PhotonWaveZero Returns From The Dead: Iron Mache 3 *ehem* Iron Man 3 Review
Greetings geeks and geekettes! Quoting the cleverly narcissistic Tony Stark: "It's good to be back!" I apologize for my rather excessive absence. Life has a way of taking glorious fun time and turning it into detestable suck time (pardon my French). I'm sure everyone here can sympathize with that issue. Anyway, you didn't come here to listen to my nerdy banter, so on with the review!
P.S. My review is very indirect, but may contain *Minor Spoilers*.
Read the entire review after the jump!
Since the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2007, which began with the release of the original Iron Man film, I - along with many of my peers - have consistently enjoyed indulging in Marvel Comics' silver screen offerings. Whether I was watching a womanizing genius walk around in a giant tin can, a "neanderthal-ish" green brute who suffers from "Gammawoopass Syndrome", a mythological demigod who beats up abominable snowmen for sport, or an average joe who has discovered that specialized tanning booths can lead to six-pack abs, I have always flocked to the theater to see Marvel's latest and greatest comic book adaption like a fat kid on a cupcake. With the releases of films such as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and most importantly The Avengers, Marvel has single-handedly set the industry standard for what a comic book movie SHOULD be like, and has never deviated from that standard until the release of the God-awful crapfest that is Iron Man 3.
Before I delve into my disdain for the film itself, let me provide a brief synopsis. Following the events of The Avengers, billionaire not-so-much playboy anymore Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is struggling to cope with his near-death experience caused by deranged demigod Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and some dimwit over at S.H.I.E.L.D. attempting to drop a nuke on "The Big Apple". As a result, Stark has become somewhat of a blue-balled insomniac, suffering from bad dreams about giant floating snapping turtles in space as he plunges through a hole in time and space. Now, normally you would call the Doctor to sort this kind of weirdness out, but this particular instance is wholly different. Stricken by a series of Oscar-worthily acted panic attacks, Stark attempts to regain his grip on reality and let go of his inner demons that seem to be holding him back from living life to the fullest, as well as keeping him from his hot girlfriend.
Now, when written out like that, it all sounds indicative of a great summer popcorn flick that will keep us entertained from beginning to end. Sadly, it's all smoke and mirrors. Iron Man 3 is not at all the movie it disguises itself to be and when you inevitably enter the theaters to figure this fact out for yourself, you will have to decide whether or not you're okay with that. The theatrical trailers leading up to the film's release depicted a slightly darker approach to the Iron Man franchise than we were typically used to. A difference in direction was to be accepted, however, especially since funny man Jon Favreau was no longer sitting in the director's chair. Favreau instead opted to literally lie back as Stark's body guard, Happy Hogan. The film was instead directed by the writer of the popular Lethal Weapon franchise, Shane Black, whose directorial experience consists of one film in the form of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which ironically starred Robert Downey Jr. as well. This change in direction was initially an intriguing proposition, but who knew it would turn into such a "hot mess"?
|"A boy and his bot."
|"TONY, IF YOU LEAVE THE TOILET SEAT UP
ONE MORE TIME, I SWEAR I WILL CHOP YOU!"
|"Bond.. James Bond..."
|Iron Patriot for President...
|"Do I look like I've got a !@#$ing fortune cookie?!"
Crapfest or not, you can't argue with Industrial Light & Magic's quality of work as of late. The visuals in Iron Man 3 are awesome as always, immersing you in every action scene, no matter how few and far between they actually are. The Iron Man suits look as cool as ever, even if they're built out of paper mache. I don't know if this is Jarvis' idea of a sick joke or if Tony got stuck paying for the damages done to New York in The Avengers, but the suits' quality of construction has gone WAY down. Pardon my fanboy-ish rant here, but Stark went toe-to-toe with the God of Thunder, survived a giant spinning propeller of death, and used his body as a human cannonball in the Mark 3 armor. In the Mark "24" armor, he can barely take a !@$% without his iron pelvis falling off. This movie is called "Iron Man 3", not "Tony Stark 3". This film suffers from a serious case of mistaken identity. Another huge problem is the film's sluggish pacing, which disallows the visuals from truly "wowing" you like they have in the past. It also doesn't help that the best CGI scenes in the film were pretty much in the trailer, so unless you live under a rock, you'll be walking into the theater with few surprises left to uncover - save for one really lame attempt at a plot twist that is bound to turn a few heads. It certainly put the nail on the coffin for me.
|"Cool story, honey. Now, make me a sandwich."
Another aspect of the film that leaves little to be desired is the completely lackluster soundtrack. Gone is the sweet sound of classic AC/DC and here to replace it is a dark, dreary, and truly uninspiring score by Brian Tyler. I was hoping that the exclusion of AC/DC would finally lead to the orchestration of a definitive Iron Man theme, but alas, nada'. Brian Tyler's score is pure atmospheric noise to fill in the harshly boring gaps of the film, nothing more, and nothing less. His music is serviceable at best.
Occasionally, Iron Man 3 delivers the super hero flick goods, but the amount of wasted potential here is just too much to ignore. I really wanted to like the film, but the fact is, I was just plain bored with it, and that has never happened to me with any Marvel movie. With the story as convoluted as it is, the pacing so horribly off, the music painfully boring, and the shear bad luck of being the first Marvel flick to follow the quintessential hero movie, The Avengers, Iron Man 3 is nothing more than a cash-in on a bloated name brand. Shane Black has written some great stuff, and I'm very disappointed in what he's conjured up here. One can only hope this isn't the best that Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer. With Thor: The Dark World due out this November, Marvel still has a shot to end 2013 with a bang.This will please the average movie goer if all you're looking for is mindless popcorn fair, but to fans of the series and especially fans of the comics, you won't be a happy camper. All I kept thinking while watching this movie was, "What would Joss Whedon have done?"
I give Iron Man 3 a disappointing 1.5 Geegamons.