What did our movie-loving dogs think of Marvel’s new blockbuster?
Out Now, Rated PG-13
All Movie Stills Courtesy of Marvel Studios
“Daaaaannnng. I loved the shit out of this movie. If you think you’ve seen all the best bits in the trailer, I’m real happy to tell you that you’re wrong as hell, buddy – almost everything you’ve seen so far occurs in the first 45 minutes. Unlike Iron Man 2’s slow-paced, mostly action-free muddle, this film goes on rails, zooming from setpiece to setpiece in a way that feels natural and logical. The plot is tighter than my butthole at the vet’s (come on, it happens to all of us), and Robert Downey Jr. is still clearly having the best time of his life playing the egotistical but big-hearted Tony Stark. Go see it.”
“Like a lot of people, I was pretty disappointed by Iron Man 2 – it felt like there was too much Avengers plot to tie in and not enough action, all compounded by a final setpiece that just involved Iron Man fighting robots, which, when he’s clearly superior to them in both brains and brawn, isn’t much of a thrill. This time around, they’ve fixed everything that didn’t work: The story rockets along, the script is laden with zingers, and, best of all, it’s constantly surprising: It’s not trying to be a twist-filled thriller, but there are definitely several moments where you’ll find you’ve been pleasantly bamboozled. It’s also got a lot of heart, which its predecessor definitely lacked – as well as a snarkily touching relationship that Tony strikes up with a kid (sounds awful, I know, but it’s neatly handled), there's an interesting take on PTSD that will hopefully help bring the topic into broader conversation. In short: It’s not just explosions (although there are tons of them, too).
“I mentioned the zingers earlier, and they’re a genuine joy. This movie was directed and co-written by Shane Black, who – as if you didn’t know – is the guy who wrote Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, and the Robert Downey Jr-career-reviving Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It’s really a perfect synthesis of a comic book movie and a Shane Black movie; it’s got all the action, geeky references, cool gizmos, and epic rivalries of the former, but it’s also crammed with the hallmarks of the latter. It’s a tough call to say whether Black is simply referencing his older movies or just sticking with what he knows, but his trademarks are everywhere: You have a shootout in what looks like a Hollywood producer’s mansion; a scene where one of the heroes is chained up and about to be tortured; the black and white buddies who are constantly bickering while in the middle of a shoot-out...the list goes on. The admirable thing here, though, is that it all feels fresh again in this context. There were points where it felt like Black just didn’t know what to do with Stark once he was in the Iron Man suit – he seems incapable of staying in it for more than a minute at a time – but I quickly forgave this simply because I found myself so thoroughly engrossed in the plot.
“Talking of which, there are some people who are going to be bummed about the way the Mandarin was handled in this film, but I thought it was a wonderfully ballsy approach. Ben Kingsley absolutely kills it in his role – honestly, when I watch this again (and I will be watching this again), his parts are the ones I’m looking forward to re-watching the most. I feel like I could write more about the film, but thanks to my paws, I have a typing speed of 3WPM, so this has actually taken me nearly three hours already, and that seems like time much better spent rolling in horse feces. See you next week!”
“I LOVED THE FILM SO MUCH THAT I DECIDED TO BECOME A SUPERVILLAIN SO I COULD MEET IRON MAN IN PERSON! TONY STARK, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MEET FOR A FIGHT AND MAYBE SOME LIGHT CONVERSATION AND SNACKS, MEET ME ON TOP OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING IN 20 MINUTES.”