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The Case Against Iron Man

case against

IronmanposterIt launched the Marvel Studios and became the cornerstone of the Avengers series. It’s unbelievably beloved by many, many people.

So why aren’t I one of them?

I eagerly anticipated the release of the film, eating up all of the commercials enthusiastically. Even though I’m very much a practical effects apologist, this is one circumstance where CG was essential. There was just no way to properly capture that suit outside it and what we got looked better than anything I could imagine.

Pity we see so little of it.

I think that’s the crux of it. I realize you’ve got a big name actor who you don’t want to hide behind pounds of armor, but the balance of Tony in the suit and Tony out of costume is so off that it feels like I’m just forever waiting. Indeed, it seems like the iron-man-20091201-high-resolution-posterentire point of the third film is to have Tony in the suit as little as possible.

We get War Machine or other stripped down versions as a consolation prize occasionally, but you’re not kidding anyone. The name of the film is Iron Man. That’s who I’m here to see. That’s what’s on the posters. That’s what these movies stubbornly refuse to give me.

What’s infuriating is that it can be done. It really can. You can get that pathos and story and character development and still have a better balance of action and armor hijinks.  They managed it beautifully in the Avengers movies. Indeed, I’ve often said that The Avengers is the best of all the Iron Man movies. It may also be the reason three is my favorite, as it feels like a direct epilogue to the Avengers.

Here’s the thing. I don’t hate the Iron Man movies. If I’m flipping through the avengers-movie-poster-1channels on TV and I come across Tony-in-the-suit fighting an evil behemoth, I’m going to stop and watch for a while. But I’m not going to stay. When the fight is over and the next commercial comes on, I’m back to flipping. I don’t do that with Thor or Captain America : The First Avenger. I’ll sit an watch those all day…and that’s the point. Iron man should be better than this. I’m sad that it isn’t, but that’s okay.

I can always go watch Avengers instead.

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