Iron Man 3: A Rebuttal

I find it irksome when a writer's review of science fantasy adventures get all pig-faced and sloppy with nitpicks and declares the movie something worth hating. Such was how I felt about all the negative coverage of Prometheus. Yes, admittedly, it was a flawed movie, but most of the stuff that had been lambasted had precious little to do with the story. Such is the case with this review of Iron Man 3, "Ten Reasons To Hate The Terrible 'Iron Man 3'" (warning: contains spoilers).

I saw the movie and enjoyed it. It wasn't as good as the first Iron Man movie--we can't go back to the excitement of the past--but it was a stellar departure from the second flick. And here we go:

 "Make Up Your Damn Mind About Pepper You Stupid Movie" - As a character, Potts is used more extensively in the comics than in the movies. Some of her behavior is certainly homage to those storylines. Stark and Potts have a long history together. In the movies, she's the love of his life. In one scene, to protect her rather than himself, he literally throws the Iron Man armor on her. She has no idea how to use it and subsequently shields Stark from falling rubble with her body. The end. Complaining about this scene makes no sense. She does step way up in the final scenes, but it's the result of Extremis in her body. So what? It's a comic-book movie. Let's move on.

"That’s Not How Panic Attacks Work Robbie" - I love it when these sorts of characters are vulnerable. Love. It. They should be freaked out. There's a prominent story line in the comics where Stark is revealed to be an alcoholic. This movie has some similarities to that storyline: Stark is suffering anxiety attacks. The first time he has one, he panics, jumps into his armor and nearly blacks out thinking he's having a heart attack or seizure of some sort. He thinks he's dying. To complain about this as being medically inaccurate is ridiculous in a movie about a magical engineer who can build and understand just about everything super-scientific. Downey doesn't simply "furrow his brow" to indicate this in the movie, he fucking panics, stops what he's doing and practically curls up in a ball. Some people panic when the shit hits the fan, other panic afterwards. Our armored superhero does it afterwards in quiet moments. The PTSD creeps up on him when he's not in the middle of SAVING LIVES. Get with the program. Next! 

"Seriously, Where Are The Avengers?" - Seriously, if you've ever read more than one comic book, you'd know that's not how it works. Superheroes don't become superheroes because other superheroes leap in to help them whenever some shit's going down. Look at the Spider-Man comic. He's a New York-based character who's frequently up to his eyeballs in city-destroying mayhem. No Avengers. No Fantastic Four. No Defenders. No anyone-else-based-in New York shows up. Get over yourself. On to #4.

 "The Kid" - Meh. He's got a bit of a point here, but Stark is an emotionally unavailable guy who's father paid more attention to the business of invention and money-making than his own son. Cue unhappy rich kid who hops from bed to bed. I can buy how he treats the kid, but I don't follow the kid's easy acceptance of it. No. Strike that. This boy-genius kid sees Stark for what he is and is completely unthreatened by him. That's it. It's more troubling in the story that Stark happens to find this kid in Tennessee. In the middle of a snowstorm. On his first try. Then again, he has a massively powerful flying suit powered by a reactor in his chest. And now, #5.

 "The Big Mandarin Twist" - I really enjoyed The Mandarin twist. Because I didn't want to see a dustup between a terrorist thug with magic rings and our hero. I was also loathe to see multiple bad guys going at Stark. That's one of the things that soured Iron Man 2 and definitely a big part of what ruined Spider-Man 3. I wanted something better than that, something bigger, something that made sense in the world that Stark inhabits. At which point we move on to #6.

"The Real Villain Is Seriously Lame" - Wrong. A number of Iron Man villains are corporate or arms related. Because that's where Stark is at, personally, that's the world he travels in. It only gets bigger and weirder when he's with the Avengers and this wasn't an Avengers movie. You want lame? Go with Fin Fang Foom. Right? #7!

"The Vice President Is In On It!" - Yeah, he was. Because his freakin' daughter is in a wheelchair because her legs are missing. Because Extremis can regenerate limbs. Never underestimate how far a father will go. I will admit, however, that it could have been played better instead of the oh-so-sinister delivery that Miguel Fererra brought to the role.

 "The Aftermath Of The Plane Scene…" - I was surprised at this reveal, but it made sense. The fastest way for Stark to get to the plane was to remote the armor there. He was tinkering with all the upgraded shit he uses throughout the movie from the very beginning. A result of his paranoia at having fought an alien race in New York and nearly dying inside an inter-dimensional portal to detonate a nuclear weapon. Yeah, I'd be a little fucked up too.

"God, That Final Action Scene" - In the review, the writer complains that Stark walks into the President hostage mess without his suit(s). No. He doesn't. He's backing up Rhodes--quite the badass in this flick--who's forward-leaning with or without the suit. Kudos to Rhodes. Stark is one of his best friends and a leading offensive asset with or without the Iron Man suit. Then the writer goes on to ask, when Stark brings in 40 remote-controlled suits to fight off Extremis-powered mercenaries: "Say huh? Why wouldn’t he have done this to start with? Who’s controlling these Iron Man suits? Why didn’t he call on the 40 Iron Man suits to help him out when he was stranded in Tennessee? Or tied up in the bad guy’s liar? Or being attacked at his house?" I can answer those questions. 1. The suits were buried under the rubble of his home. Work crews had been digging shit out until that scene. 2. The J.A.R.V.I.S. AI is controlling the suits with Stark's direction. 3. (See my answer for #1 here.) 4. He did call his latest suit and he was able to save himself with it, but not much more. Even Stark's tech fails sometimes. 5. He got his suit on at the very last moment before being buried under tons of rubble. Likewise his back-up suits in a subterranean chamber. Finally, I got the impression that all those remote-controlled suits were some kind of doomsday protocol Stark dreamed up during his paranoid, nighttime tinkering and enacted as soon as he could. What movie was this guy watching? And lastly:

"That After-The-Credits Scene" - No, Stark wasn't telling the story to Banner, he was engaging in an impromptu therapy session with Dr. Banner who responds by dozing off and when awoken continually insists he's "not that kind of doctor." It was a continuity joke, more than anything. Stark and Banner exist in the same continuity and they're in contact. If I'm not mistaken, future contact between the two was established in the Avengers movie.

To make matters worse, Birch's review is at least as boring as my rebuttal. It's my guess that he spent his time during the movie dreaming up ways to lambaste it. Otherwise he would've been able to answer all of his own questions and criticisms. Alas.