May 8, 2013

No, you're not

A new installment of "Fuck it, I'm busy", featuring Iron Man 3.


You're busy? You are busy? Fuck you! What are you doing with your life that's so damn important? Go see Iron Man!

Spoilers ahead, you dumb bastards.

This article got me thinking, mainly how, despite their similarities, Rises and IM3 were completely  different movies. Iron Man was good, Rises was a bat-shaped turd (if you notice your poo is bat-shaped, see a doctor immediately). And the above article helps point out, through their similarities, how one failed and the other succeeded.

The first point is internal logic. For Stark, the events of Avengers occurred a few months ago, and he's naturally sorta fucked up about nearly dying. For Wayne, Rachel Dawes died eight years ago, and I guess now we know Batman's superpower is a complete overreaction to death. There's also how they go about their jobs: Stark uses a virtual crime scene to find clues, Batman makes a superneat floor that comes out of the water. Stark uses his strengths (building shit) to overcome his weaknesses (PTSD). Batman figures out that he has to punch the end boss in the big, glowing weak point on his face.

And the villains. I can see this being a sore point for fans of either comic, but really, for the film, Iron Man's switch made sense. There are indicators throughout the movie that the Mandarin is not the real threat, that point to who he really is. And the big bad, initially set up as the dragon (search those on tv tropes if you're not sure what I mean) gets more than enough build-up to serve well as the main villain who's simply been hiding.

The switch in Rises is the film's biggest fuckup, even more so than Batman taking a couple hours to paint a giant bat on the bridge instead of finding a bomb. It's foreshadowed, by Talia asking constantly, "Hey, remember that bomb? Where's that bomb? Can you tell me how to activate the bomb?" Worse, when the switch comes, it's irrelevant. All else, aside, Iron Man's villain was competent, using the Mandarin as a distraction. Bane, seemingly the main villain in Rises, is competent, to a point - until he leaves Batman alive for no reason. That's explained away by Talia being a bigger idiot than Trevor, the actor who played the Mandarin. When a washed-up, stoner actor has more genuine menace (and is more memorable: I did not remember Talia's fake name, or much about her character) then something is wrong.

There are other similarities, but most are so superficial that they don't matter. The last one that does is the idea of the past coming back to haunt the heroes. Again, with Batman the idea falls flat. Iron Man is hit by his dickish nature, and, oddly, his intelligence, as he was able to solve, while drunk, a problem another scientist has fucked up for over a decade. Batman, meanwhile was hit by... putting criminals away? Lying about events in order to break the mob's absolute power over his city, allowing kids, like that asshole Blake (who gives Gordon shit about this) to grow up in a city where they aren't automatically slotted for murder or jail time. The idea that Batman's "sins" are coming back to haunt him makes no sense, especially as the other options are "let the bad guys win" or "blow up the city". Iron Man wins, Batman loses.

Why are you here? Go see Iron Man 3 again!

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