Iron Man 3 - Avengers: Infinity War Marvel MCU marathon
So, we return to my Marvel MCU marathon in preparation for Avengers: Infinity War and we also enter Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since I have 12 more films to go, I decided to stop writing the plot summary and just go right to my notes and observations about the films.
As with my other MCU marathon posts, there will be spoilers.
Like many of the Marvel movies moving forward, Iron Man 3 is loosely based on a story from the comics. Based on the popular "Extremis" story by Warren Ellis, the story revolves around a technology that allows the brain to rapidly repair the body. In the comics, the serum is created in an attempt to recreate the super serum that created Captain America. But, this serum is being developed to weaponize soldiers.
This movie is all about hubris. It is about the hubris of scientist Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) who became obsessed with playing god and developing the serum, the hubris of Tony's rival Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who commandeers the serum to play god with the lives of wounded war veterans and take control of the government, and the hubris of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) who thinks he is powerful enough with his arsenal to take it all on.
This is the first post-Avengers film. As such, the film also deals with Tony's PTSD as a result of the Battle of New York and his traveling through the wormhole and almost falling to his death. He is experiencing anxiety attacks from it and becomes obsessed with trying to protect the one person that matters to him - Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). But, he is so blind that he ends up putting her up more in danger with his house being blown up and her being kidnapped and injected with Extremis herself.
Its fun to see them use AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This of AIM as Hydra, but controlled by evil scientists. They wear these yellow bee keeper like uniforms which I never understood why. Its a similar concept in Iron Man 3, minus the bee keeper outfits. LOL.
When I first watched this movie, I always thought Tony's being stuck in Tennessee with the little kid was a distraction. But, I see why it was important. We needed to see Tony as a hero outside of the Iron Man suit. He needed to be stripped down. The suit may give him firepower, but it is he who has the abilities and makes everything work. In the end, he is able to start with a clean slate because he knows it isn't the suit that is Iron Man - he is Iron Man.
I thought it weird that, while the film is partially about Maya Hansen's hubris, she wasn't in the film very much. In the comics, she's a major character in this story. But, in this film, it's a shame that she was really just used to get Tony's attention to the Extremis technology.
I liked Rhodey (Don Cheadle) in this film better than in Iron Man 2. In Iron Man 2, I felt he was uncharacteristically hostile and more of a war hawk. In Iron Man 3, he feels more like a hero. Although, I agree with both Tony and Rhodey that War Machine was a much better armor than Iron Patriot in this film. I'm glad they eventually went back to the War Machine suit in future films.
One of the biggest disappointments of this film was the Mandarin. In the early days of the Marvel Comics, the Mandarin was Iron Man's arch enemy. He was an important character in the Iron Man mythos. Although, he was a horrible anti-Asian stereotype - the infamous Fu Manchu type. But, because it would not be good to portray such racist images, they change him for the movie. At first, we are led to believe he was this ominous terrorist bent at world domination. But then its revealed the person is an actor named Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) with a substance abuse problem being used as a front by Aldrich to keep his plans under the radar. And, later, Aldrich reveals himself to be the Mandarin. Given the fact that the comic character was controversial with a clearly Chinese name, I would have just not used the Mandarin at all. They could have just used some generic name representing the Ten Rings (which we find out is a real thing in a hilarious Marvel one-shot All Hail The King included in the Thor: The Dark World home media release).
Although, I do have to say that Ben Kingsley is hilarious in that film and glad he got to revisit that character in the one-shot.
Two of the most exciting scenes included Iron Man rescuing all the surviving passengers of Air Force One from falling to their deaths and to see the brigade of Iron Man armor joining the fight at the end aptly called the "House Party Protocol."
Stan Lee Cameo: An enthusiastic beauty pageant judge.
Overall, I thought Iron Man 3 was a good, solid movie. Its not one of my favorites, but not one of my least favorites. I think there are a lot of good things here. I do hope the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to develop AIM and the Ten Rings in future films.
Now on to Thor: The Dark World.