Friday 26 April 2013

Review: Iron Man 3 (second-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

Iron Man 3 (2D) Poster

Iron Man 3 (2D) - Second-Pass / Contains Spoilers
Cert: 12A / 135 mins / Dir. Shane Black

Now that I'm recovered from the midnight showing of Iron Man 3 (and have had an actual night's sleep in between), I can sit back, watch it again, and take in more detail. Well, certainly make more sense of the plot anyway…

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Not withstanding the slight red-herrings in the above (ie who's in which suit at any given moment), and the massive red-herring (ie the true nature of the Mandarin threat), there are still a lot of lines which never made it into the movie;

My name's Tony Stark, I build cool stuff…
You elected me on a single platform…
You don't know who I am…*1
Today is the first day of what's left of your life.
Do you want an empty life, or a meaningful death?
…Here's my boys

None of these are in the cut I watched. I'm used to one or two lines, but six? Some of them point towards a film more centered around The Mandarin, and I can certainly understand the people grumbling on the message boards about how his character was treated. Personally I loved what they did with him, even if the Extremis thread could have been handled better, and it's worth remembering Extremis doesn't even get a mention, visually or verbally, before you sit down to watch IM3.

So, ^that^ trailer: not overly representative of the actual plot, but it captures the feel perfectly.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Iron Man 3 certainly engaged and entertained me for its entire run-time, although it was easier to enjoy the second time around, when I could see past the bluster and concentrate more on what was going on. Speaking of which...

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
If what it sets out to do is conclude the Iron Man trilogy while keeping the focus firmly on Tony Stark, then yes. If there's meant to be a clear agenda for The Mandarin which sets out his motivations, methodology and goals, then no. Even discounting the lines from the trailer which don't arrive in the cinema, it certainly feels like there's a whole backstory which has been cut to stop this being a three-hour film. The threading of the Ten Rings group throughout the movies seems shamefully overlooked, and instead of being an anchor which pulls the trilogy to a close, it's treated like an Easter-Egg for the hardcore fans to grin over. Elsewhere, Extremis is handled in the same manner, as if it had already been explained in a previous movie and here we were just seeing it being used.

But, as I said, in terms of rounding out Stark's personal story and setting it up for the evolution of the Iron Man character, it's damn near perfect. And since Stark's always been the most likeable thing about these films, that's what's important, right?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
If you're a fan, you'll want to see it as soon as possible so cinema, obviously. It'll be just as much fun on DVD or BluRay, but it definitely feels like a cinema-film. The 3D is fairly well applied with no ghosting etc, and it is there, but didn't add a lot for me (confirmed by a second viewing in 2D). As with Avengers, there's already too much happening for the third dimension to make much difference.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
If you don't like this film, you have no soul and are dead to me. Now get out of my house.

Will I watch it again?
As if you have to ask that...

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
I initially said no, but this time around I could have sworn I heard one very low in the mix. In the final confrontation between Stark and The Mandarin, when Jarvis tells Tony that the Mark 42 suit is incoming, there could be one when that suit bites the dust. Although I may just be wishing that.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

*1 This one is especially misleading. The recurring catchphrase, theme, and indeed the clue laid down for Stark to follow is the words "You know who I am". If anything, this trailer actually makes less sense after watching the film.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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