Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"I am Iron Man."

It's Wednesday, let's talk about movies.  But first let me catch you up a little.  I was a finalist in this week’s 5 minute fiction (vote HERE if you like), and had two short story rejections.  Okay, now we're caught up.

I first encountered Ben Kingsley when he played Gandhi.  This weekend I saw him twice, once as Mazor Rackham in Ender's Game, and then as the terrorist in Iron Man 3.  Oh, the irony of his career's characters.  The rest of this post is filled with spoilers for Iron Man 3 --  If that's possible.  It really wasn't all that complex.  If you saw the poster then you know about as much about the plot as I do.

Iron Man - larger than life.

Writing that line really hurts me.  I like Iron Man.  Always have.  When the first movie came out I was really impressed.  It was a good movie.  I can tell you what it was about, describe scenes, and even recite bits of dialogue.  Robert Downey nailed the character.  Yah!  Everybody's happy.

Problem is, I watched IM3 less than a week ago and I can't tell you what it was about.  I don't remember the names of the villains.  I don't remember the name of Ben Kingsley's character.  I don't remember the name of the little boy in Indiana (or Tennessee?  I'm thinking now it was Tennessee.)  I do remember that there were a lot of explosions and suits flying around with nobody in them.

The writer of IM3, Shane Black, is something of a legend in the screen writing world.  I was expecting better.  But I shouldn't have.  IM3 had no chance at all.  It's a tent-pole sequel designed to squeeze the last little bit of money possible from the franchise.  The insistence on including bits from all of the other Marvel based movies was forced and the entire premise of the film was drawn from Avengers - not IM2!  Not only does it fail as a standalone story, it fails as a sequel.

There were very serious attempts to create a great story.  Tony was vulnerable and cranky, there was a kid, Colonel Rhodes had a big part and was very good, and even Pepper got to try her hand at flying the suit.  Unfortunately there were too many threads dangling from too weak of a premise and too complicated of a world domination plan for it to work.

There were some great moments in the movie and I won't be packing my Iron Man shirt off to the Goodwill, but it could have been so much more.  IM1 and the Avengers showed us that.


  1. Caution: this is nitpicking - I'm well aware and make no apologies for it. My dad will read this later and roll his eyes, mostly because this won't surprise him in the slightest.

    Anyway, my itsy bitsy picking of a nit: you've conflated the first and last name of Kingsley's character in Game. It's Mazer Rackham.

    1. That's not really nitpicking - I totally goofed that. It didn't look right but I chalked that up to my headache. Thanks for the catch. I've fixed it, but you deserve to keep your comment :)