Phase 2 is in full swing! Overall my feelings on this phase as a whole is pretty mixed. There was some bad eggs in phase 1 but there were also greats like Iron Man and Avengers. There’s something similar going on again in this phase with some movies that strike out as great and others that miss the mark. During the release of these movies I was a fully fledged teenager, so I could actually get into things and understand them a bit better. I hadn’t studied film yet so I was still in the “ACTION IS AWESOME” phase of viewing. Despite that, I could still tell when a movie was good or bad.
Iron Man 3 was the first movie in this phase and it was an interesting one to say the least. We’ve made it adamantly clear that I love Tony Stark. Through this whole series I’ve called him by name rather than Iron Man. That’s because for me Tony is Iron Man and vice versa, there is no disconnect between those two people. This movie goes on that theme of Tony and his obsessions to create the suits and forget the demons of his past. The effect of this is, is a movie that should have been called Tony Stark rather than Iron Man 3.
For a lot of people this will not be a good movie. It teases up the idea of the Mandarin finally entering the MCU only to be ruined at the last minute. Because of this, there’s not a lot of moments a viewer can get excited or interesting in the story or action. In fact for a movie all about Tony’s collection of suits, he doesn’t spend a lot of time inside them. Instead he shows that he’s capable of being a hero outside of the suit. He’s a genius and someone who’s been doing this for years, he’s going to become stronger in that right. This ties to a line later on in Spider-Man where he makes the point that you should be able to do good without relying on the suit.
These are the reasons for me that I like this movie more than most people. I love seeing Tony grow as a person and can be entertained without the suit. That doesn’t mean the movie is god though, the mandarin change is unforgivable and I’m glad they learned from that. There’s also no real satisfying conclusion as things kind of move on very quickly in the next Avengers. One of my favourite aspects of this though does come from his PTSD coming after the events of Avengers. This is a man who saw a different area of the universe and is terrified of what will come after Earth next. This is one small detail in the eventuality of Infinity War 5 years later.
It’s this movie where the overarching story of Thanos actually begins, despite not seeing him until Guardians of the Galaxy. This obsession drives Tony insane over the course of his movies and works until he knows everyone is safe. This only grows more painful for him as the time goes on but the seed is planted here. We also get a touch of his father issues which is another thing that carries over to the next phase.
It’s sad what happened with this movie, the amount of disappointment was through the roof. Even myself at the time. It was only as I got to know Tony more and get into the MCU that I learned to enjoy elements of Iron Man 3. I would still say its stronger than Iron Man 2, but that’s only because its not an entire retread and actually has more interesting scenes. However it still does not come close to the first Iron Man movie. I think the main point of this movie is like Logan, it is a movie about a superhero rather than the usual formula. Logan executes this idea near-flawlessly and makes it engaging and emotional. Iron Man 3 falls flat and feels like it’s too scared to do something dramatic.
Let’s be honest, it was never going to be easy to impress everyone straight after the release of Avengers. The whole idea that there was this shared universe and phases of story building meant expectations were high. As the first movie in a phase it’s able to start off in a form of continuation as it builds off of Tony’s PTSD. However there is no general world building and instead tells us where Tony Stark is in his own world. Which like I say, is okay for me but not for everyone else. I hope that if you watch this again you can try to see it as a movie about Tony but I understand if it’s disappointing to you.
Speaking of disappointments, I’ll see you tomorrow for Thor: The Dark World. However we’ll also recover the day with Captain America: The Winter Solider.