Friday, May 3, 2013

Moonlight Movie Reviews - Iron Man 3

Yeah, I was bad. I cut out of work early today to see the early bird screening of "Iron Man 3" at the Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek. I do that sometimes. I'm kind of a bad boy, like Tony Stark...

And it was AWESOME!!!! No joke! This movie was fantastic! And I know the camp is split on this, but let me assure you, it's mainly fanboys complaining that the villain departs greatly from the comics in the third act of the film. It's a sort of twist designed for the modern-world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it works well, it's just different. Okay, I can kind of understand that, guys, because I've been on the fanboy side of things myself. I got pretty annoyed with Smallville at times. But, this movie was so amazing and excellent that I think you ought to reconsider. This could be the best Iron Man movie yet. Of course, Iron Man 2 was mainly just eyecandy and coolness. Story-wise, it was severely lacking and mainly acted as a bridge to the Avengers. This film is just the opposite. It is thoroughly about the story going on, and yet it still acknowledges the events of the Avengers well! But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let me set the scene. I saw this at the most badass cinema chain around, the Alamo Drafthouse, with one of their delicious Carnivore pizzas (2 sides of parmesan) and a Coke (even though I'm trying to drink less of the stuff). Granted, I am not thrilled that they have upped the price and changed the toppings, but it still tastes pretty close to before (miss the old name, The Raging Bull, too, but I digress). Before the film were a collection of fun clips like one might find on YouTube featuring stars and characters from the film, an Alamo Drafthouse standard preshow that is a huge part of the fun (and why it sucks so bad to come right on time for the flick instead of early enough to see it all). After the preshow, something I am quite shocked about, I don't remember seeing a single movie trailer this time. That is NOT the common practice of the Drafthouse, and I am a bit disappointing in retrospect. I hear others are seeing the new Thor 2 trailer? I'll have to find it online. Anyway, the movie started up rather abruptly, as there is a bit of the film even before the opening logos!

What follows is a film that fits well with the previous 2 (3 if you count Avengers, of course), but that really takes the best elements of Iron Man 1 and 2 and makes them better. The story is about Tony Stark dealing with some new personal demons brought on by the events of The Avengers. Basically, he was a bit traumatized by the experience, and he has been soothing himself by making many, many Iron Man suits, and making them more amazing than ever. This upsets girlfriend Pepper Potts for reasons shown. Meanwhile, a maniacal and sinister terrorist has come on the scene and is doing major damage to the U.S. One such attack severely injures friend and employee Happy Hogan, which drives Tony to angrily provoke the terrorist, who calls himself the Madarin, on live TV. An attack on Tony's home follows, and events soon cause Tony to be stranded in Tennessee with a broken Iron Man suit and little else. He unintentionally befriends a small boy there while he uses his home to repair his Iron Man suit, but agents of the Mandarin are there too. Tony's suit brought him to the small town because he had previously programmed it to, being that a suspicious death had taken place there sometime earlier that might have ties to the terrorist organization. Adding another element to the story, the agents of the Mandarin are all part of an experimental program called Extremis, that gives them amazing invulnerability and fiery abilities, making any one of them a fitting adversary for Iron Man.

Okay, I'll stop there, but there's a lot more, yet there isn't so much that the film can't handle it, like, say Spider-Man 3 had going on. This is all Tony vs the Mandarin, but you've also got Tony's best friend, Rhodey the Iron Patriot (War Machine with a paint job), the love story with Pepper, the anxiety over the Battle of New York, and those Extremis freaks, and Tony's new friendship with the kid named Harley, it all works together so well though! It's all one fantastic story. The dialogue is as top notch as ever, the cast is as amazing as ever, and the effects are as mind-blowing as ever! There is a twist, yes, and the fanboys aren't liking it because it isn't comic book canon, but this is a different universe. This is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And the important thing is that Iron Man is perfect, and Pepper too. Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow were born for these roles.

If I was to nit pick, I'd say this film could have used a bit more of Tony in the complete Iron Man suit. Maybe one more battle, ya know? We didn't get to see much of Iron Patriot here either, really, though Don Cheadle's Rhodey gives a much better impression this time around. The bulk of this movie is about Tony as Tony, the new Tony (steady girlfriend, struggling hero) improvising like he did in Iron Man 1. Honestly, that was pretty darn cool and bold of this flick. In truth, you could find similarities to Dark Knight Rises in this film, but while I loved that trilogy, this is the better film and truer to the title character. And if you didn't like Dark Knight Rises, don't let the mere comparison deter you. This is really very different, I just meant in ways like, well, like we didn't see much of Batman in that one either, really. Anyway, I gotta say, with a film this good, I am fine with those little quibbles about the seemingly fewer fight scenes and all. Iron Man 2 gave us lots of that stuff, but it was sooo unsatisfying storywise. This film was pure satisfaction! And there is a heck of an Iron Man loaded climax! Even Pepper gets in on the action like never before! It even ties up Stark's story so well that it's hard to believe this isn't the final film in a trilogy, but I'm still glad an Iron Man 4 and maybe even 5 can be expected down the line, according to the filmmakers, plus more Iron Man in Avengers 2. I just wish my dad could have been around to enjoy these flicks too!

So, I don't really have a lot to say about this flick, because for the most part I just loved everything about it. If you are wanting more of the flashy, rock star stuff, you should stay home and watch part 2. If you are in it for a great story about Tony and his suits, but mostly about Tony, and not so much about Tony IN the suit except at the beginning and end, ha, you'll really enjoy this. If you are a stickler for following the comic, this could piss you off in the third act, even though it was really entertaining and clever, and reasonably updated for the times. But, you know if you're a fanboy you have to see this anyway, so everyone should go see this! Just watch the first two films AND Avengers first. Oh, and definitely stay till the end of the credits. It's not really a teaser for the next film, it's more of a cute/funny bit with a cameo from one of the Avengers. It's just really great!

And that's all I'm gonna say about that. Iron Man 3, go check it out. It is EXCELLENT. I hope I get to see it again soon!

PS: A while back, I also saw two other films, "Oz the Great and Powerful" and the remake of "The Evil Dead". Sorry I didn't get a chance to review them. I have been caught up in fixing up the new apartment, beat from work and a new diet and exercise program, and still way behind on like 3 art commissions that are way overdue. I also had a very traumatic "break-up" recently. I put "break-up" in quotes since there wasn't really a relationship there, just me being a love-struck sucker and spending way too much money on someone who clearly didn't care for me at all, but enough about that. The point is, sometimes life gets in the way. I might do a write-up on those films soon though, before or when they hit Blu-Ray. Quick comments, both are worth seeing if you are a fan of the franchises, but both have good and bad qualities. Evil Dead is kinda like watching the original without Ash, but then it has this great ending that brings the Ash feeling back in an awesome new way and opens the door to some much better sequels. Oz the Great and Powerful is mostly enjoyable because of the way it mostly is true to the classic MGM film, and especially the way the finally act sets things up. Like the final act of Star Wars Episode 3, it sorta makes any problems with the film all worthwhile. The biggest problem with Oz? The casting of Mila Kunis as the Wicked Witch of the West. That... was a bit weird. Still enjoy that film though. Both are enjoyable, like I said, and I do want to get both of them on Blu-Ray. I feared far worse things from those two films. I really adore the originals of both of them, and their official and unofficial sequels. Jeez, maybe I don't need to do a posting on those two films now, that pretty much said it all. Hmm...

Oh, and yes, I will get back to the comics soon. Sorry for always saying I'm back on them and doing like one, and then no more for 6 months, ha. Just haven't had the time. *sigh* Busy trying to make the rent, ha.


  1. Great review, Nathan! Totally psyched to see it.