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Thoughts about Iron Man 3

blue_saturn
I've been meaning to write some thoughts down since I watched Iron Man 3 for the first time--then I decided it was better to just go and see it again so I could really pay attention. And then the next day my friend wanted to go see it, so that happened.

Then I kept getting distracted by gifs on tumblr.

So, without further ado, thoughts! There are many of them. SO MANY.



My reaction after seeing the movie the first time was a combination of "Wow" and "Okay, so..." Because I both LOVED it and also wanted some more. I pretty much immediately began plotting out my fic which may or may not ever get written in which Pepper is awesome and still has super powers. I also spent a lot of time debating about what the ending meant. (Yes, I spent time thinking about the meaning of a superhero movie.) Because Tony says he fixes Pepper, and there are a couple different ways that can go. He also blew up all his suits, but that doesn't mean that he's done, you know? Pepper even says she sorta understands now--so I really don't think Tony's done. But there's a little bit of doubt!

While we're still on first-time reactions, I'll mention that it took me at least halfway through the post-credits scene to figure out who Tony was talking to. I've already confessed to that in other reaction posts, but I want to document it here so my future self can laugh about it and wonder if she really ought to see someone about this recurring problem. (One of the things that happened to me while I watched The Host (long story) was that I couldn't keep the few generic good-looking main character boys straight. This made things very confusing for a while.) Anyway, once I figured it out I thought it was pretty perfect. Science Bros!

I am not a fan of the original comics--actually, comics themselves do very little for me usually. It's something to do with how they come in these little bite-sized chunks. I love the big compilations of comics because there's enough there to feel like a real story to my brain. Anyway, I think that's why the Mandarin reveal felt AWESOME to me. I love how it deconstructed the whole thing, and the reveal felt like it was done well, instead of being just a gimmick. Maybe because Killian already felt like enough of a villain.

Okay, so now I'll move on from my initial reactions and talk more generally.

Things I loved:

1. Pepper. She was back as CEO, clearly competent (and having her competency recognized), and she still felt like Pepper--a little self-conscious, able to be impressed by Killian's presentation (more on that later, I think), and still not going to put up with Tony's shit. Well, okay, she's going to put up with a lot of Tony's shit. Just not all of it.

I also do think she's sort of a Damsel in Distress, but part of that is framing. I mean, the movie is Iron Man 3 after all. Not saying that it's not a valid critique, just that the movie could easily be reframed to tell Pepper's story--the story of a woman thrust into a situation presumably beyond her control who turns around her victimization to kick ass. (I'd watch that movie.) After all, Tony does very little to ACTUALLY save her.

2. Tony and Pepper. Dude. They are so ridiculously cute. And screwed up. Him buying the giant bunny for her will never not be funny. I feel like there should be a reason for him to buy a GIANT RABBIT for his girlfriend, but then again, it's Tony Stark. Plus, it's obvious that it's not just Tony saying he can't live without Pepper--she's all in, too. For instance, even though they've just had a fight (because Tony was a dick and sent his suit up to entertain Pepper for him), she listens to him when he admits that he screwed up and that's he is SCREWED UP. Then, when his suit nearly takes her head off and she leaves to sleep downstairs (And no, I'm sorry, but that doesn't mean she's a bad girlfriend, shut up), the next thing that we see her do is packing--not to leave Tony, but for BOTH OF THEM to leave town.

I also loved how, when they're in the house and being blown up, Tony doesn't even have to think about sending the suit to Pepper. He just does it, almost like he's thought about the scenario.

3. I loved how Tony screws up, but it feels like he should screw up because that's who he is--he's Tony Stark, and Tony Stark is often an ass and impetuous and tells bad guys where his house is.

4. I loved the kid. I wouldn't have minded the kid being a girl instead of a boy, but I'm not going to hold that against the movie. I've heard some complaining about the interaction between Tony and Harley--one or the other of them pushing a little too far (Tony being a dick about Harley's dad and Harley pushing Tony on his experiences in New York). There might be something to that, except they both clearly get each other (because they're connected!). Also, Harley saved Tony without it feeling totally contrived and awful. Yay!

5. The one minion surrendering and leaving before Tony could kill him. Hah!

6. For some reason, when the Dora watch is going off and Tony's saying they better not smash it because it belongs to his friend's sister--that line makes me laugh AND go "awww." I also love how Tony starts signing the girl's fanart at the beginning with "Help me, [girl's name]." Cute, but not saccharine.


Things that made me uncomfortable:

1. Killian's obsession with Pepper. That was one thing I could have done without. It sort of seemed tacked-on. I know Pepper mentions that he used to ask her out, but I wish bad guys were allowed to get over stupid crushes sometimes. Getting back at Tony through her would have been enough motivation.


Things I didn't think were very well done:

1. I needed some more motivation for the bad guys. Killian--I just didn't get his end goal. I'm guessing he just wanted to be the puppet master in charge? The minions suffered from unclear motivations, too--I think a line about how they chose people for their project based on their psych profiles or something would have sufficed. Maybe they felt betrayed, or Killian promised them justice or something. I don't know, but I felt the lack--especially the second and third time through.

2. I can't think of another one.


Other thoughts:

1. Someone said that they didn't think it made any sense for people to be able to wear the Iron Man/War Machine suit(s) and use them without any practice. So, Pepper: essentially she just walks around in it. Considering Tony flew in his second version without too much trouble, I don't think that's terribly unrealistic. Savin: AIM did the rebranding on War Machine, so presumably they had access to all the tech and could have even gotten hold of some training for using it.

2. For a movie that passed the Bechdel test, it certainly did so with a lot of caveats. Yes, it was a conversation between two women not about a man, but both of them had slept with the main character. (Although I did like that there wasn't a whole jealousy/anger thing about that.) There were a few women scattered throughout, but it was still only a few. It honestly just made me wish that movies in general did better by female characters. Again. More.



Is it weird that I have so many thoughts about a summer superhero movie?

Probably. Oh well.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
nandamai
May. 22nd, 2013 05:30 am (UTC)
Is it weird that I have so many thoughts about a summer superhero movie?

Around here? No. ;)
holdouttrout
May. 22nd, 2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
:-)

It's nice to not be alone.
ziparumpazoo
May. 22nd, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you're squeeing about this here - I just saw it finally on Monday and really didn't think I'd love it as much as I did. I've been staying away from all the reviews because I didn't want to have it wrecked by the critique, merited or otherwise, you know?

Anyway, I think that's why the Mandarin reveal felt AWESOME to me. I love how it deconstructed the whole thing, and the reveal felt like it was done well, instead of being just a gimmick. Maybe because Killian already felt like enough of a villain.

Not gimmicky at all - I think there was a quite a bit of tongue-in-cheek towards the audience too at how easily we were all suckered into believing Trevor was the Mandarin because of all the stereotypes they played on. My first thought when I saw the previews was "Oh wow, fandom's going to have a field day with this one!" lol.

1. Someone said that they didn't think it made any sense for people to be able to wear the Iron Man/War Machine suit(s) and use them without any practice.

Meh. I think Jarvis (or some variation of him/it) probably helped. The big question we had was *where* does Jarvis reside? The only thing we could come up with is that he's now cloud-hosted. ;)

I honestly really liked the interactions between Harley and Tony, because Harley's what, 12? They just don't know when to stop pushing at that age, so that felt natural, and Tony often acts like a 12 year old genius in a man's body.

But I think the BEST thing about the movie is that it's not about Iron Man at all, not really. It's about Tony, and Tony's existential crises with bonus explosions. It's also about being in an adult relationship and that give and take, even when one person isn't able to *be* an adult, and I loved that even though Pepper is the damsel in distress at one point, she's not victimized by it, more importantly Tony doesn't ever see her as the victim. He's got confidence in her that she can hold up on her own because she's been holding him up all this time.

As for the ending, yeah, I don't think Tony's done. Nor do I think Pepper's cured. Just not explosive anymore - superhero potential?

Is it weird that I have so many thoughts about a summer superhero movie?

Um....


Edited at 2013-05-22 02:22 pm (UTC)
holdouttrout
May. 22nd, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
I honestly think that Jarvis already WAS cloud-hosted, but that Tony was dealing with the local version of him. Does that work? I'm not sure if that works, so here are some more thoughts to cover up my ignorance. Jarvis is kind of like an operating system in a lot of ways. In the first movie, Tony talks about importing his preferences from the home system on the first test flight. And it makes sense that Jarvis HAS to be local to the suit on missions that take place halfway around the world.

It's honestly not something I worried much about when actually watching the movie, though. *grins*

But I think the BEST thing about the movie is that it's not about Iron Man at all, not really. It's about Tony

Yes! This is also why I loved the first movie. It's really about Tony, who sort of accidentally becomes a superhero along the way.

I also totally want a Pepper Potts movie. Maybe with some of the other Marvel women?
annerbhp
May. 22nd, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
Pretty much my thoughts exactly. I enjoyed it, but I am also left with the vague feeling of the movie mot quite being right. Maybe a second viewing will help clear that up. Or maybe I also am asking too much of a super hero movie. Lol.
holdouttrout
May. 22nd, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
Well, I can say that the more I thought about/saw the movie, the more I liked it. It's probably just brainwashing me. :-)
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