I slipped out of the house on Friday and went off to the theater to see Iron Man 3. I've been reading all kinds of glowing reviews about how this might be the best of the Iron Man movies yet. And maybe the last we see Robert Downing Jr, Mister Iron Man himself, playing the part.
So what I went forthwith filled with high expectations. I must admit I am kinda a 'gadget' man. I like my movies teetering dangerously close to hardcore traditional sci-fi abyss filled with cool gadgets. And without doubt the mechanical suits and neat holographic computers Mr. Stark uses to build his armored suits are right there in my 'Gee Whiz!' notebook of wonders.
So you ask, "How did I like the movie? On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate it?"
Uh . . . it was okay. And I'd give it a rating of about 7. And that would be pushing it.
Look. I like my gadgets. I love my Gee Whiz moments. And I sure as hell like my action. This is, as were all the previous Iron Man movies, essentially an action move. So one should expect big explosions, fast cars, incredible getaways. etc. But . . . somewhere a little over half way thru the movie (maybe about the time we discover who The Mandarin truly is) something happened. It was that feeling akin to a kid suddenly losing all the air out of the balloon he just won at a circus side show. Everything just hissed away into the afternoon sunlight.
I got the feeling the movie was straining. Straining to be too 'hip.' Too witty. Too chic. I got the feeling the writers realized what they were doing and decided to switch over to the gadgets and let the action take over.
I know . . . I know; it's my fault. My warped sense of story-telling. I wanted more of a mystery to solve. More human-to-human and human-to-computer interaction. I wanted more of a story-line between Stark and this young engineering whiz-kid he came across in some backwoods little town out in No Where Land. A mini-Stark who was just as witty, just as cool, and just as grown up Stark.
THAT subplot had miles and miles of possibilities to play on. Yet it was handled as an afterthought thrown in just to hurry along the main story line.
And the gadgets. These gadgets so, close to being sentient life forms themselves, acted more like slaves. Mindless. Obedient. Colorless. I wanted more interaction here.
I mentioned 'The Mandarin' already. As visually a stunning villain as has ever been created. Very dark. Very menacing. Very existential. Oh, brother! That story line would have been fascinating to develop! But it's not to be. In the end it fizzles into nothing as well.
Really, in the end, I just wanted a better, more intricate, story!
Don't get me wrong. It's a well made film technically speaking. The acting flawless. The special effects marvelous to behold. I strongly urge you to go see. Undoubtedly when you do, you'll completely disagree with everything I've said.
That's okay by me. Hell, you already know I'm the biggest contrarian sitting at the dinner table with you. Why change now?