Why I didn’t like Iron Man 3 (all that much)

There were high expectations for the third film of the Iron Man saga — being the first film of Marvel’s phase two, the first after the success of The Avengers. New director Shane Black has delivered an epic popcorn movie of armor and action. A good superhero flick. But there is something missing in this movie, or something that feels like too much about this movie.

Maybe it disappoints because of the huge marketing campaign that led us to believe it was something that it wasn’t really — more of an action thing than a comedy. For example, I was very excited to see Pepper in a suit like it had been announced (some superhero badassness in a girlfriend, yay! Agency!) and was duly disappointed by how that turned out. It was Tony who put her in the suit, to protect her. She continues to be the damsel in distress until a sole scene in end. And then she is “fixed” of it. Bummer.

Tony’s character feels tired, and the endless jokes are not as funny as they were before. Maybe because we’ve already heard them. Maybe because there’s too much Tony, over two hours where he’s in practically every scene. This is a movie focusing on Tony Stark and not Iron Man (I mean, the end!) and Tony is not the party animal he used to be. The booze, the parties. Yes, I know, character development. But it means there are very few moments of Iron Man action, as it seemed to be the case in previews: an epic fight almost until death. Actually when there are Iron Man scenes, Tony isn’t in there most of the time, just calmly controlling the armors from a safe place. Or JARVIS controls them. Which is a bit sad.

Okay, so maybe the point of the movie is that Tony doesn’t need the suits because he can be a hero without it. An Iron Man without the iron thingies. But this has been done before, and better: In The Dark Knight Rises, where Bruce has to climb out the prison without any of his bat-gadgets; in the whole first part of Captain America, when Steve Rogers shows what a good guy he is throwing himself into grenades, even if he’s a skinny little guy. One of the good aspects about Tony Stark was the fun he had being Iron Man, how he enjoyed being a hero and the many perks of the suit. Because being Iron Man was very cool.

There were good parts, too. The start in Switzerland was a good setting, an interesting beginning for Guy Pearce’s character. The scene in the Air Force One and the saving of people in the air was pretty cool, good superhero action. And the fanboy in the van (it was Max from Happy Endings! Max from Happy Endings! How awesome was he?) representing all the fans who where watching, like Darcy Lewis did in Thor. Those were good, yes.

But the Christmas setting, why? Why did the part in Tennessee have to be so long? Were the many Maya Hansen twists (now I’m good, now I’m not, now I’m good again) really necessary? Could there have been less destruction of suits? (It broke my heart a bit, let’s be honest.) And couldn’t Pepper and Rhodey have been more helpful? I feel like War Machine/Iron Patriot is one the most underdeveloped sidekicks of all time.

All in all, I enjoyed the film because yes, it’s enjoyable. It’s a good action film that has many positive points. You don’t get bored. But maybe because the build-up was too high, or because I now want all Marvel movies to be as good as The Avengers, I felt a bit disappointed. And I didn’t want to see it again, like I did with the much simpler Thor or the more complicated but still great X-Men First Class. The main point being: it could have been better. Just that.

Nevertheless, I’ll be eagerly waiting for Tony’s contribution to Avengers 2.

Tags: | Categories: Film
About the author: Clara Luja Azpiri
Clara Luja Azpiri
Currently working as an English and Basque teacher, I'm from Bilbao, in the north of Spain. My passions are rock, cinema and all things british. I love sci-fi and fantasy, -especially in TV shows and movies- and I also love vampires, time travel, parallel/alternate realities and gossip! The shows I'm following right now are Vampire Diaries, Revenge, Gossip Girl and Doctor Who.

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  • Charles

    I agree that the movie sucked, mostly just because of the viral marketing campaign leading us into believing that there will be lots of action scene and most important of all — that Mandarin. It really surprised (and disappointed) me when I saw him as an “actor.” And yeah, too many jokes. Sure, having some comedy relief is good for the movie, but really? This many scenes are just making it more like a comedy movie than a superhero action movie, which is what we expected.

    Connection to the marvel universe is also lacking. We are used to seeing connections in marvel films to other heroes (either in post-credit or during the movie). But so far in this one (to my knowledge), the connection is completely lacking! Even the post credit scene sucked, Tony “bitching” his problems to Hulk?

    Plus, no Black Sabbath nor ACDC? That is just making it worse, all in all, my friends and I were totally disappointed.

    Nevertheless, its a good action movie on its own. But compared to the tones of other Marvel films especially Iron Man 1/2, its complete crap.

  • Sam

    This movie was very disappointing. It made no sense. When Stark calls out Mandarin and his home is attacked why not have JARVIS call out his army of drones to defend the house? Why was Stark so obscessed with fixing his suit when he could have called in a drone suit to get him. I could go on, but thanks to the hype prior to the movie and my expectations after the Avengers, this movie was quite disappointing. I am looking forward to Winter Soldier, hope I’m not disappointed again.

  • Tony Wong

    I know that I’m setting parallels…but it seems like Shane black is the next Joel Schumacher with the batman series…there were so many slapstick jokes that every character has one! It was a little too corny and unrealistic…looking at past comic movies…keaton barman and then the first tobey Spiderman ..Nolan batman….then the first ironman…they all have a core human aspect a loss and the determination to become more…and yes this one could had been better.