So last night Rampage had a few drinks, saw Iron Man 3, and then decided to write about it. Here are the results.
Where to start. Honestly I could probably spend the next several days (over which I could watch the movie another couple of times) picking apart the various references to bits and pieces of the movie that were once part of the mainline Marvel Universe (616). I probably shouldn’t though, might be bad for my blood pressure. So I won’t. Only thing I will mention referring to the comics is the script is loosely based on Iron Man, Volume 4, Issues 1-6, published starting in January 2005, written by Warren Ellis. It is available in trade paperback form, and, last I looked, available on Netflix on demand in motion comic form if you don’t feel like dropping the 20 bucks getting it in dead tree form. Check it out, probably ranks up there with “Demon in a Bottle” as one of the better Iron Man stories in print. If you're already familiar with the comics, take a little bit of advice. For the runtime of the movie, forget everything you know about Iron Man except what you have learned from movies 1, 2 and the Avengers. You’ll feel better that way. Okay, felt good to get that off my chest. On to the movie.
Iron Man 3, as the first cannon shot of Marvel’s summer blockbuster broadside that is “Phase 2”, falters a little, but manages to hold up as a decent opening act for the movies to come. We start the movie off with a slightly clunky flashback, but we then roll right in to it. Tony Stark (ever charming Robert Downy Jr.), still reeling from the events of previous movies, has more than a few problems, including panic attacks and insomnia. With a monologue that would have had me crying had I been drunker(a lot drunker), he tells his live in girlfriend/former personal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) that’s he’s “got issues”. Well no shit. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) returns as Tony’s best friend, and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) now as chief of Stark Enterprise’s security are both obviously worried about Tony, for various reasons.
The next thirty minutes or so is spent setting up our principle bad guys for the movie; The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a terrorist mastermind and Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) the leader of AIM, a scientific think-tank. (Remember what I said in the first paragraph? Yeah.) After the first big action sequence of the film, the movie slows down a hair, and honestly where I ducked out to use the little nerd’s room. We now see Tony channeling his inner Sherlock Holmes, which frankly is a little weird considering two previous Downy Jr films. I honestly didn’t see where they were going with how our bad guys were connected until the half twist towards the end, but all in all I thought they could have gone a little differently considering the Mandarin’s history in the comics (see first paragraph).
The last two action set pieces were both fairly well done, although a number of the best parts were spoiled weeks ago in various trailers. With the final wrap-up managing to clean up resolution all the way from the first movie, as well as leave everything open to continue the series forward, the movie does a good impression of the comics; big changes in everyone’s life, while maintaining the status quo. Funny how it works like that. Also starring Rebecca Hall (Maya Hansen, a scientist important to the plot), James Badge Dale and Stephanie Szostak (Goons) and Ty Simpkins (oddly included kid sidekick). Special mention for Paul Bettany, who once again verbally steals the scene as JARVIS. I need that guy narrating my life. 4 out of 5, cause why not.