage son doesn't want to see, some brutal stuff that should have been rated R.

SixShooter:
Iron Man 3 is not a good movie. Some spoilers follow, so skip if you don't want to read them:

^^ THIS ^^

Though I would give it 2 stars, at most.

I do feel it necessary to post a link to the Marvel Wiki page for Mandarin. Nobody can tell me the lava men are better bad guys than THIS GUY:

http://marvel.com/universe/Mandarin

Diddy_Mao:
Just got back from the theatre. I really really liked it. Probably not my favorite Avengers film but easily my favorite of the Iron Man films.

It's going to be interesting to see where they go from here because it seems odd to introduce

as a one time thing.

Being the bookend story for Avengers Phase 1 and a presumed lead in to Phase 2 I can't wait to see where they're going.

Just my take after seeing it

Overall I thought it was a great movie, and probably one of the better comic movies that have been made. What plot holes there are, are more a matter of "Just accept it's a comic movie, don't think to much on it and don't worry too deeply about an explanation". The inconsistencies are more the same sort of ones that all of these fantasy adventure stories have. The same sorts of things that plague Star Wars, but don't stop it from being one of the all time greatest films. A few threads feel a little rushed or brushed aside at the end, and you wonder how or if they will be treated in later movies such as the Avengers (PTSD? Pepper?) But they seemed to be going for a point of closure should they seek to exercise it. And it was a good one. You leave the theater feeling more than satisfied. Not just for this movie, but for the entire Iron Man trilogy up to this point.

Ugh. This guy I know was just complaining on Facebook that there are too many "plot holes" in this movie, most importantly "where are the other Avengers?" Maybe it's just him, but I'm worried things like this could turn away other fans who aren't used to the temporary team-ups of the comics.

Edit: But the more I think about it, he has a point. In one of the earlier Avenger comics, Iron Man went off and fought his own battle and was temporarily suspended from the team for not alerting them. It now seems weird that they're throwing the Avengers all back into their own storylines. Once the team formed, they stayed a team for the most part, with some members coming and going but for extended periods of time. This whole "get together for one fight, split up for a while, and rejoin for the next huge threat" thing sounds much more like the Defenders, who noted this method as being their biggest difference from the Avengers, thus making them a non-team. This is bothering me now.

Saw it a couple hours ago. Let me start off by saying IMAX is entirely overrated. I don't know how it is in your local theater, but in mine the absolute only difference is that the seats are labelled so that everyone can be a pretentious asshole to each other by saying, "excuse me sir, you're in my seat." It's a goddamn movie theater, not an opera house.

Of course the biggest thing on my mind is what they did to the characters. Trying not to have too many **spoilers,** but just in case, **WARNING: spoilers.** In my opinion they did to the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 what they did to Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. By which I mean besides the name (and to an extent, the costume) the characters share no common ground. Does it work within the context of this movie? Yes, beautifully even. The problem I have with it is whether it works within the context of the universe. TDKR doesn't have to deal with the promise of a sequel, or having the characters match up with any other movies. Making a "Marvel Movie" becomes weaving a web collaboratively. You can't just decide to go a completely different direction and hope it will come out just as tightly knit. The movies were never exactly comic accurate, but that seemed to be because of the margin of error allowed when translating mediums. But I think they're losing sight of that. I think they pulled a lot of that stuff on purpose for both the shock value and to give themselves a name, rather than fulfilling their original goal of simply passing on the medium in a new form. But it falls kind of flat when you know there's only so far they can go before they get afraid of ruining continuity. Any feeling of loss is immediately disbanded since in the back of my mind I know anyone worth dying isn't "allowed" to die. This becomes especially apparent toward the end where they seem to just give up and go with the Die Hard formula for an ending. Although it helped a bit that they never took any scene in the movie too seriously.

TL;DR: It's not that they missed their AIM, I just think they're just starting to forget the definition of AIM.

mrblakemiller:
I have more to say!

Also, I made a huge claim up top saying that Rebecca Hall is the greatest actress working today. Thought I'd share what I consider some proOh My God they deleted the Rebecca Hall music video for "A Case of You" from Youtube! You bastards!

(Not sure I saw the same movie as MovieBob because I didn't get the same "yey great" so my thoughts)

Not a bad movie per see but well I were quite disappointed... The whole movie felt like they just tried to cram as much as possible in to it but not giving even a second to think about for example "why is the villain evil?"... But I guess that's just because "he's evil" and they don't want to explain it to the people whom haven't read the Iron Man comics because it would take to long... And they seem like they have run out of good jokes for Downey Jr, because they seemed a lot more lame than they used to...

However the action is great and really cool explosions, so ok watching but don't expect to much from story and the like...

And the ending is really clever since they could make more movies but don't have to and all would be fine anyway... :-)

TL:DR Not great but watchable

irishda:
He calls them out for being bad...unless they're Marvel.

You know, except for the part where he just pointed out the rather serious flaws with Iron-Man 1 and 2 at the start of this review.

irishda:
Very well, let's look at Captain America. Here's Bob's video for it. Now, right off the bat, he says he's tempted to call this the perfect movie. That right there should set off some warning bells that a critic can't find any fault with any movie,

Yes, and if you had actually listened at all beyond those words you would have heard the bit where he immediately tempers that statement by saying "at least as perfect of a Captain America movie I can conceive anyone having made". He is not calling it a perfect movie he is calling it a perfect CAPTAIN AMERICA movie. A subtle but important difference.

irishda:
but let's dig deeper. There's no mention that the entire third act once Captain actually starts fighting the Nazis completely devolves into a series of rapid-fire montages (which is exactly how they manage to cram this into a "history-spanning epic" that covers the length of the war).

Except for the part where he outmaneuvers the guy with the flamethrower-armor, and the chase scene where he boards a gigantic plane about to take off from a jeep, and the midair scene where he fights the Nazis IN their bomber-planes. No, nothing but rapid-fire montages at all.

irishda:
There's no criticism that Captain inexplicably has four random guys following him around now. I'm pretty sure they never even said their names, much less got anything remotely close to characterization for them. But Bob undoubtedly loves them, because, as Bob says in the review, he grew up reading about them, so he knows exactly who they are.

Ok, first of all it is not "inexplicable" that they follow him around. He saw them in action when he broke them out of that facility and later recruited them during the Bar-scene. Paying attention helps sometimes.

Second of all, as characters they are not important to the plot. They are just the background characters who help Cap out during his missions. Aside from Bucky none of them contribute very much to the plot of this movie so why would it be necessary to make a big deal out of them? Because they have distinctive looks and therefore you assume that they should be important? If they were all wearing generic soldier uniforms and were all American I doubt you would have even mentioned this as a problem because then you would have seen them for what they are, a group that acts as a plot-device of sorts, not important characters who need to be explored. In the comics these team-members are important and therefore they are explored there, but for this movie they are not. I thought you were the one who was against the comics bleeding into movies BTW. Guess that only applies when it gives you something to complain about.

irishda:
But the biggest tell is his highest praise for the movie. In his words, it's a "lack of irony and cynicism". The movie is perfect because it doesn't make fun of his precious source material. In Bob's own words, it's so great because it doesn't try to have complex characters or subvert the source material in order to try to have depth. It's so great because it keeps exactly with the source material for flat, uninteresting characters. "An uncompromisingly good guy versus an evil with a capital 'e' guy." Normally, movies with flat, 1D characters get a word or too about how boring the characters are. But it's okay in this case because they're based on characters Bob likes.

Has it ever occurred to you that Bob simply doesn't agree with you that Cap and Skull are 1-dimensional? That he thinks it is a good thing that they don't treat the source material with irony because he thinks treating it with respect actually gives it all the depth it needs? The movie doesn't put Cap in the seemingly ridiculous costume because he is just so gosh-darn patriotic, they play it smart and come up with a reason for why it works. And that reason turns out to be the very same reason the original creator of the character designed him that way, to be a crowd-pleaser in an era where fighting for your country and old-school heroics were all the public cared about. I'd say that is plenty subversive without resorting to ironic mockery of the character and the way he dresses.

Cap is an all around good guy but that does not necessarily make him boring. "Good" has several dimension to it as well. He is a likable guy who inspires people to be their best, and Skull is a Nazi who truly believes himself to be the Ubermench. For this movie that is all they need because the movie knows how to do "pure good" and "pure evil" WELL and make it seem like something that could very well exist in the era which the movie takes place in. I think Bob made all of that pretty clear around 4:40 so maybe you should consider that simply not agreeing with you on whether or not a movie is good doesn't make someone biased. Bob has never been an advocate for fidelity to the source-material at all costs, especially not when it hurts the movie AS A MOVIE. A fact he has made clear repeatedly in both Escape to the Movies and his Intermissions. You can see a prime example of it in this weeks review in particular.

Still, I appreciate that you took the time to at least explain why you thought the movie Bob praised was bad.

The movie was great, but it's probably going to bite them in the butt that they retconned The Mandarin (Iron Man's longest standing nemesis) from a world superpower villain into this nerdy spaz whose primary motivation to becoming a villain was having been played by Tony Stark back when he was drunk and irresponsible.

The comics had this whole cool idea that the Mandarin was actually a megalomaniacal fascist prodigy (not unlike a Chinese Dr. Doom) that found an alien ship and these power rings, but the movie just threw it out, merging this extremis idea (and apparently mutant fire powers) with it instead.

person427:
Ugh. This guy I know was just complaining on Facebook that there are too many "plot holes" in this movie, most importantly "where are the other Avengers?" Maybe it's just him, but I'm worried things like this could turn away other fans who aren't used to the temporary team-ups of the comics.

Edit: But the more I think about it, he has a point. In one of the earlier Avenger comics, Iron Man went off and fought his own battle and was temporarily suspended from the team for not alerting them. It now seems weird that they're throwing the Avengers all back into their own storylines. Once the team formed, they stayed a team for the most part, with some members coming and going but for extended periods of time. This whole "get together for one fight, split up for a while, and rejoin for the next huge threat" thing sounds much more like the Defenders, who noted this method as being their biggest difference from the Avengers, thus making them a non-team. This is bothering me now.

But here's the weird thing. Go back and look at the end of Avengers. They didn't coalesce into this big permanent uber team. In fact just the opposite. They basically told Shield to kinda go screw themselves and went their seperate ways. Widow and Hawkeye remained Shield operatives. Cap may or may not have still been working for the government, but it is safe to say that he probably went to figure out who and where he was, Thor left the planet, and Stark and Banner drove off to go back to civilian life. Fury said or assumed they would reform for a large enough threat, but there is no indication that they even for the most part have each others cell phone numbers. The only ones we can assume Stark would even have the capabilities of calling would be Widow (who he doesn't really trust at this point) and Banner, who he is telling the story to after the fact. And probably was not something he would want to bring into this sort of thing. You don't bring a WMD to a knife fight. (Remember the phrase "The last time I was in New York I broke Harlem". Global threat of alien invasion = Hulk Good, Ossama bin Laden type terrorist = Hulk does more damage than the terrorists. It would be like nuking Boston to get the Tzarniev brothers.)

The bigger question is not why weren't the Avengers in this. It was more why wasn't War Machine in the Avengers? A legit question can be asked of why we didn't see SHIELD in this? The actual reason probably has more to do with timing. The SHIELD TV show and Captain America movie are both probably at a stage of production where Shield is solidly involved in them, but the exact details aren't hammered down enough that they could avoid causing problems by slipping them into this movie. So to avoid future conflict they just steered around them and Let Rhodey fill that role.

XDravond:
(Not sure I saw the same movie as MovieBob because I didn't get the same "yey great" so my thoughts)

Not a bad movie per see but well I were quite disappointed... The whole movie felt like they just tried to cram as much as possible in to it but not giving even a second to think about for example "why is the villain evil?"... But I guess that's just because "he's evil" and they don't want to explain it to the people whom haven't read the Iron Man comics because it would take to long... And they seem like they have run out of good jokes for Downey Jr, because they seemed a lot more lame than they used to...

However the action is great and really cool explosions, so ok watching but don't expect to much from story and the like...

And the ending is really clever since they could make more movies but don't have to and all would be fine anyway... :-)

TL:DR Not great but watchable

Strange fact. The whole motivation / "Why is the villain evil" thing is not really a flaw in this movie. It is actually a flaw in the underlying villain. Long Time Iron Man/SHIELD/Captain America foes AIM. They are and always have been generic terrorist mad scientists bent on world domination. But there never has been a clear underlying reason. Digging too deep into it is like asking Why exactly is COBRA evil in GIJoe? What is Destro's motivation, etc. There isn't a lot of deep underlying reasoning or motivation there in the source material beyond a bunch of very very smart people in yellow suit swho really like to watch thing sgo boom, just for the heck of it. They tried to give them a little more depth with Killian (Slighted Nerd cripple with revenge fantasies seeks to impose strength of everyone else by manipulating both sides) but it's still not great. It really makes no more or less sense than the motivations of Whiplash in the last movie, or the Joker in Dark Knight, or pretty much any James Bond villain. It's a popcorn movie, appreciate it for what it is.

geldonyetich:
The movie was great, but it's probably going to bite them in the butt that they retconned The Mandarin (Iron Man's longest standing nemesis) from a world superpower villain into this nerdy spaz whose primary motivation to becoming a villain was having been played by Tony Stark back when he was drunk and irresponsible. They had this whole cool idea that the Mandarin was actually a megalomaniacal fascist prodigy that found an alien ship and these power rings, and just threw it out, merging this extremis idea with it instead.

My thoughts'

faefrost:

But here's the weird thing. Go back and look at the end of Avengers. They didn't coalesce into this big permanent uber team. In fact just the opposite. They basically told Shield to kinda go screw themselves and went their seperate ways. Widow and Hawkeye remained Shield operatives. Cap may or may not have still been working for the government, but it is safe to say that he probably went to figure out who and where he was, Thor left the planet, and Stark and Banner drove off to go back to civilian life. Fury said or assumed they would reform for a large enough threat, but there is no indication that they even for the most part have each others cell phone numbers.

If you look real quick at the last pull-out shot where Stark and Pepper are playing around with the 3D model of the rebuilding of Stark Tower, you can see A.) A handful of color-coded data folders tagged with icons representing each of The Avengers individually and B.) a space below the observation-deck of the tower is being converted into a hangar for a Quinjet; the implication apparently being that while they're not interested in working under the direct auspices of S.H.I.E.L.D., at least one of them is planning to keep the band together in some form.

Kataskopo:
Meh, I actually didn't like it. Mostly because of the motivations of the villian, they were so flimsy and "yeah, because I wan't to fuck things up" compared to the other two movies, especially the second one.

The villain's motives weren't conventional, but they were explained enough.

As a comic adventure I thought it was great. As a story... meh. I was a little annoyed at the "twist" in the middle since it seemed like a big f-you to the comic fans as did the final fight at the end. With the first Iron Man I got the feeling that Jon Favreau actually liked the comics and the character and I sort of feel like Shane Black didn't and took the time to flip off everyone who did.

Some teenagers spoiled it for my group when we were waiting to get into the show. Reaction was split on the film, the non comic members loved it and the hardcore Iron Man hated it and the big twist. To me, it was right in the same solid level it seems all of these recent Marvel films are at. Not special, but enjoyable enough.

Am I the only one who hated and was dissapointed in this movie?

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