Let me just start out by saying Tony Stark has been and always will be the most awesome, badass superhero that there is. I don't care that he doesn't possess any actual radioactive powers or that he's not an alien from another planet, he built his own Iron Man suits! He's fearless! He doesn't care what people think of him! He's hilarious, he says whatever he wants, and people LOVE HIM. He's everything you wish you had the guts to be.
Iron Man 3 came out this week and I was really excited, considering this marks the first movie in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. PLUS, Robert Downey Jr. is super attractive (for a guy in his late forties) and after a stressful week of finals I was ready for some of Tony Stark's legendary wit and sarcasm. This movie did not disappoint.
We last saw Tony eating shawarma with the rest of the superhero crew after the awesomeness that was The Avengers last summer. Apparently, he's been kind of a wreck since then, not being able to sleep and having panic attacks whenever he thinks about or even hears a mention of "what happened in New York." He's been obsessively making new suits, (all the way up to the Mark 42! That's dedication!) the government is in possession of War Machine, and there is a new threat to the US. His name is The Mandarin and he seems to be targeting us all for the past sins our country has committed. "Teaching us a lesson," as he repeats over and over during his creepy video messages. You know the type, when the bad guy hacks into all the video feeds everywhere and sends a threat message to all of us while talking directly to the president. But never fear! Tony is here to defend us with his massive Iron Man suit army! (Even if he does seem to be doing it against his will.) There are plenty of explosions, Pepper Potts moments (there is one scene with Tony and Pepper that is just PERF <3), and rolling-on-the-floor-laughing moments all leading to the inevitable epic final battle between Iron Man and The Mandarin. OH YEAH, and there's a pretty surprising ending that I totally didn't see coming. It's a little confusing and frankly...underwhelming for a man like Tony Stark. I don't want to give it away, but you'll see what I mean.
Overall, Iron Man 3 was a FANTASTIC ending to the threequel. I'm not sure if there will be an Iron Man 4...there have been rumors...I'm also not sure if Robert Downey's going to be in the second Avengers. I heard his contract is expired with Marvel and the ending of IM3 doesn't exactly make it clear what the future of Tony Stark will be. But we can be sure he wont be out of the picture completely...should be interesting! I can't wait for Thor 2 so we can get into the heart of this "Phase Two" business.
There is something else I'd like to say though. This is more in depth...going to the core of the movie and the veiled and sometimes not so veiled tone of the writing. The movie as just a movie was the best. But underneath that, it seemed like the writers/producers were trying to send a pretty confusing political message. WARNING: gets a little spoilery after this. I'm not going to reveal any major plot points but there are still some things you might rather see first before reading it here. *shrugs* Up to you!!
The beginning of the movie starts with Tony Stark doing a voice over. The very first thing (or one of the very first things?) he says is, "We create our own demons." After that we a plunged into a movie filled of references and ideas that are obviously a statement concerning some people's opinions of the US today.
The alien invasion that we saw in the Avengers was referred to frequently as, "what happened in New York." What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that phrase? For me, it's 9/11. The Mandarin is also very reminiscent of Bin Laden, with his videos and terrorist strikes. He says that he is targeting the United States to "teach us a lesson." He brings to mind examples of when we slaughtered Native Americans and took their land. He has a whole rant about how fortune cookies are an American invention, which is funny because they are "hollow and full of lies" just like us.
Tony Stark is a pathetic mess after the Avengers. SINCE WHEN? The end of The Avengers showed him happy and carefree as ever, and it's really not like Iron Man to have nightmares and well...you know...be afraid of something. But when he declares war on The Mandarin, it's not because he wants to save us all and be a hero like he used to. He comes straight out and says, "There's not politics here; it's just good old fashioned revenge." Then he yells at the paparazzi "Is that what you wanted??!?!?!" before smashing some poor guy's camera phone against a wall.
Meanwhile, our president is just a powerless face for a powerless nation. We rename War Machine the Iron Patriot, which seems like a euphemism to me. Then at the end, the villain is planning on killing the president in the big "death by oil" scene (which seemed to mean more to my parents then to me lol).
But it all goes back to "We create our own demons." Or in other words, we get what we deserve. I'm not sure if that's the point the writers were trying to make, but it sure seemed like it. The Mandarin was punishing us for our past misdeeds, by these terrorist attacks. Us taking land from the Native Americans, and being greedy, and thinking that we're saving the world when really we're just unimportant cowards. Tony Stark didn't even WANT to fight to Mandarin to save lives. He wanted revenge. Is that what the writers think of the real life War on Terror? And then in the end, Tony Stark gives up. He's a changed person, so to speak, but was he really a bad person before? He was a hero. The ending of IM3 shows him stepping down, resigning because he doesn't want to be a part of it anymore. He calls it a "distraction." Okay. Since when is saving people a distraction? He does end by saying that "I am Iron Man" mumbo jumbo but face it dude. Without the suits your just a guy. A really awesome guy but a hero? No. If Iron Man gives up, where's the hope for the rest of us?
I guess I was just confused because The Avengers was such a patriotic movie. People cheered in the theater. We won! It was so awesome! But this movie seemed to have dark defeatist undertones. I wonder if this is going to happen to the rest of our heroes during "Phase Two" ?
Wow, gotta stop thinking about this. I'm gonna forget it's not real life! Anyway, if you have any comments, agreements/disagreements please leave them below! Let me know how you liked the movie. Or if you think Robert Downey Jr. is as hot as I do ;)
Let the countdown to the next Marvel masterpiece begin!