After the massive success of The Avengers, can the first movie of Marvel phase 2 live up to it, or does RDJ’s possible final Iron man installment fail to take off? I don’t want to become the guy who hates all the “quirky” Marvel movies, but I have to say, as a big fan of the Iron man in the movies, this movie just did not deliver for me.
There are some things to enjoy about this movie. Seeing all the different Iron man suits was good. Having all the the Iron man suits be the same color and mostly the same style up to this point was getting tiring, so having new suits and a new way for Tony to call it was a very nice introduction. While I wasn’t a big fan of the more natural color of the suit in the beginning, it did grow on me throughout the movie. The relationship Tony had with the kid and Pepper was great as well. You could feel that Tony and Pepper had history and their chemistry was always great. The introduction of the younger kid showed a nice new side of Tony and the jokes with the watch were good. I also liked the fact that the villain (more on that later) was not a guy in an Iron man suit. While I did enjoy Iron Man 2, I felt the final battle with Whiplash in a suit felt forced and unearned. This final scene with the extremis drones felt more natural as we had seen their journey as villains.
Now let’s start the bad things off with undoubtedly the biggest complaint everyone has on this movie, the mandarin. It was just terrible. When the trailers came out it showed a villain worthy of the audience’s fear, he was leader of a terrorist group, he wanted to fight the Avengers for thinking they were better than everyone else. He didn’t care who he hurt, he was a threat. When it was revealed that he was an actor, the movie just stopped for me at that point. They tried to correct by having Killian say he was the true mandarin, but the damage to me was already done. I was looking forward to Iron man going back and fighting the terrorists that created him, not some whiny guy who got stronger and can apparently only breathe fire for show.
Another big problem I had was with the direction they took the new suits. I loved seeing all the different types of suits, what I didn’t love was the fact that we never got to see what the different suits did. The promos showed, the space suit, the deep sea suit, the drill suit. I was speculating that the battles could be across different terrains and it was up to the suits to help Tony out of the situation. All they ended up doing was coming apart and flying about. It made them all feel the same and so, worthless. The only one that did anything different was Igor, which everyone thought would be the proto-hulkbuster, so having him literally used to hold up some metal poles felt a bit wasted.
I also didn’t like the different types of Tony Stark we got in the film. We got a guy who was able to build suits no problem, but then we got a guy who was suffering PTSD after going through the wormhole in the Avengers. We then got the guy who built tech from a kid’s toy in order to get into the hide out, which was then followed by a guy who didn’t even know how to use a gun. His character felt all over the place and just didn’t work for me. There was nothing in Avengers to say that he was suffering, and there was nothing afterwards. He has a fear of something coming but not sleepless nights. It just didn’t work for me.
Verdict: Major Surgery
While this film did have some nice moments, overall it just did not work for me. I wanted an Iron man that had to face the demons of his past. The 10 rings, the fact that he had stared an alien race in the face, this new super human serum coming back from someone he had shrugged off could all have shown that Iron man’s actions have consequences, but it ended up just being a forgettable movie that didn’t progress the larger MCU in any way.