It keeps making really odd creative choices.
Like the opening credits aren't in the same style as the cartoon. Why set up expectations and then do something quite different?
It's an origin story. Howard is alive, Tony was running a tech division of his own but just got fired by him and the board, Rhodey works for Tony but used to be an army medic, and Tony ignored Rhodey getting attacked repeatedly, it is implied because he'd rather be playing with nameless ladies.
Rhodey is in China raising a temple of the mandarin? Thqt's going to go poorly. He gets captured by some people who think Tony is evil for doing this archaeology, and Tony goes after him and gets captured and a bit blown up. Rhodey makes the whatsit that keeps Tony's heart going. Yinsen is Ho Yin, kind of a mystic monk dude, who waves his hands to make Tony not die. He also briefs him on the mystic problem and then gets shot in the head to encourage Tony.
This is a stack of weird compared to the MCU. On its own it's weird because we get no time to care. And what's with the mystic?
That's the first half hour.
I feel by this point the box cover promised me Iron Man.
Instead Tony has met a lady who also has daddy issues and we're supposed to feel bad about parental pressure.
The art is so weird. Like, I know Rhodey is supposed to be black, and he's certainly a different shade of beige, but on his own I'd never guess black from this.
Also Rhodey is the damsel. Like, so far he gets captured and in danger a lot. Him being in danger is why Tony just put on the suit.
33 minutes in.
... and now he's giving him a piggyback ride? with Tony armoured and Rhodey not? And I think they went through a ceiling at one point?
The iron man suit keeps changing size, and not in a cool technology way.
Now Rhodey flew them home.
And Tony is getting arrested? Because earlier the lawyer dude said they might as well blame Tony for selling weapons because he's missing.
... SHIELD agents try to arrest Tony while Howard watches, and so now Tony is escaping. He's being shot at a lot and not dying. In street clothes.
This cartoon is weird and more than slightly rubbish.
His car is bulletproof now. oh, "he knows it's bulletproof because he built it for us"
Tony makes neat things for SHIELD then.
something something prophecy china mandarin something something
now there's a dragon? maybe? in a lot of mist.
daddy issues lady is kneeling bowing to a statue saying 'forgive me'
and it makes none sense to me yet.
also whose story even is it?
Tony and Rhodey try to go back to work.
as you do, when people try and arrest you.
"Tony Stark and engineer evade arrest"
give Rhodey his headline.
also Tony's hair looks iron grey and it's bugging me.
Pepper appears to be British???
I don't know what's up with her accent.
Shield agents are embarrassingly easy to sneak around...
... wait, Tony wanted to sneak back in because he has already built suits
lots of suits
lots and lots of suite.
So it's an origin story where he was already iron man
and then got blown up and his heart gone wrong?
no, he just made suits, he apparently never used any of these dozens of models.
and now Rhodey is having a tantrum because Tony didn't trust him enough to tell him
... wait, he just told Tony he was just like his dad
now I want to slap this version of Rhodey.
... it doesn't even make sense
"Remember when your father took your stuff and put it into his weapons programme? How betrayed you felt? Well, guess what, Tony? You're just like him!"
... how? by not inviting you and not taking your work and not leaving the suits out where his dad can take them again?
doesn't make sense.
Rhodey better get his war machine soon
except they've made this version kind of a dick
but there's dozens of suits around so he should get one or it'll feel like depowering him.
the bad guys are underwater and there's a floating dude and he dissolves?
why did this story need that bit?
Second suit of the movie is for going underwater.
there were toy designs to go with this, weren't there?
no, wait, the toys were first...
ugh these arts are rubbish.
there's a fight but very poorly drawn and animated.
Iron man is trapped underwater in a malfunctioning suit but this film is so not good I'm failing to care.
also the danger lasts about ten seconds, anyway.
Tony blaming himself is the first in character bit for ages.
Now he's having a shouty argument with Howard. Who is drinking coffee. Coffee.
I mean he's all leaning on furniture having arguments and drinking, so narratively coffee does not seem appropriate.
The argument is that Howard likes weapons and says the company is built on them but Tony says the company only started on them and Tony built it, with none weapons. And now Howard is telling him he's just like his mother, who hated the weapons and was a pacifist. ... which explains marrying Howard? And now they're arguing about losing her. "I lost her too" "I lost you both"
I haven't looked but I bet a bazillion that Howard actually dies by the end of the movie.
But really, Tony doesn't have any of the emotional beats from the movie. He doesn't have a revelation that turns his life around. He doesn't start making the suits. What's the movie about? Why if he's already this guy is this movie the most important moment for him?
Pepper's skin tone is kinda vulcan. Vaguely green. wtf?
I don't see why they're doing this alone. I mean, there's attacks, they have a schedule and map, why don't they share it with appropriate authorities?
Fight in a volcano. they've got a four elements theme going on, with Tony as the metal. ... they just dived into magma. you know what you absolutely cannot do in a metal suit? dive into magma.
how is the arts so bad? it's jerky and weirdly proportioned.
oh, he has a forcefield, around the suit, so he doesn't melt. but stuff goes through it? this makes no sense even in comics logic.
every fight needs and wrecks a new suit. it's super pointless.
This Li Mei lady with the daddy issues has turned up in America and Tony is glad to see her. Emotional beats are so hurried i don't notice them. they talked once and she saved rhodey's life so now there's hugging?
Rhodey and Pepper are arrested. No suits for them. blah.
oh wow, it just managed to be heartbreaking like in passing:
Tony phones Howard, and to warn him there's someone listening, Howard says "I love you son"
which would only work if he never says it.
they just stole a jet. and flew it away, probably to china.
because two people on their own can do that. since planes sit around open and fueled so often.
set piece battle again. earth elemental raises terracotta army? kinda neat.
I think the art is so bad because it's bad cgi pretending to be drawings,
... well no, that explains the movement, but the rest of the choices are just... bad.
Is the lady going to be the bad guy? yep. because reasons?
hey, she only has five rings, what's with that?
well four elements and a bracelet, that's a theme.
boring, why is ladies not save the world?
"I am the last descendent of the Mandarin" "I must be his vessel"
well that's one reason to insist the duty should go to a boy.
and now the terracotta army wakes up.
well that should be fun.
... why is the fight in fog? we cannot see it. stupid.
if the theme is we don't have to grow up to be our fathers then that's a Tony ish theme, maybe
but it's boring if she in fact does.
this fight drags out in pieces while she walks into a spooky bit. rubbish fight, kinda spooky spooky bit. skulls and stuff.
and now there's a dragon? but, again, fog.
this would be so much cooler with ninety percent less fog.
iron man has a sword and is fighting a dragon.
making that not awesome took some epic fail.
but it keeps cutting to the real action. like all this coolness with terracotta army and dragon and sword is just the delaying action and distraction. even if tony wins hels not accomplishing anything.
why so weirdly focused?
now the lady is resurrecting the Mandarin?
while Tony fights a weirdly rubbish dragon in the fog.
Is the fog an attempt to fix how rubbish the art is. because it's not working.
... Tony zapped the dragon with a weird pulsing thing and now the dragon is turning into white splooge. it's... unique.
all the really interesting stuff is happening to the lady doing the resurrection spell. is she going to get a beard? will she transform into beardy mandarin? or will he suck the life out of her? so many creepy options!
... I would not have guessed 'naked' was a component of any of them, but now Tony has defeated the dragon and jumped down after her, she is naked. in the dark pit full of water and skulls. just, hanging out naked, now the mystical forces have torn her clothes off.
wow this is creepy in a not skulls way.
i mean she's naked and sobbing and 'don't touch me'
something not very metaphorical happened down there
and it's gross.
now she's naked and wearing a ghost?
well the creative decisions on this one are downright strange.
like the ghost keeps wrapping around just enough of her to keep the rating down - it's a twelve, that's seeming like a bad sign - but she keeps sticking out arms and legs and showing fuzzy through the ghost so you can tell she's naked.
i feel slimed.
so far she's knocking iron man around with mystic gestures and he's all "I know you're in there, don't do this"
but the next option is, you know, attacking and beating the naked woman.
oh, huh, no, 'remember who you are' worked
even though logically i don't see why it would
since it was her free willed choice to go in there
i feel a different phrase is needed.
now she's all "get away from him"?
if this is meant to be an emotional attachment saving the world it was horribly underdeveloped.
if it isn't it's just a random grab bag of beats.
now she's being attacked by the ghost
and flying around the room naked
and landing in the water naked too.
her stripping off the rings to reject the mandarin
would be more dramatic and satisfying
if she was wearing more than strategically smeared slime.
or, and this is kind of important, the whole movie would be more satisfying if iron man being there was helpful or necessary?
I mean now she's lying there and probably dying because dramatic
"You saved me"
but all he did was get attacked while she had a crisis of conscience.
As her story this movie almost makes sense, but not quite.
As Tony's it's just bizarre.
ee, kissing. she's naked except for slime and she kisses him and dies.
who on earth thought this was a great story to spend their money on?
i mean i got it from the cheapest dvd shelf, but they presumably invested whole pay cheques.
he pulls her in for last tragic hug
and I burst out laughing
cause she just made a noise like squelch.
i mean, naturalistic, but not hardly helpful.
back at Stark tower the board waits on Tony again
... because all that getting arrested stuff cleared up off screen?
Tony bought the company and his dad has nothing to say about it.
Rhodey just got promoted to chief engineer.
he does not get a suit.
"I'm handing control of the company over to my father"
I mean, Howard hasn't done anything truly terrible, but he hasn't done anything helpful with the company. Helped Tony not get arrested, yeah, barely, but nothing in the story leads up to this.
"The future of the company is now yours to decide"
"I've always seen this as a father son enterprise"
and they shake hands.
... so that whole thing with Howard stealing his tech to make weapons is just... not a thing?
I know I bet early on he'd lose Howard for reals, but I was expecting a competent story that made sense.
That was not a competent story that made even vague sense.
It was a mish mash of pieces wrapped in crappy art and worse cgi animation.
Thematically it had nothing going on, no emotional arcs were resolved, and the whole fight sequence with the naked woman was deeply distasteful.
Most of all, it was not Tony's story. It wasn't his decisions that drove the action. It wasn't the action that drove his decisions. He had the suits and the company and the pacifism before the story started, and nothing changed, it just wobbled a bit in the middle. At most he witnessed this story, and why make a movie about that?
This film was really very rubbish.
I'm not going to bother keeping it.
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