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Iron Man 3

This is definitely my favorite of the 3 movies, in part because its heart is in the relationships more than the action sequences.

Did I read somewhere that Joss Whedon helped polish the final script, or something like that? Because the Tony/Pepper relationship in this felt real to me in the way it did in Avengers. I have always shipped Tony/Pepper, but when I rewatched IM1 and IM2 after watching Avengers, I realized that Joss, in about 4 minutes of screentime, did their relationship better than the first 2 movies entirely. Anyway, whether or not he helped on the script of IM3, I did love Tony and Pepper in this: they have real feelings for each other and also real problems; he can't choose an appropriate gift to save his life but she's clearly his priority; she still finds him exasperating and has realistic responses to the issues of living with a superhero with PTSD (her reaction to the armor threatening her after his nightmare was mild, I thought), but I love that she gets him like nobody else (eg rejecting AIM's proposal because it's weaponizable) and trusts him when the chips are down (letting go and trusting him to catch her).

I thought her fall and resurrection was sort of interestingly parallel to Steve and Bucky, btw, though it's going to take Steve a lot longer to get Bucky back, and Tony's trauma was much shorter-lived. It was fascinating to me, symbolically, that she can't actually depend on him to catch her, but I did really like the fact that it meant she ultimately saved herself (and him). I do hope she got to keep some Extremis powers and Tony just fixed the problems, rather than removing Extremis altogether, because that would be cool. I'd heard she was in the armor in spoilers, and was slightly disappointed she didn't get her own, but considering the whole film was really about how Tony Stark is NOT his armor (and neither is Iron Man), that worked for me thematically.

And speaking of which, I loved that whole plotline. It was great that for most of the movie Tony couldn't rely on his suit, or his usual tech, or even faithful Jarvis; he had to rely on his own ingenuity and inventiveness while coping with very realistic PTSD, and he did it well. I loved so much that he got the arc reactor removed at the end, because it really fit with his character arc in the film, and yet I'm sure that, and the destruction of his armor, are setting up interesting things for the next Avengers movie.

We got to see so many great character moments in this! I loved all of Tony's interactions with the little boy--he doesn't cease to be Tony Stark, jerk extraordinaire, just because he's dealing with a kid, but I love that the kid gave as good as he got, and the end scene was cute. I also laughed a lot at his interactions with the fanboy with the tattoo, and all of his scenes with Rhodey were fantastic. I loved all their banter, especially over his password, and also how well they worked together.

I also thought they did a good job making Maya Hansen into a multi-layered character (and passed the Bechdel test in the process!) I don't know a lot about the comic canon surrounding Extremis other than what I've absorbed by fannish osmosis, but I definitely enjoyed her in the film. It was interesting that she used the story of her own fall from grace to reel in Pepper, but then turned out to still have a soul after all.

And I loved the plot twist about the Mandarin! Again, all I know about him was via fannish osmosis, but I did know the comic canon was kind of racist, so I've spent the past year going "Oh, Ben Kingsley, no!" but now I completely understand why he took the role (beyond the huge paycheck), because it was brilliant.

Finally, I loved that we got so much Jarvis in the film. I was never really worried that Pepper was dead, but when the house first blew up I was extremely worried about Jarvis and the bots--especially when Jarvis seemed to be losing his systems in Tennessee. I'm very glad he was ok, and I'm also glad we got confirmation that Dummy, at least, was salvaged. And we got lots and lots of lovely Jarvis snark, which I really enjoyed.

This entry is crossposted at http://norwich36.dreamwidth.org/255718.html, but feel free to reply at either place.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
Yes to all of this. Also YES to the whole Mandarin thing. I was sincerely hoping this wasn't a case of whitewashing and brownface and was so happy that it wasn't. Thank you Marvel. But definitely yes to everything else. I agree this one was my favorite of the three. The little boy was excellent. Pepper and Tony were great. Really enjoyed myself.
May. 5th, 2013 04:13 am (UTC)
Yes, the way they subverted the Mandarin storyline was such a huge relief. And I kind of hope they bring the little boy back in a future movie.
(Deleted comment)
May. 5th, 2013 04:19 am (UTC)
Yay! And yeah, I agree with you about the Barrel of Monkeys save--it was an awesome scene, and shows Tony's ingenuity, but also fit thematically, because I think part of the message of the film is that although Tony is a brilliant mechanic and doesn't need to rely on the suit to save him, he *does* need other people to help save the day--Rhodey and Pepper and Jarvis and the kid--so it works so well for me that he saves those folks by getting them all to work together.
May. 5th, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
I love love love the Mandarin reveal because it gives me all sorts of thinky thoughts about how the media is controlled and used by people in power and I just wanna hug the show for that.

I might have mixed feelings about ableism though as distraction is just a coping mechanism and the root causes of Tony’s PTSD are superficially dealt with. I love the convo he had with Bruce Banner as a nod that his PTSD is going to be an ongoing thing that requires a constant processing of his feelings but, I kinda wish that weren’t an easter egg because half the audience left by the time it started.

And Pepper! As cool as her taking out Aldrich Killian with a fragment of his suit was, my fave moment of hers was when she rejected AIM because of how weaponizable the project was and she was absolutely correct. I love that the movie allowed her to act on instinct in that moment and validated her concerns. It’s a moment that proves that not only does she get Tony like no one else does, it proves she is the only person qualified to be CEO of Stark Industries to keep the corporation’s moral compass pointed in the right direction.
May. 5th, 2013 08:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, the Mandarin thing was just so much smarter than I generally expect from these movies, really. And while I really wanted Pepper overall to have spent less time in captivity, I agree with you about her scenes as CEO.

People actually left early? At a Marvel superhero movie? I mean, come on, this is number 6 or so--surely people know by now? (I actually said to the people around me getting up "I know for a fact there's another scene after the credits").
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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