Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's always a little pinchy in the gooey bag at first.

Austin Powers. Spider Man. Captain Jack Sparrow. All of the X-Men. Whoever the Hell Brendan Frasier played in The Mummy. The list goes on. And on. And on. Eventually, even characters we absolutely love lose their way and overstay their welcome. Sadly, I feel like there's at least one more iconic character to add to the list.

Honestly, it happens to the best of them. Maybe the lead actor goes to the well once too often, maybe the script simply isn't up to snuff. Or maybe, the initial director is replaced by some hack, or maybe, just maybe, the audience simply grows bored.

Iron Man 3 isn't a bad movie by any stretch. Not at all. But as I sat there watching the incredible Robert Downey Jr. slog his way through yet another Iron Man film, I found myself increasingly indifferent. Don't get me wrong, Tony Stark, as played by Downey Jr., is still the gold standard for the regular side of superhero flicks. And as the heart of the film, he still delivers. My biggest disappointment wasn't with Stark. In fact, we get a ton of time with that charming devil. What killed me was the absence of his other half, the ass-kicking Iron Man.

It's been almost two weeks since I caught this one after school, and even initially, it didn't have much of an impact. After the awesomeness of The Avengers [review] I was really looking forward to re-entering the Marvel Universe. Quickly though, things began to unravel.

After a pretty slick opening (never thought I'd hear that song again), and the incredible evisceration of Stark's house, Tony is left in shambles. For whatever reason, he heads to Bumf--k, USA and goes all low-tech. Sure, this allows Stark to spew one-liners all over Annoying Kid, but it also completely baffled me. I mean, if you've got problems with an unstoppable bad guy, how about dialing up say...motherf--king Thor?

All uber-nerdiness aside, while vulnerability worked for Bond in Skyfall [review], I didn't buy it for Stark. Sure, the alien invasion in The Avengers would rattle anyone, but Tony's panic attacks seemed forced, and ultimately, silly. And if the thought well, in the comic book... crosses your mind, save it. The role of Giant Dork has already been cast around these parts. Sorry.

I should probably apologize ahead of time for the Yays and Boos. Their charm has a very short shelf-life.Two days after seeing a movie is usually bad enough. Two weeks? Ugh. Just see for yourself.

  • Though it doesn't happen enough for my liking, when the suits kick ass, so does this movie.
  • Not only do I unabashedly love Don Cheadle in everything, but Iron Patriot would own bitches even without him. I've now changed all my passwords to WARMACHINEROX. All caps.
  • Remember, I love when movies reference other movies. So that A Christmas Story reference made my day. Oh, and also, I'm an idiot.
  • Favs, one of my other favorite people alive, seems pretty comfortable in his goofy role as Happy.
  • Though I couldn't stand the finale, I have always enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper. 
  • Just like you, I love how cocksure Tony Stark routinely is. My favorite example? The misguided bit of arrogance at the news conference. Here's my address. Suck on that, News Guy with Terrible Hair.
  • Though the 3D wasn't anything special, I did enjoy the quiet snowfall. Even more than numerous Iron Men attack jamboree. 
  • While The Mandarin isn't much of a villain (putting that mildly), Ben Kingsley was all sorts of awesome.
  • So, that was my favorite ping-pong scene ever. Just saying...
  • My favorite scene? That mid-air rescue scene. Holy shit, that was impressive. Since I stayed through the whole credits, I'm assuming that was the Barrel of Monkeys skydiving team at work. All the special effects in the world can't trump a bunch of crazy f--ks tumbling through the air. Well, fine. If it had somehow been the dinosaurs from the first Jurassic Park needing a mid-air rescue, then yes, that would have been cooler. 
  • Speaking of great special effects and their real-life counterpart, give it up for Mark Ruffalo. Turns out Dr. Banner makes housecalls.
  • And finally, one more time, let me say how much I love Robert Downey Jr. We lost this guy for awhile, but damned if he isn't one of the most charming actors alive. If indeed Tony Stark Will Return so will I.
  • Guy Pearce is the man, no doubt. But his villainous Aldrich Killian was anything but. This fire-breathing wack-job didn't impress me. The fact that his pants didn't routinely burn off, revealing his humungous, flaming johnson, however, did. 
  • Tony, I feel you. My lady overreacts all the time, too. For the stupidest things. So, the MK-42 roughs her up after she was just trying to console you. Big deal? Get over it. It's not like you clogged the toilet. Again.
  • Rebecca Hall? Very sexy. Yay! Rebecca Hall? Doesn't age in this movie. Boo?
  • I know it's summertime, but I'm pretty sure this was a Christmas movie. Happy birthday, Jesus. I hope you like crap.
  • You know, as much as I liked The Mandarin, I feel like that guy just might be a bit of a loose end. I mean, you're trying to take over the world and you're figurehead is pretty much the British version of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. 
  • Though there were numerous shots that made me roll my eyes, I almost threw my drink at the screen when they showed the Vice President's one-legged daughter. Seriously? That's how this all happened? My God. I'm actually still mad about that. Still.
  • Hopefully I missed it, but I swear we were denied Stan Lee's cameo [checks internet]. Damn it. I missed it. That's still a Boo.
  • Did anyone else think, just for a second, that all these suits and different version of Iron Man were featured to sell some toys? Cash-grab, anyone?
  • And finally, I have my fingers crossed that Marvel will slow their pace. As we get to the second, third and likely, fourth film in many of their franchises, let me give a preemptive Boo to their relentless cinematic onslaught. You have proven yourself as a box-office force, raking in billions and billions of dollars. You don't have to churn them out. We can wait a summer or two. Promise.
As I look over the slate of summer movies, it's unsurprisingly littered with sequels. Maybe I was too harsh on Iron Man 3. Or maybe, it's intermittent mediocrity was a sign of what's to come.

As for that list of once-loved characters that have overstayed their welcome? Should I add the entire cast of The Hangover now, or just wait.


  1. " The fact that his pants didn't routinely burn off, revealing his humungous, flaming johnson, however, did" - That made me LOL. Hearing "Blue" again brought back memories. Like when I was in jr high and kids would argue over whether it was "I'm Blue, I'm in need of a guy" or "I'm Blue, if I was green I would die." I hope I never hear that song again.

    1. Damn. 'Blue' reminds me of college, so that's just awesome. Anyway...

      I read only the beginning of your review on my dashboard and got the idea that you and I felt the same about this one. And did I see that you also saw Star Trek?

      Hmm. The babysitter must be rolling in it.

  2. I liked the movie but yeah, there was a bit too much of ridiculous thrown in it. The vice president's daughter bit was such a cliche and those fire people were so tacky. I must say I liked the second movie much better, at least it had Johansson and Sam Rockwell :P

    1. I swear, if they had revealed that the daughter was a fire person I actually might have shit my pants in protest. Like, just sat there with my arms crossed.

      I have only seen the second one once. At a drive in. With my very young (at the time) son asleep in the back seat. So.....probably doesn't count. At all.
      But, you and my good friend from childhood vouch for it, so I'm assuming I should revisit it.

      I mean, Rockwell and Johansson? That's a good time for sure.

  3. I will say that some of it doesn't work like it should, but at least I had fun. That's all I needed with a summer blockbuster, especially one with Tony Stark. Good review.

    1. You simply can't go wrong with Tony Stark. It's impossible.

  4. As always, excellent review! I definitely enjoyed this one for what it was. Yes, it had quite a few problems (I do love me some Guy Pierce, but they could've done more with his character). But, at the end of the day, it was just pure fun. And once I found out it was written by the same guy who wrote Kiss Kiss Bang Bang...everything made a lot more sense.

    1. So...I'm pretty sure I need to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang asap. Might clear a few things up, huh? I've heard nothing but good things about that damn movie...gotta get on that.