*Spoiler alert – If you haven’t seen Iron Man 3 in its entirety, do not read any further.
One week ago, I watched this for the first time (thanks to pirating)…and I liked it. Yes, we do have the early, rather amateurish reveal of the main villain in the beginning. But I think my good friend (a fellow comic book aficionado) and I rolled our eyes BECAUSE it was so predictable; the writers and fans in us cringed.
Also the use of The Mandarin left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I thought it was clever to have him as a figurehead instead of the walking Fu Manchu stereotype he is in the comics; his magic and the 12 rings seem silly in IM’s movie world. On the other hand, Killian, as the main villain, as a (another) contrast to Tony Stark (Justin Hammer, Ivan Vanko) reminded me of Spider Man 3‘s answer to Venom, which was a mistake…a colossal one.
Furthermore, the potential for a terrorist Mandarin is amazing…at least I think so. It could have been dark and alerted us to the horrors of war. Oh well…
Lastly, when the movie ended, I laughed for two reasons: the fact that he was talking to Bruce (Banner) the entire time. “I’m not that kind of doctor, Tony. I don’t have the temperament.” says Bruce. What an understatement! The second reason was that I realized, much like Watchmen, this film is deconstruction. Breaking down what a hero is and showing the audience some ambient aspect we never thought about or didn’t want to. In this case, who Tony is as a man as opposed to who he is as a hero.
Mainly, Tony’s rarely in the suit, tying back to what Captain America asked him in The Avengers, “what are you without the suit?” It forced us to connect with Tony the hero, sans Iron Man. He utilizes MacGuyver-esque (Stark predates him) ingenuity in taking on Mandarin’s thugs; we knew he was capable of this but it hasn’t been seen since Iron Man 1 (which was a while ago). In addition, he gets the shrapnel removed from his chest. I said…finally. It is the 21st Century…and the advances in medicine have existed for a long time. So it made sense to me. Granted, we all identify Iron Man by the reactor/mechanical heart he created to save his own life. It stood as a symbol of his survival and innovative mind. The sequence which was supposed to make us believe that he had hung it up was the armors explosion scene. I call bullshit…because he made all of the armors in the first place i.e. he can make more. Period.
One more point: Killian and the application of Extremis were exaggerated. Yes, body heat can be elevated to certain levels but high enough to melt metal (or whatever fictional alloy IM’s suits are composed of), fire-breathing was a stretch, and their healing factor…OMG. Did we learn anything from X-Men 3?! Wolverine only comes close…and he’s the best there is. Character-wise, Killian was reminiscent of Buddy Pine aka Syndrome (from The Incredibles, love that movie!).
Just a thought. Not the end of an era…or a franchise.
Bye for now, KS.