This past summer, Iron Man 3 gave me hope that the big entertainment films I had been waiting for (World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Wolverine, Pacific Rim, Red 2, Kick-Ass 2, Elysium, Mortal Instruments, Riddick) would be as entertaining and well done. As it turned out, it was the high point in a mostly slow-slide of lesser movies that ramped down to Labor Day. In fact, I ended up skipping some of my list because my ennui grew over time. After so many dashed expectations, my hopes, by comparison, were rather high for the rewatch of Iron Man 3; that it would be as good as I remembered.
When rewatching, of course, you go in knowing all of the answers which means the story has to really carry the film. F/X and explosions can be fun, but it isn’t going to make a movie. String it all together with snappy dialogue, and you may slide by (xXx comes to mind). To truly make it worth coming back to, you need character and emotion.
Seeing the evolution of Tony Stark is definitely intriguing. There was care taken with the story to grow the characters and remember the past. I remembered from my first viewing being rather pleased with that aspect. Interestingly, on second viewing, it felt like more of a veneer than a solid structure. It was fun, but it really became an explosion and fight-fest strung together with moments of emotional angst. Still better than the second film, they have yet to gain the heights of the first. In part, I have to admit, this was due to director Black’s signature Christmas theme, which just pulled me out of the story every bloody time it was mentioned. Minus that, I think I may have been more engaged and invested as it would have been more timeless.
I still look forward to seeing this tale again, in context with the rest of Phase 2 and, when that releases as a set, getting it in 3D to check out the ride it offers. Also, I’m hoping, it will come with the Chinese cut of the film, or at least with its scenes. I can’t say that this second viewing was a good as the first for me, which was unexpected. I can say it was still a great deal of fun and builds on the foundation set forth in Phase 1 in some very satisfying ways.