Scott Ellington's Blog

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Iron Man III

The most surprising thing about this film is something I realized in retrospect.  It’s that the number and variety of sophisticated storytelling devices only became evident to me on the third and fourth passes through the film, which opens and closes on a dovetailed narrative as the familiar voice of Tony Stark confidentially discloses to his psychotherapist the subtle indications of ruinous choices he’s made in spite of Iron Man’s mortality, a surrender to the heroic self-sacrifice he made very near the end of The Avengers movie.

Iron Man’s recovery from those traumatic events flow beautifully in feints, gambits and callbacks throughout Iron Man III in the form of Stark’s panic attacks and moments of impetuous bravado.

While it moves with all of the visual and explosive alacrity expected of a BigDumbMovie, there’s far more there there than qualifies for stupid — in rivers of throwaway lines that excede the rib-tickling hilarity of referring to Ben Kingsley’s character as Laurence Oblivier.

Paltrow, at long last, has far more to do with the surprisingly-relevant guts of this series than teeter in very-tall shoes, as does Cheedle in deftly and respectably managing the War Admiral role like a heavyweight actor in a costume designed for lightweights.  And there’s yet another child prodigy (whose best shit gets borrowed like studios pre-appropriate brainchilds).  The careful management of purposefully-disinformed public perception versus uncompromising reality/fatality.

The dovetailing narrative bookends a frisky detective tale packed with overlapping revelations injected in realtime (and retrospect) by all participants in the storyline, especially audience, and the worst psychotherapeutic confidant Tony might pick is revealed at the end of credits in stride with a pair of evolving characters.   I think the unqualified success of Marvel Studios, Pixar films, and the Freed Unit was/is predicated, just like the entire American Experiment, on the wide public perception of principles of, by, for and about People rather than money, machines, Gods, toys, fish, rats or principles.

Contrary to expectation, I think all of this stuff is in very good hands.

14 Oct 13 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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