I've just returned home from the theater post Iron Man 3. My thoughts and feelings towards the film are still settling into place, so this is not a review (we'll do that on the podcast next week). Its more of a stream of consciousness (thank you high school english teacher). So be prepared to jump around from plot point to plot point and back again. And this goes without saying but SPOILERS AHEAD!
So coming out after from the movie the first thing I said was; "damn that was a cool credit sequence!" And no before you correct me, I'm not talking about the POST credit sequence, although there is one, I'm just talking about the credits themselves. I wont even spoil it for you because I feel like you should see it yourself. And yes its lame to talk about the credit sequence first thing after watching a movie like Iron Man 3 but its also the last thing I saw.
Moving on, I especially enjoyed the Air Force 1 sequence we've all seen in the trailers. Its just as exciting as you'd expect and the IMAX 3D was used to great affect. Its just nice seeing super heroes do heroic things from time to time rather then just punching bad guys.
What was the deal with the Home Alone type scene (he even uses a Christmas ornament as a grenade for god sake!). I get that hes a genius but it just seemed silly that he would attack a heavily guarded compound with what looked like a dart gun made of household goods, and a few nicknacks he bought from Home Depot.
How great was hearing Blue by Eiffel 65 in the opening scene?! Actually, not that great. But funny.
The way the Extremis was portrayed was actually pretty cool. BUT... I wont accept a man can breath fire. Sorry Guy Pierce. Although he did a great job as the villain here. Especially during the final set piece.
Seeing all the suits was nice, but we never really got a good understanding of what differentiated each one. There was a black one that looked like it had more Oomph, for lack of a better word, in the repulsors but that wasnt very clear either. One of the few things that actually did differentiate the armours only made laugh. When the Hulk Buster type armour conveniently had a piston type mechanism in its spine, the first thing I thought of was; "what could you possibly need that for, other than for this exact scenario?".
More about things that made me laugh. This time in a good way. The humour in this film is abundant and well done. There we're a few reoccurring gags that, at least for me, hit every time (Iron Patriot is totally NOT a cooler name than War Machine). Now I admit there were a few jokes that didn't go over well with the audiences but I guess I'm easy to please.
RDJ was once again great in the role of Tony Stark. With a nod to John Favreau and Gwyneth Paltrow who were once again great as Happy Hogan and Pepper Pots respectively. But I have to mention Don Cheadle's James Rhodes. Who, as Iron Patriot this time around rather than War Machine, actually had a fair bit to do here and it worked well.
Did anyone else for even one second think Pepper actually died there? Didn't think so. If your going to try and sell the death of a pivotal character in the middle of the climax you should at least linger on it for more then like 2 seconds. Plus Tony hardly reacted. I mean I guess he's in the middle of a battle with a super human but really, nothing?
The Mandarin. Was definitely... interesting? At first, before the whole bait and switch, I really liked what they were doing with the Mandarin. Ben Kingsely's voice was great and had the appropriate amount of terror you'd expect from a villain like the Mandarin. Unfortunately this was one of the jokes that fell flat. for the most part. I would have preferred to have seen the Mandarin be the mastermind we expected rather than make Dr. Killian the shadow puppeteer that they used instead. And what was with all the villains referring to him as "the master" if he was hardly important, at least in terms of the rank of the villains involved. Unless they were talking about some unseen mastermind behind even Dr. Killian's plans. Perhaps M.O.D.O.K.?
As for the status quo change that takes place at the end. It wasn't actually clear what happened. At least to me. I know he was able to somehow use the Extremis tech to make it possible to remove the shrapnel from around his heart. But how exactly? Also, he had a massive hole in is chest where the Arc reactor was. What goes there now? What will power his suits from now on? Or is it now more like it was in the comics where his skin is somehow apart of the armour? See all those questions? (look there's another one!) That's why its not clear. And I spend my nights trying to figure this stuff out.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It was fun, it stayed away from what was the downfall of its predecessor, Iron Man 2, and steered clear of S.H.I.E.L.D and the rest of the Marvel universe, in a way that it benefited from. The few little nods to the Avengers were well done and more subtle. It didn't feel like they were beating you over the head with references to things that already happened. Except for maybe New York, but that was some pretty big stuff. They mostly get it out of the way quick and move on. Shane Black did a great job and you can definitely see the his hand at work in a few places, in a good way.
lastly, the post credit sequence, that is now the trademark of all the Marvel movies, wasn't some jaw dropping surprise moment but I actually appreciate that. Seeing Dr. Banner was cool and who doesn't love Ruffalo. It was lighthearted and fun but I cant help but to feel like they wasted an opportunity for people to get to know about Ant-man or some of the Guardians of Galaxy. Especially when Iron Man is easily your biggest property after the Avengers and will have the most butts in the seats. But no harm done.
Make sure to listen to next weeks Tower of Babble Podcast to hear me and the guys break down the whole thing.