Suspension of Disbelief: Iron Man 3
Welcome to suspension of disbelief, a weekly segment where we review movies, books, games and anything that takes our fancy. In this edition, Tony Stark returns and Robert Downey-Jr almost makes up for the implausibility of the whole movie with his charm. Also Mark Ruffalo’s in it. What do you mean you didn’t wait for the post-credits scene?
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
It’s hard not to like RDJ as Iron Man. His performance as Tony Stark is consistently fantastic, and despite the character’s flaws (of which there are many), you find yourself rooting for him so much that he overshadowed Captain America in Joss Whedon’s Avengers. This movie really plays to those strengths. The dialogue was incredible, it was funny in all the right places, moving when it had to be, and though the question at the beginning of the movie: ‘how did you get out of the wormhole?’ was never answered, I found his character arc satisfying as hell.
The problem with this however, is that because the character moment were done so well, the plot suffers. It’s not that a terrorist threat isn’t a viable option for a superhero movie, but it’s just a few moments like this:
1. After Tony Stark and War Machine/Iron Patriot escape from the extremis headquarters, how do they know exactly where to go to find the villain, who is in the middle of the ocean on an oil tanker?
2. Tony tells War Machine that none of his suits would support him, and yet they can support his girlfriend and the main villain?
3. In the same vein, how is it that War Machine’s suit supports a super powered mercenary and the president?
4. The way the villain is defeated and his plans are thwarted could have been done very easily at the beginning, if at all possible. Also, it makes his presence in the suit redundant, and pretty much makes him the most powerful man in the planet, which leads me on to…
5. Why did he destroy the very thing that saved the day? It was a powerful character moment, but it didn’t make much sense in the grand scheme of things, especially considering how apparently easy it is to blow up his house without anyone noticing.
6. How did he stop the formula everyone else has been working on for all their lives (and off-screen nonetheless)? Seriously, there was no explanation given, and if completed, that formula would get rid of the need for medicine altogether.
That said, the Stan Lee cameo was hilarious, every scene between RDJ and Gwyneth Paltrow was priceless, and the opening sequence was both cheesy enough to feel like a comic and short enough to not harm the story (as well as setting up the real villain for later). I imagine there are a lot of complaints about the way the movie handled The Mandarin, but given that the villain in the comics was pretty much a racist stereotype I didn’t have a problem with it. I also didn’t have a problem with the re-branding of War Machine as Iron Patriot, although when I heard IP would be in the movie I was hoping for some Norman Osborn action. In the end I think that might have even been a better plot, although using the Green Goblin for anything other than a Spider-Man movie might not only confuse people, but cause some legal issues.
So yeah, I had a few problems with the plot. Please tell me if there are some straight answers to these that makes sense, because I really want to give this film a higher rating. It was fun, I was smiling all the way through, but there were so many plot holes that I really can’t give it more than 3 and a half RDJ goatees out of 5.