When Iron Man 2 came out, for whatever reason, I just didn't have any interest in seeing it in the theater. Turns out, when I did watch it on Blu-ray, I liked it well enough to wish I'd gone and seen it on the big screen.
So with Iron Man 3, I decided to go see it in the theater. Some movies, you just gotta. Especially after The Avengers. And the trailers for Iron Man 3 looked pretty good.
I rarely go opening night to blockbusters, since the theaters are usually stupid-crazy-crowded. But I figured I'd go to a 12:30 AM, non-3D screening, and it probably wouldn't be too bad. After all, it's a Thursday night, and probably not everyone is used to staying up until 3 or 4 AM, like I've been doing the last week.
Which reminds me, you know the song "25 or 6 to 4"? That's what it's about. Writing a song at 25 or 26 to 4 in the morning. Who knew, right?
Where was I?
Oh, right. Last week. My work schedule went like this:
Monday - 16 hours
Tuesday - 13 hours
Wednesday - 17 hours
Thursday - 10 hours (short day!)
Friday - 14 hours
Saturday - 16 hours
And I stopped in on Sunday for an hour, just for good measure.
That all has to do with this annual fun-fest. Which I'll blog about after Wednesday.
But I digress.
Anyway, long story short, opening night, 12:30 AM, not an original idea. The place was packed. I was lucky to get a decent seat.
And I felt really, really old, too. Someone (probably high school or college age - which was 99% of the audience - don't they have school tomorrow? ) asked me if I'd collected comics "back in the good ol' days". Mercy. And he wasn't being smart-alecky either. I guess I'm just that old now.
Seriously. The 80's was 30 years ago. I collected comic books back then, and that was as long ago from now, as that was from the end of the Golden Age, fer cryin' out loud.
I'm lucky I didn't need an ear trumpet to watch the movie.
Oh right, the movie.
To cut to the chase, it wasn't as good as Iron Man, but it was better than Iron Man 2. A little. Maybe.
In some regards, it's more similar to Iron Man since a lot of the movie is about Tony Stark, rather than being necessarily about him as Iron Man (although they're one and the same, and in fact the movie does deal with that, but... you know what I mean). And given that Robert Downey, Jr., is in fine form in the film, that's a good thing. It would really be hard for them to find someone else to play Stark, if or when Downey decides to retire from the role. Much in the same way that it would be ridiculous for anyone to try replacing, say, William Shatner as Captain Kirk.
Yeah, they showed the Star Trek Into Darkness trailer. And Superman. And Wolverine. And 10 or 30 others. No Thor 2 though. Go figure. Marvel and all that.
So, the movie. Sorry. Easily distracted.
The movie starts off well with a good setup, and a villain (The Mandarin) played with
That being the case, there are still some very cool action set pieces throughout the movie, some funny moments (particularly with Downey), and lots of cool gadgetry. Some of the better scenes just involve Tony Stark, being his resourceful self. He's not just a guy in a suit. He's formidable with pretty-much anything at his disposal. But of course, the suits are cool.
I do have one major gripe about the film. Well, two. But to describe them adequately would ruin the whole "Spoiler-free" title.
So let's see if I can dance around them a little bit. I'll still use Spoiler tags, just in case. Please respond in the comments with Spoiler tags if needed, too.
The first, and most major one,
is basically a cop-out regarding one of the major characters. The build-up is there, but the payoff is zilch. The end result is unsatisfying, and seems like a cheap gimmick, and a waste of a good character. I kept expecting them to reverse out of it with a double-fake-out, but they didn't.
The second just seemed a bit too obvious.
Maybe because there are images from the film (including in the trailer) that are spoilers - where you see someone in a shot that you don't see yet in the film, but know it's coming, therefore that person has to be around for that shot to occur. 1+1=2. Maybe it was just telegraphed too much. Maybe it was just too convenient for my tastes. But it didn't seem completely satisfying to me. Up until that point, Stark had used all of his wits and technology to get out of a jam, but then they just kind of went with what I felt was a too much of a comic-booky solution.
Oh, and a few things just really didn't make any sense. But I guess if you're expecting logic from a comic book movie, then you're watching the wrong movie.
"Oh and hey Jarvis, by the way, do this." Tabula rasa, and all that.
There were some aspects of the film I felt were a little predictable, some of that certainly owing to the trailers that are out there. Also, I felt that some of the editing was poor, resulting in scenes where I wasn't quite sure exactly what happened, or how something happened, or why. I'm sure on a second or third viewing I'd get it. But a good editor will make sure the audience gets it the first time through. (Again - maybe I'm just old.)
All in all though, the movie was a good action romp. Good acting. Good effects. The audience liked it well enough, although I can't say they were cheering wildly or anything like that. Maybe it was the late hour. Still, overall it was a good popcorn flick.
What really makes the film work, as with the previous two (and let's face it, a large part of The Avengers) is Robert Downey, Jr. He shines in the film. He brings a really likable quality to Tony Stark, neuroses and all, and he's surrounded by a good (and at times exceptional) supporting cast. Particularly with a precocious kid (Ty Simpkins) that Tony Stark befriends.
So I'll give Iron Man 3 a 7.8/10.
Hmm... I guess that's a lower score than I gave Iron Man 2. Well, maybe this will hold up better when it gets re-run on TV. It certainly hasn't hurt Iron Man 2 any.
And yes... stay through the end credits.