The Suit is Half Empty

tobacco Knights presents

Installment 7: Iron Man 3

2013 Directed by Shane Black

I think I’ve had about enough of Tony Stark.

I’m still OK with Iron Man, it’s just the guy inside that’s starting to get on my nerves (well, when there is a guy inside, and it is in fact Tony). And as far as I can tell there’s at least a couple more movies I have to endure him through. And hey, I know. It was Robert Downey Jr’s lightning quick smarm-charm quips that could beat any Gilmore Girl liner to the punch that made us love Stark in the first place, and reminded us of a dormant smoldering ember of talent, that we caught glimpses of in Less Than Zero and Chaplin, and now had burst into a newly fueled bonfire role of a lifetime. (Insert phoenix analogy here.) But that road is starting to get over-travelled. I’ve seen those sites, and now it’s time for something different. I suppose it’s been kind of a quick turnaround too, when you read my initial post about the first Iron Man, and my outright enshrining of RDJ on the Mount Rushmore of great performances. And deservedly so it was. But I’d also probably start to feel the same way about Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange III: Alex Goes Ultra-Bananas. (Insert Icarus analogy here.)

So here we have another Iron Man episode. I have to say, other than The Incredible Hulk, this was the most uninterested I’ve been in this MCU journey. I didn’t even end up taking notes. I had my pen and pad at the ready, but when the end credits finally rolled it occurred to me I hadn’t scribbled a word. And it wasn’t necessarily a bad movie; it actually had some very entertaining action sequences and cool tech devices such as the remote-controlled piece-by-piece Iron Man suits. But I just didn’t get the feel for its necessity or continuity in regards to the rest of the MCU series. I’m sure valid arguments could be made against that, and I could probably even be the one to make them, but the whole concept of a third Iron Man just seemed at bit forced at this point.

And there were some odd performances. I’m a huge Guy Pearce fan, but I just couldn’t get on board with his character. I’m not even sure exactly what bothered me about him. Maybe it was the weird heat-power he had that wasn’t completely explained (at least not well enough for me to grasp). Ben Kingsley had me riveted as the Great and Powerful Terrorist, until Toto tugged back the curtain to reveal him as a doddering washed-up actor. Which I suppose could be argued as a genius ploy, because that means he had the chops to pull off the initial farce, but that’s a chicken-or-egg wormhole of scrutiny I wasn’t really ready to try and navigate. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts (two names I fucking hate by the way) was a bit more diverse this time around, which was good to see, even if it did involve the aforementioned weird heat-power. And Don Cheadle is still better than Terrence Howard…

So I guess I’ll stick it out and endure a few more doses of Tony Stark. Maybe now that he doesn’t need his solar plexus power source to keep him alive he’ll cool it a bit. I get the sense that even RDJ knows he’s flown too close to the sun for too long, and maybe dialing back the bonfire to the smoldering ember ashes is just what this franchise needs.

The One Thing: I suppose the coolest thing to watch was the new & improved take on the Iron Man suits. The piece-by-piece assembly bit made for some exciting action sequences, and the whole ghost-suit ploy where you think Tony is inside but it’s really empty – that was a neat (albeit predictable) plot gimmick that worked for me. And ultimately, the final big action scene with the plethora of Jarvis-controlled Iron Men was a really fun ride. That’s about all the positive I can muster.

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Throw UberApe a banana and tell him what you think.

To read The Nerdling’s review of Iron Man 3 click here

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UberApe inhabits a forested area of Dallas, TX. His favorite pastimes are movies, cigars, hockey, and climbing over balconies of tall buildings.

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