No one who isn’t me cares that I procrastinated on this, but I still feel bad about waiting so long. Mainly because I missed the opportunity to join the conversation as it was happening just because I psyched myself out over my imagined need to come up with something completely fascinating to say about it. Lesson learned: advertise sparingly. If I don’t promise to write about something, then I won’t feel bad if I decide to skip it.
So, IM3. It is completely the Iron Man I would expect from Shane Black. It has his schtick all over it.
- It takes place at Christmas
- It upends classic film tropes, including…
- Unconventional voice-over narration and…
- Hilarious one-liners from…
- A protagonist exorcising inner demons…
- As a noir-ish mystery unfolds
On the whole, this works for me. I like seeing Tony Stark don his detective cap. I can never get enough witty dialogue, and I appreciate that the whole emotional arc of the movie essentially ties back to an exchange between Stark and Steve Rogers in The Avengers.
However, I can completely understand how some fans might not want Shane Black’s Iron Man. Leaving the theater, my boyfriend complained that there wasn’t enough action. I found this confusing at first because I thought there was plenty of action, but when I went back for a second viewing I realized that what he probably meant was there was hardly any “super” action. Throughout the movie, Stark is perpetually dealing with an incomplete, malfunctioning, or nonexistent suit. This gives him the opportunity he needs as a character to test his ingenuity and his mettle, but if what you want is a lot of Iron Man flying around and blowing shit up, this might leave you a little cold.
My own complaint is that I did not approve of a particular plot development. And it’s not the one you think.
People who actually know something about Iron Man’s mythology are (probably rightfully) distressed about the treatment of the Mandarin. Growing up a DC kid as opposed to Marvel, I can empathize with their pain, but it’s not my pain. I’m free to enjoy the twists and turns of the story in a vacuum where I’m not comparing this movie against anything else.*
Nope. For me, they stumbled right at the finish line. It’s difficult to discuss without going too heavily into spoilers, but I disliked the entire denouement (with the exception of the credit cookie). But this is probably nit-picking. While I won’t heart it forever the way I do the first one, I feel this sequel is a marked improvement over the last one, and I enjoyed exploring some different facets of the character. If I had a wish for a future installment in the series, it would be to maybe take a break from resolving Stark’s personal issues and just have some fun.
* Don’t worry. My comeuppance will arrive in theaters June 14.