Kathy Sees Iron Man 3

Talk to the hand, bro.

Talk to the hand, bro.

CONTAINS SPOILERS

I love me some Marvel movies. While I didn’t love Iron Man 3 I thought it was the best of the franchise. But it’s not without it flaws. In case you’ve been living under a rock (not judging you) you can find the plot here. Now to discuss those flaws.

Iron Man 3 isn’t just an action movie. It’s a character study, an attempt to add layers to Tony Stark. The writers, Shane Black (also the director) and Drew Pearce, took the characterization rule to heart in this one: during the course of the story the lead must grow and by the end he must change.

The problem is: no one cares. We like to see Tony Stark being a cocky, snarky genius with cool gadgets and just a whiff of a soul. Besides, he went through all his character angst in Iron Man. No need to see him wash rinse and repeat in the threequel (and I’m gonna forget Iron Man 2 ever happened anyway).

The things that made Tony interesting–his  bone-deep insecurity that he overly compensates for, his aggressive/obsessive drive when it comes to inventions and “tinkering”, and his internally wired sense of duty that he constantly fights against–are dispensed with by the end of the movie, because he almost loses the most beautiful woman in the world Pepper.

Really? Really?? Never mind that Pepper is a whiny ball of boredom. Never mind that she’s in a relationship with a broken man who happens to be a superhero, yet she’s pissed because he ate supper without her when she came home late from work. And never mind that somehow she’s the best thing that ever happened to freaking IRON MAN, even though she doesn’t seem to like him or show a bit of attraction toward him. But the worst foul here is that it’s been done before. Over and over and over and …now I’ve bored myself.

The movie practically grinds to a halt at the halfway point. Again, more character examination coupled with some Law and Order investigating with a precocious little tow-headed kid (surprise) whose mother works in a diner (surprise surprise) and whose father abandoned them (OMG I didn’t see that coming).

But once we’ve gotten past all of this, the movie picks up. And this is where the greatness comes in. There are a couple of refreshing twists that I don’t want to spoil despite the spoiler warning above, especially in light of the previous predictability. The action sequences are great. There’s also less dependence on the suit and more dependence on Tony’s resourcefulness and physical fitness. That was a good change in the franchise because Iron Man isn’t just a suit. Tony Stark is Iron Man–which he tells us at the end of the movie. In case you haven’t figured it out yet.

Overall the movie is really good. I’d watch it again, despite my nitpicks. And while it doesn’t reach the bar set by The Avengers, I  can recommend it. Skip the 3D, though. It’s a complete waste of money.