This post has spoilers – sorry! (I’m actually very unconfident about what exactly is considered a spoiler so it might be fine but still – you’re gonna watch Iron Man anyway – so read this after that, too – okay? Okay! Go you!)
I’ve seen Iron Man twice by now and I’m thinking of going for a third time (unless Star Trek is so good that all my money’s going to go on that) because it’s fucking great. It doesn’t fit with the stereotype for superhero films I’ve created for myself1 and there are just so many great things they’ve done here.
I felt rather skeptic about the more brooding turn, or however it was called, in the film, though – Tony Stark had been the epitome of lightness and humor, not taking himself or anything else too seriously. Yet the darker turn was what I loved most in the film.
I had no idea they were going to bring in mental illness. If I had, I would’ve gone to the premiere and have zero doubts and unrealistic expectations2 and whatnot. This part got to me better on the second watch and I think it’s because it was that complex – something I don’t expect from superhero films3 but what worked well here. PTSD and anxiety and Tony Stark seems like an impossible combo but Robert Downey Jr worked his magic and played it out – and for me, confirmed he’s Tony Stark and Tony Stark is him once more. It seemed dubious at first – Tony freaking Iron Man Stark fussing over some alien attack in New York – but actually makes a lot of sense. He said something along the lines, “I’m just a man in a metal suit” and if you think about Avengers – there were gods and aliens and beings that would creep anyone out outside fiction fantasy. I know what anxiety is like and obviously, the writers knew it too because it was too familiar and gripping to be anything other than real (enormous praise for RDJ here, again).
Having never read the Iron Man comics, I had no idea what was different in the film but I must say that I really enjoyed the twist. It felt predictable for me from the first scene in Switzerland – I mean, a mad genius left out in the cold rain alone on New Year’s Eve? What else was going to come out of that? Mandarin’s actor was fantastic, too. (Ben Kingsley, if anyone’s interested.)
The guy in the Iron Patriot/War Machine suit was cool, too. (I don’t have anything else to say about that but the picture was bad-ass so I included it.)
Okay. This is included for the same reason: bad. ass. But since I always have stuff to talk about, here goes: I didn’t like two things. First, the abundant amount of time Tony spent outside the suit. It’s something that we shouldn’t even ask for but I kinda have the feeling they forgot about the core Iron Man part with all the subplot. The second thing I didn’t like – at all – was how underdeveloped the EXTREMIS storyline was, and Killian too. After two screenings, I still don’t understand what was the point of it all. It became clearer with the second time, sure, but remains underdeveloped nevertheless. Killian too – did he even have motives?
But two things wrong in a film where nine hundred right things are done right doesn’t make much difference. It’s definitely my favourite film of the trilogy and I cannot 1) wait for The Avengers 2 to see him again, yet 2) believe it was the last Iron Man with RDJ, even if there is speculation. I know he’s forty–eight but he is Iron Man. I’m sure he’ll figure something out.
1 though that post is coming up soon too, have no fear.
2 which actually makes me think, now, that maybe it’s really good I keep myself from spoilers.
3 okay, honestly, I don’t think it’s a real genre but it is one for me. And this is my blog. So shut up. (And I mean that in a really nice way with a big grin on my face.)