Jonathan and I are huge fans of midnight releases… especially those held at The El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, CA! They know how to treat fans right. And with Jonathan just one month away from leaving for Navy boot camp, we knew we had to do something really fun for this release. So we met up with our friends David and Alex and attended the special early showing / marathon – Iron Man 1, Iron Man 2, The Avengers and finally, Iron Man 3 back to back with trivia, raffles and guest appearances!
They had life size Iron Man suits on display, along with Stan Lee’s personal collection of comic book memorabilia and some Iron Man originals (comics, figures, etc. etc.) Surprisingly, my brain did not melt from Marvel movie overload like I feared it would. The only negative part of the day was my back aching from all the sitting. By the closing scenes of Iron Man 3 my back felt like it was on fire. But it certainly was refreshing going to a movie release without being in costume for a change. (I had plans over a year ago to be in bikini body shape so I could be an Ironette by Iron Man 3, but being 20 weeks pregnant, well…. *sigh*)
Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson in the Marvel sagas) was the first guest of honor – and he made some very leading, very interesting, and very cryptic very obvious comments regarding the fate of Agent Coulson and a possible return in The Avengers 2.
Director Shane Black and young actor Ty Simpkins (Harley Keener in Iron Man 3) also made guest appearances and stuck around for some good old fashioned Q&A.
Oh! And during the raffles, Jonathan won an Iron Man mask, and during the trivia contests I won some collectible Iron Man 3D glasses by correctly answering Googling the question, “In what comic did the character Loki first appear?” (Answer: Venus #6 in 1949)
So! On to my review of Iron Man 3! (Warning: Spoilers. Maybe.)
Let me start off by saying that unlike Jonathan, I am not an Iron Man fan comic book wise. I haven’t read too many of the original comics, and the ones I have read I find clunky and disjointed story-wise. However, I love the Iron Man movies. Iron Man 1 is one of my favorite movies, Iron Man 2 is okay (though much more enjoyable to watch after The Avengers came out, surprisingly), and The Avengers is one of the greatest movies since the original Star Wars. (Yes, I just said that.) So I am reviewing Iron Man 3 from the movie franchise standpoint, and that alone.
That said: I thought the acting was stellar. Robert Downey Jr. is the new Johnny Depp in geeky fandom. I’d be gushing over him like all the rest of the fangirls and boys, but I prefer to play it cool. I like that the whole overarching plotline in the three movies have some form of unified cohesion to glue them all together. Iron Man 1 is “The Birth of Iron Man”, Iron Man 2 is “Iron Man in Action”, and Iron Man 3 is “The Rebirth of Iron Man”. It goes from creation, to fighting bad guys, to fighting himself. Overall, I find it a pretty good progression and a great note to end on, while still leaving room for growth and struggles in The Avengers 2.
The action sequences were not anything stellar (especially after the Iron Man action seen in The Avengers), but there were enough fan service and eye candy action bits to feed the nerdy appetite. The final fight scene gave comic book fans a chance to see all 42 suits from all the back stories / comics in action, in a-bazillion-Jack-Sparrows-on-a-boat-ish kind of way.
One point that Jonathan made was that he felt the dark theme of the movie, and the “oh crap, everything is going wrong for Tony Stark” descent was an odd contrast with the amount of humor that was injected on a regular basis into every scene. It’s like the script writers set up a ‘Tony Stark make a funny now’ metronome that had be obeyed regardless of the current emotional content. Pepper just died? No bigs, Tony Stark is gonna have a wardrobe failure and it’ll be HILARIOUS! But on the flip side, I’d be spiraled into a Batman-esque pit of emo despair if the negativity of Iron Man 3 and Tony Starks personal struggles were the only theme of the movie. While it seemed slightly off-putting at times, I greatly appreciated the comedic relief. So I’m not really sure if this point is a tsk tsk or a well done, haha.
I really liked that the majority of the action is Tony Stark fighting, not Iron Man. I think Captain America asking in The Avengers, “Take away the suit and what are you?” is answered in this film… and you get to watch the man deprived of his money, his suits and his friends become “The Mechanic” who – with or without the suit – is still Iron Man. It’s feel good, relevant to the overall franchise and while not OMG LET’S GO WATCH IT AGAIN, it is still a good, solid, action packed, geektastic and enjoyable film.
I’d give it an 8 out of 10. Jonathan says it’s more of an 8 1/2 out of 10. ^_^