The latest (and last?) installment of the Ironman franchise (probably the last not including The Avengers before they reboot it as they usually do) starring Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow. This one had the old arch nemesis of Ironman, The Mandarin, LOL, an arcahaic reference to a cold war era super villain. There is a bit of back story and narrative at the beginning before the movie finally gets moving and we find out what is actually happening. It sort of follows on from the Avengers movie and he is still all sorts of anxious and panicky about what happened there with the aliens and gods, and other crazy characters.
Apparently a terrorist going by the moniker, The Mandarin is attacking the US and has big plans of taking out the president, he has already made many attacks before finally making his mark and getting to Tony Stark which starts the middle section of the movie. One where Stark is chased out of his home and left to fend for himself without his super computer Jarvis, or any of his working Ironman suits. Through sheer ingenuity he is able to piece together the mystery as to who and where the Mandarin is, but is it too late? And why didn’t he work all this out when he had all the tools and power easily at hand in his high tech home? Well, obviously you don’t realise what you have until it’s gone, and as in Ironman 2, Tony finds himself and rediscovers what he is about and what he can do. Through even greater advancements than previously seen, he is able to foil the Mandarin’s plan (where we discover an hilarious Ben Kingsley is just an actor!) and save the world! Oh wait, not yet, actually, for whatever reason, the bad guys choose not to just kill him (as they usually do) and give him the opportunity to save himself and the world by finding one of his Ironman suits.
A big battle with big explosions ensues, and a million flying (solo) Ironmen (suits that are remotely controlled by Jarvis or Tony Stark one or the other), in which Pepper Potts (!) is the one that actually ends up slaying (that’s right, I said slaying) the real Mandarin, not even Chinese, just regular old Guy Pearce with his shifty ways (and his super human powers provided by some nifty magical genetic science) because he injected her with the same thing. And then over the next twenty seconds (or so it seemed) TOny Stark explains that everything ends well and everyone lives happily ever after, and he is even able to solve the riddle of the gene science and fix Pepper. We didn’t stay for the end credits, but apparently The Hulk makes an appearance but I’m not sure whether it’s to plug the new Hulk movie, or the next Avengers movie. The film itself was ok, lots of bangs and explosions, probably the first one is still the best, not sure what Robert Downey Jr will do after this, whether he will continue to play Ironman or whether he can get any other roles any more. There was a trailer for the next Superman movie, it looked kind of lame, except that perhaps Zod (!) is back.
Anyway, picture taken from wikipedia.
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I finally made my way to the cinema to see this blockbuster which everyone seems to be raving about, perhaps I ruined it for myself before the fact, because my expectations were raised due to friends the popular sentiment of those I’d spoken to. The film was ok, the special effects were pretty good as they tend to be nowadays, but I found it a bit inconsistent, and afterwards comparing it to another recent comic book film, I felt that X-Men First Class was better. Thor and Captain America were other recent Avengers films (is there a Hawkman or Black Widow film?) that I have not seen, and at times I was wondering whether I needed to see them to make more sense of this film. I think we can all agree that Thor is somewhat of a strange superhero that makes no sense, he’s a god from another planet that is no more powerful than the Hulk (except that he can fly and draw lightning from the sky). The Black Widow and Hawkman don’t have any special powers other than being really good spies, and Hawkman can hit anything with his arrows, he just needs to shoot them and they will hit whatever he wants. Everyone loves the Hulk, there’s no doubting that as he is a fun character, Ironman is ok (I like the first Ironman better than Ironman 2). The bad guy in this film is Loki (that’s also an hostel chain in South America in case anyone was wondering), he is Thor’s adopted brother but unlike Thor has some limited powers, he is able to project an image of himself in different locations, that’s about it as far as I am aware.
That’s enough of the summary now back to what I liked and didn’t like from the film. As usual in these comic book films, the powers of the superheroes are quite inconsistent, Thor seems to have limitless power at times, but then at others he’s not even as strong as the Hulk, or only as strong as Ironman. Captain America has super strength, speed, athleticism (it seems), but in the grand scheme of things, he doesn’t seem to be in the same ballpark as the Hulk, Ironman, or Thor, although his shield seems to be as strong as anything that the other heroes could muster. The Black Widow obviously has no powers other than freezing the gazes of people around with her magnificent bum (pads) although a distinct lack of cleavage (being show I mean) was a disappointment. Hawkman seems to have an almost endless supply of arrows and an amazing ability to aim randomly yet still hit the target. The action sequences looked good, but they didn’t provide anything to really enjoy, Scarlett Johansson shooting her tiny little guns at the alien invaders seemed comical (appropriate I guess), as did Nick Fury firing at a hummer from a mile away with a pistol. The sequence where everyone comes together to fight the war against the invaders just seemed so bog standard that it was barely worth watching, it ended with the Independence Day style finish where the hero blasts the mother ship with a nuclear weapon destroying it and all of its soldiers (they were on remote control).
The best parts of the film involved the Hulk, the worst parts Thor, Captain America, and Hawkman, you know there will be at least one sequel but you have to wonder how many of the main characters can be involved from film to film, I guess if they pay the actors enough. After watching the film, we had a look at wikipedia for the Avengers and found two characters (original members of the Avengers) that were missing from the film, Ant Man, and the Wasp (ZOMG!), how could these two integral characters not be included in such an epic film? I mean a man that has the power to shrink himself to the size of an ant (I think the Wasp has the same power)? How that power could be omitted from a war for survival against a powerful alien foe is beyond me, just imagine the Ant Man going up against Loki, he would have driven him mad with an itch, and he would never have known what it was.
Picture taken from wikipedia.
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