Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
Iron Man 3
We have reached the start of phase two. After ending phase one with The Avengers, Marvel had to find a way to build on the characters we had already been introduced to, starting with possibly their most popular character, Iron Man. Iron Man 3 digs into the character of Tony Stark and what really makes him a hero. Essentially, it seeks to prove Cap wrong once again by showing that Tony can be a hero without his suits. This film really is a great character piece, but it has a lot of wasted potential. Let's get into it.
The Expansion of a Character
This is a movie that expands on Tony as a character. In his two previous movies, as well as in The Avengers, Tony had to overcome his arrogant, cocky nature. He had to learn how to be a team player. We really got to see him form his views. Now, with the third and final installment in his trilogy, we get to see how Tony was affected by his realization that he is most definitely in a larger universe. Prior to this film, Tony had met the super-soldier (who is supposed to be dead) whom his dad had idolized; he met the man who turns into a giant, green rage monster; he met an actual god from legend; he even flew a nuke into space and fought aliens. In Iron Man 3, all of that realization catches up to him in the form of anxiety, and we really get to see that Tony is just a man -- a man who makes a lot of mistakes. This is the best thing about the movie, in my opinion. Tony is such a prominent character in the MCU -- his legacy, I feel, will be sticking around for a long time -- and I thank his solo films for truly building on his character (even Iron Man 2).
The Wasted Potential
First, I want to say that I am excited to see the actual Mandarin in the upcoming Shang-Chi film. However, I still think that this film wasted that character. Shane Black is quite good at mixing comedy with intensity. In fact, the terrorist videos shown in this film are intense -- honestly, they are truly haunting. Ben Kingsley's voice-overs fit well with the haunting nature of the videos. Multiple characters in the film refer to Trevor Slattery as "master," and this builds his character up as a terrifying ruler. So, I found it just a little disappointing that Ben Kingsley wasn't actually playing the Mandarin. I'm still confused about why the film even bothered to refer to him as "master" when it seemed that everyone who was a part of that group knew he was just an actor. This movie really wanted the cop-out to be funny, and hey, Shane Black does handle comedy very well. However, it kinda sorta pissed me off because all of that build-up was for nothing. It really made the intensity seem pointless. Adding comedy to ease the tension doesn't always work, and sadly, Iron Man 3 is a perfect example of that.
Instead of the Mandarin, we were given Aldrich Killian, whose motivation is that he is really petty -- so petty, in fact, that he goes to great lengths to kill Tony Stark and capture the president.
Can I also mention the wasted character that was Maya Hansen? She dumps some exposition, threatens to blow herself up, and then dies... and that's her character. Kinda pointless if you ask me.
I happen to believe that this movie holds big implications for events that will happen in the MCUs future.
1. I think that the extremis project will definitely come back -- as well as AIM -- very soon, perhaps even in Black Widow. I heard a theory that Thunderbolt Ross will use a version of extremis to turn himself into the Red Hulk, a character with heat-based abilities. I think the theory is quite cool and will give Thunderbolt Ross a more prominent role in the future.
2. Harley Keener showed up in Endgame for a reason. What is that reason? I don't know. But Spider-Man will not be the next Iron Man, so I have a feeling Harley Keener will take up that role. Perhaps the films will follow the comics and have Harley Keener become Iron Lad... and the future villain, Kang the Conquerer. They would have to swap Nathaniel Richards for Harley Keener, of course, but it can be done.
As a character study of Tony Stark, I think this movie is quite good. We get to see Tony be a hero without his suits (for a little bit) and we get to see how human Tony really is. In terms of... everything else, I think that the balance between comedy and tension isn't always clean. I'm not a huge fan of the Mandarin cop-out, as much as I love Ben Kingsley. I also don't think that Aldrich Killian is that great of a villain in terms of motivation. However, if the implications are truly there and the theories are correct, phase four of the MCU may give fans a reason to look back at this movie.
If it wasn't for the character study of Tony Stark, I do not think I would enjoy this film as much as I do. However, because we get to see so much of Tony Stark, I am going to give Iron Man 3 an 8/10.
Next up is Thor: The Dark World. Needless to say, I am not really looking forward to it.
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth
Jones komen on May 21, 2020: