PHASE TWO HAS BEGUN… SORT OF.
I stood in the concession line with my wife and two of our friends. Iron Man 3 was set to begin in 25 minutes. I felt anxious. It’s not everyday you get to see a massive blockbuster movie on opening day. I felt like I had to rush into a giant line wondering if we would score good seats. Times are different now. We bought our tickets online the day they went on sale and reserved our seats directly in the middle of the theater. When I saw The Dark Knight we had to line up 2 hours before the movie began and we weren’t even close to the front of the line. A Bigger screen, better sound, assigned seating and an eager crowd… The perfect setting to kick off a new slate of Marvel movies.
We got our popcorn and made our way into the theater. My anxiety quickly became excitement. Another round of Marvel blockbusters was set to begin…
IS IRON MAN 3 THE BEST IRON MAN EVER?
The short answer is yes. I think this might be the best movie Marvel has produced to date with the exception of The Avengers. Honestly, there’s no way they could best the finale of Phase One. Iron Man 3 is certainly ambitious but not on a world scale. This is a simpler story. This is Tony Stark’s story.
Tony is a beaten man when the movie begins and slowly things keep getting worse. Thanks to a terrorist called The Mandarin, he finds himself alone without both his physical and emotional armor. Half way through the movie, I began thinking about how little of Iron Man we actually see in the first two acts. It’s a testament to the larger than life performance of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark. Iron Man 3 is just as funny as it is serious. His amusing banter with a child is especially entertaining. This series has always contained comedy but here you can tell they had a blast on set.
As Tony rebuilds himself we get reminders of what he went through in The Avengers. Aliens invaded our planet and he fought side by side with Gods and genetically enhanced soldiers. That’s a pretty good reason to have an anxiety attack or two.
“Gods, aliens, other dimensions? I’m just a man in a can.”
The story’s villain was… Surprising to say the least. A while back, I wrote an article about the 10 things I’m looking forward to most in Marvel’s Phase Two. #9 Iron Man vs The Mandarin. Here’s what I said:
“The final battles in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 weren’t the greatest in my opinion. I doubt Iron Man will fight The Mandarin in a fist fight but there’s no way the finale won’t be massive. Just look at all the Iron Man suits in the second trailer.”
Without spoiling anything, The Mandarin is certainly not what you would expect. (Good for you Ben Kingsley by the way) As a result, this film lacks a truly iconic comic book villain but it works here. There is still a phenomenal final act. Dozens of remote controlled Iron Man suites more than made up for the lack of Iron Man in the first half. This is by far the best finale of the series.
IRON MAN 3 IS NOT A SEQUEL TO THE AVENGERS
If you go into Iron Man 3 expecting a ton of fallout from The Avengers and a setup for The Avengers 2 you’ll be disappointed. They tried to incorporate too much into Iron Man 2 and it was a disaster so I’m glad they kept things restrained. Still, I didn’t think we would get a Thanos appearance but I thought they would at least plant seeds for what’s to come. We aren’t any closer to finding out where Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is heading but it’s still early. We still have Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy to look forward to.
A GREAT EXPERIENCE
I saw Iron Man 3 in a sold out theater full of excited fans. There wasn’t a single idiot around us chatting or texting friends. The movie itself is full of humor, heart and fantastic action including a breathtaking aerial rescue. It was nice to see Tony Stark taken back to square one. It serves as a clean slate for the franchise and it sets the stage for what will be an amazing journey to The Avengers 2.
You have to see this movie in theaters.
Note: Forgot to mention our little group CRUSHED that theater at Timeplay. We finished 1,2,3. (My wife beat me. I love her.)