Movie Review: Iron Man 3

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We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all done wrong. In doing so, we’ve made demons. That is, negative consequences for the choices we have made.

Tony Stark is no exception. “I’m Tony Stark. I build neat stuff, got a great girl, occasionally save the world. So why can’t I sleep?” Tony has a lot of trials he’s facing in life. Ever since the Avenger initiative, things haven’t been the same. He tasted death and he doesn’t like it. Not. One. Bit. He spends days on end “tinkering” on his Iron man suit, making it better, adding cybernetics to himself, and testing new ideas. Locked away in his shop, he comes out to be with his girl, and occasionally make a trip to the local bar.

Until that is, a terrorist force grips America in fear. The government is powerless to stop a teacher called “The Mandarin”. What’s more, strange explosions, with no evidence of bomb material are occurring throughout the world. Tony decides to make the fight personal. He challenges The Mandarin to try to take him out and makes a promise Ironman will remove this blemish from the face of the earth.

The Mandarin strikes first, and as seen in the trailer, destroys tony’s multibillion dollar home, and everything along with it. Now without a functional suit, superhuman killers hunting him, and a girl to protect, Tony learns even Ironman isn’t invincible.

And Demons, can come back to haunt you.

Things I liked

Tony Stark is a pained man in this movie. He struggles with anxiety, pride, and purpose. Sadly, he fails to recognize any of those. One of the most powerful lessons in this film, is that of what pride can do to a man. “Pride goes before a fall” The scriptures say… And boy. Do we see Tony fall. Because of his pride he loses his home, his health for a time, his suits, and more. Because of his pride, he created a demon years ago which now comes back to bite him in a very painful way. Pride is the great destroyer in this movie, and Tony has to stoop low and ask for help from common people, even a boy, if he is to fix the monster he unknowingly created. Does he learn the value of humility  Quite honestly, no. He doesn’t. But we can, and it is painful to watch his fall, and see him learn the hard way.

What is the measure of a man? Certainly not a fancy suit which can fly. We see that here. Tony relies on technology so much in his life, we see how dangerous it is to learn to lean on things, which can break, instead of people. Tony finds he must ask others for help instead of a computer program. That he has to use his own mind, instead of letting a algorithm do it for him. In our age of smartphones, tablets, and the internet I find it fitting to see a message of how important it is not to base our sustenance off these things.

Another great lesson taught is the importance of every interaction we have with others. Because of the way Tony treated one man years ago, the terrible threat he faces today is the result.  It was a great reminder, every person we come into contact with we share Christ as a witness, or not. And every interaction has ramifications, either good or bad.

Every great thing begins with an idea, then is eventually destroyed by compromise. That’s what the movie says anyway. Compromising on principles and values are shown to have devastating consequences. We also see some genetic manipulation of people result in terrible effects as well, showing what happens when you try to make God’s creation into something it wasn’t meant to be.

Things I Didn’t Like

Even though Tony goes most of the film without his suit, the violence and body count is extremely and grossly high. Terrorists vaporize civilians with a new technology. A bodyguard, the lone survivor, is shown badly burned, scarred, and bloody. The technology is, quite simply, using people as bombs. They heat up and then… explode. The pain in their face is shown as they become bright hot and then… Boom.

A woman who is enhanced genetically attacks Tony in a bar, and a vicious fight ensues. In the aftermath we see her body hanging from electric lines. A man is shot through the chest with tony’s Arc Reactor. Dozens of soliders and public officials are gunned down, beat up, shot, and shot again. A civilian is shot in the head on live TV.

Stark’s enemies wind up facing Tony in his suit, and he shows no mercy. They are killed in many ways… Being shot, broken, tossed, drowned, vaporized…. the list goes on. Because of their inhuman enhancements, we are tempted to forget they are still human… but they are, and they die in many painful ways at the hands of ironman.

Tony and Pepper are living together, yet not married… But that is just the start of a lot of sensual stuff that isn’t extreme, but most definitely unneeded. Girls are displayed in Bikinis and lingerie more than a few times in the film. A one night stand is talked about and there is a flashback about that. There is also a lot of innuendo about certain actions.

The language was very frustrating in this film, mainly because there was an attempt at humour through it. God’s name is used in vain various times. The S, A, D, P, B and many other crude words are used… many times.

Closing Thoughts

“Ladies, children, sheep… Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: Heroes, there is no such thing.” ~The Mandarin~

What makes a one a Hero? A hero is one who has incredible qualities worthy of emulation. Qualities of selflessness, courage, and service to others- No matter what the cost. A hero is one who takes whatever they have, and uses it for the benefit of others to the point where they themselves, have given everything they have in the process of helping another. Christ, of course, is the only perfect Hero.

Ironman 3 gives Tony Stark  a chance to become a true hero. In the previous two films he has done his thing of zipping around, beating up a few bad guys, and calling it a day. In this movie, it is different. Tony doesn’t always have his suit, and the bad guys aren’t exactly easy to find or beat up. Tony discovers something in this film that he hadn’t realized years past.

“My suit was never a distraction or a hobby. It was a cocoon. And I’m a new man.” ~Tony Stark~

To be honest, I wanted to like this movie. I wanted to see Tony becoming a hero we could emulate, like we see in The Dark Knight Rises. I wanted to see that new man who choose once, just once, to do something not for himself. After pondering this film over the weekend with the various quotes and actions Tony makes, I can say this new man isn’t really that new. Refurbished might be the better term. In reality, Tony is the same guy, just humbled and puts himself back together again. I look at his actions for Pepper, and see they are self serving, not self sacrificial.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie has some excellent teaching points regarding pride, the importance of our interactions with others, and the destruction greed can bring. It brings up interesting points on Bioethics, government, and business. Conversely, It also reveals foolish sensuality, crude speech, and ups the ante yet again in terms of violent content.

So if you go see this movie, don’t go expecting to see Ironman turned into a true superhero, like I did. But rather, Expect to see Ironman made into… a man. A man who learns he isn’t invincible, but fails to realize the value of selfless living. That’s what makes this movie, more or less, like the suits Tony tinkers with. Sure they have purpose, they teach lessons, and they have the flash, bang, and sizzle we’ve come to expect from films like this. But open the suit up, and instead of  finding a hero just as incredible as the suit, you’ll find it hollow. Wanting of someone more than the person who made it.

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