70 minutes into Iron Man Three I looked at my watch and thought, “Oh god, there’s another hour of this.”
I hated this movie. I was hoping for fun adventure like the preceding movies but this one was different, it had far too many problems that made it impossible to like. These problems fall into three main categories: 1) problems adapting the Iron Man mythos into film, 2) problems fitting into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and 3) problems as a movie.
Problems of the first type don’t bother me as much as you might think. I’m not an Iron Man fan and don’t know the finer details of the source material very well. I wasn’t even able to get a copy of Extremis from the SFPL until this week. So I’m willing to accept changes and adaptations additions and subtractions provided it’s an improvement.
The second set of problems are far worse though. Because while none of the preceding movies have required us to have a base knowledge of the comics, they reward and rely on our knowledge of the previous films. A key aspect of The Avengers was that the characters had all been established in previous films, we only needed to see them interact. Iron Man the first was able to stand alone but ended with a hint of “a bigger universe.” Iron Man 2 went out of its way to set up stuff for Thor and Captain America and make references to Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk but this movie tries to stand alone to it’s detriment.
And the third set of problems are what kill it for me. There are too many inconsistencies, plot holes, ill conceived conversations, and more to keep me engaged in what I should be engaged in. I am very willing to suspend disbelief for a movie but it has to be earned. A Suspension of disbelief means “you get the small stuff right, I won’t ask the big questions.” That means I have no problem with Iron Man armor or any other superscience as long as you’re consistent with how it works. turn off your brain and enjoy the action. I’m fine with that, I saw GI Joe 2 and I’ll be seeing Fast & Furious 6 in a few weeks, but I didn’t need to do that for the last Iron Man movies, I shouldn’t have to do it for this one.
Here are the problems (and detailed spoilers) that have stuck with me long after the movie ended:
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