Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Recap: "Iron Man" Part 3: Rebirth and Reconstruction

He's a man on a mission in an armor of high-tech ammunition. Trapped on the edge of an endless game, his teenage life will never be the same. Mainly because he's not a teenager anymore. Not since the "Teen Tony" story arc. Also, let's distract ourselves from how terrible that story arc was by recapping the rest of Iron Man.

That's right, I referenced Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Let's not talk about that, either.
Sometime after Pepper catches Tony undressing, Obadiah meets with Raza in Afghanistan to see the Mark I. After Raza gives the armor over in the hopes of receiving "iron soldiers," Obadiah uses a sonic-paralysis weapon to immobilize Raza, and has his guards kill all the nearby insurgents. He leaves with the Mark I in tow because Raza was merely the bait villain. And it's time for the switch.

Obadiah makes some calls to set up some engineers to work on reverse-engineering it.

Over in Malibu, Tony tinkers with his armor and tells Pepper to go to his office and use a flash drive to download some files so Tony can track the weapons shipments. But she's concerned more about her boss.

Tony: "There is nothing except this. There's no art opening. There is no benefit. There is nothing to sign. There is the next mission. And nothing else."

And she quits. Because she refuses to watch him kill himself slowly. In a way besides alcoholism, I mean.

Tony: "I shouldn't be alive. Unless it was for a reason. I'm not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know... what I have to do."

And she agrees. Because when all is said and done, all they have is each other, what with the lack of scenes featuring Happy and Rhodey.

"Oh, hey, could you tell Happy he can stop waiting by the car? Sorry, I meant to let him know yesterday."
She sneaks in to Tony's office and starts the file upload, finding Obadiah's secret armor plans and the Ten Rings' demand video from the very beginning. As it turns out, Obadiah put the hit out on Tony to get him out of the way and take control of the company. (Though anyone who speaks Urdu knew that after seeing the terrorist video being made.)

She begins to copy the files, only to be confronted by Obadiah, who luckily doesn't know what she's doing. He gives an entirely correct spiel about how Tony never really came back before Pepper manages to excuse herself. After a tense bit where he almost gets the flash drive, Pepper manages to walk away. But after she leaves, Obadiah turns off the screensaver and discovers the industrial espionage.

Pepper finds Agent Coulson waiting in the lobby and tells him to come with her to his office and she'll tell him everything. In a rush, Obadiah Stane meets with his scientists, only to find that they can't build a miniature Arc Reactor to power the suit. In a fit of rage, Obadiah yells that now-memetic line.

Obadiah: "Tony Stark! Was able to build this! In a cave! With a box of scraps!"
Scientist: "I'm sorry. I'm not Tony Stark."

Speaking of him, Tony Stark is later hanging around his house when he gets a call from Pepper telling him that Obadiah turned out to be the movie's villain. But as he puts the phone to his ear, Obadiah's sonic-paralyzer strikes again! Using an oddly specific Arc Reactor remover, Obadiah takes the final golden egg from the chest of the goose while monologuing about how he was behind everything the whole time. Though if you'll remember the fairy tale, cutting the goose's chest open led to it's owner's downfall. Hint. Hint.

Obadiah: "You think that just because you have an idea, it belongs to you?"

Yeah, I'm not going to be touching that discussion on intellectual property, what with this review blog I operate under Fair Use.

Obadiah: "Your father... he helped give us the atomic bomb. Now what kind of world would it be today if he was as selfish as you?"

Well, I'd imagine it'd be just like real life, where Howard Stark never worked on the bomb because he was fictional.

Obadiah then plucks out the Arc Reactor. Originally, I was going to rant about how the Arc Reactor just keeps the shrapnel in place and doesn't actually power his heart, but I realized that it's implied he has some kind of pacemaker. I guess there's not really a plot hole.

Having done his worst, Obie leaves to power up his own armor while Tony goes into cardiac arrest. Naturally, he just leaves Tony there assuming he'll die instead of ensuring it with a gun or gun-like device. Because villain.

"I taught him well, waugh."
Before he leaves, he threatens Pepper's life. Also because villain. Pepper, meanwhile, is calling Rhodey. Rhodey is completely clueless, having been out of the loop for most of the movie. Also, having been absent for most of the movie.

Tony stumbles into his garage and heads for the reactor that Pepper boxed up for him. Because Tony can't quite muster the strength to stand, Dummy hands it to him.

Obadiah powers up his armor with his new reactor as Rhodey finds Tony. Unconscious but alive. He wakes him up, and Tony quickly goes to suit up. S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives and infiltrates the Stark Industries building with Pepper.

Back with Tony, he tells Rhodey to keep the Air Force out of the skies and flies off, as Rhodey eyes the silver Mark II.

Rhodey: "Next time, baby."

Not for you, Terrence Howard.

Rhodey heads off in his car while S.H.I.E.L.D. and Pepper sneak in to Obadiah's lab where they find the Mark 1 and assume it to be Obadiah's armor. Pepper looks around and finds Obadiah's actual suit, complete with Obadiah inside it. And because this is the final act, he begins his rampage, taking out several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in an attempt to get to Pepper.

Tony, meanwhile, is struggling to fly to the lab because his old reactor was never meant to power the new armor, and it's quickly running out of juice. Pepper exits the main lab, only for Obidiah to emerge from below to aim his weapons at her.

Hey, Obadiah, this aggression will not stand, man.
Luckily, Tony arrives to knock the fight into traffic. Unfortunately, he knocks the fight into traffic. But at the very least, everyone's all together for the end and I don't have to go from character to character describing the finale. Except for Rhodey. He's off doing his own thing, but why should the finale be any different from the rest of the movie?

Tony saves a buttload of civilians before trying to fly out of Obadiah's reach. Unknown to Tony, Obadiah's big ol' armor has rocket boots, too. And he decides to use them. Tony flies as high as he can to trick Obadiah into flying high enough to ice up his armor, sending it back down. (Thankfully for Tony, Rhodey managed to call off the Air Force.)

Tony's armor runs out of most of its power, but manages a shaky landing on the roof of the Stark labs. In order to conserve power, he starts getting out of his armor. Cue the return of the villain. And now, Tony's missing a gauntlet. Obadiah starts crushing Tony, who uses some trickery and guile (and flares) to escape. He contacts Pepper and walks her through how to overload the main Arc Reactor in the lab to take out the villain on the roof.

Tony takes out Obadiah's targeting by ripping out some exposed wires, and Obadiah's forced to open up the front of his armor to see, which also gives Jeff Bridges more face time while giving some villain speeches.

Obadiah: "How ironic, Tony! Trying to rid the world of weapons, you gave it it's best one ever!"
Tony: "Pepper!"
Obadiah: "And now.... I'm gonna kill you with it!"


"Tony, I love you, but sooner or later, you're going to have to face the fact you're a goddamn moron."
Tony yells at Pepper to hit the big red button, and she does, sending a gigantic bolt of lighting into the sky. Obadiah's fried, but Tony is alive by virtue of being the hero of the film. Remember, this was Marvel's next potential franchise.

The next day, while Rhodey reads some "robotic prototype" BS to the press, Tony's getting made up for his part of the conference while reading about his favorite topic: Himself.

Tony: "Iron Man, that's kinda catchy, it's got a nice ring to it. I mean, it's not technically accurate, the suit's a gold-titanium alloy... but, it's kind of evocative, the imagery."

Agent Coulson hands him his alibi of being on his yacht while this happened while dropping hints about Obadiah's death covered up as a plane crash. Tony disses the cover story about Iron Man being his bodyguard (a playful jab at the explanation used in the comics for this superhero following Tony around), and Pepper thanks Agent Coulson for everything. And it's here that Agent Coulson reveals the acronym that I've already been using in these Recaps: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Before going onstage, Tony talks to Pepper before going onstage about that romantic night they shared.

Pepper: "Are you talking about... the night that we danced? And... went up on the roof, and... and then you went downstairs to get me a drink and you left me there by myself? IS that the night you're talking about?"

Abort, Tony. Abort.

Tony goes to read his prepared statement, and starts to deviate from it almost immediately. Just like RDJ and the script. Of course, Christine Everheart's quest to be Lois Lane doesn't help.

Tony: "It is one thing to question the official story, and another thing entirely to make wild accusations or insinuate that I am, um a superhero."
Christine: "I never said you were a superhero."

Not since that first night, amirite? ...Sorry.

Going back to his prepare statement, Tony has himself a moment.

Tony: "The truth is..."

He pauses, and decides to cover up his dual life the only way he knows how.

Tony: "I am Iron Man."

By not covering it up.

And you know what? This is a landmark occasion. In this movie, the idea of the secret identity is shattered. Instead of fabricating a web of lies and deceit, Tony Stark is breaking the mold and doing what he does best: angering authority figures while going with his gut.

One of these things is not like the others....
Smart? No. But it's a Tony Stark thing to do.

And with that, our movie ends as the credits roll to... what else? Black Sabbath's Iron Man. And now, on to the Review.



Yeah right. You know what's coming next.

At the end of all the credits, we see Tony come home as JARVIS fizzles before cutting out.

Voice: "I am Iron Man? You think you're the only superhero in the world?"

Well, the audience did. Until you said that.

Voice: "Mr. Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe."

"He's not kidding."
Samuel L. Jackson appears and introduces himself as Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Funny story.

When Mark Millar was creating his alternate universe Avengers team, the Ultimates, they had Marvel asked for permission to model the traditionally Caucasian character after Jackson. He said okay, but wanted the opportunity to play the character in a film. So when this cameo was created, Jackson was the first choice for the role. And he soon had a nine-movie deal with Marvel. But... the plan was to make five or six movies and follow it up with The Avengers. How did he get a nine-picture deal?

Ah, the same way he got Spider-Man to do his bidding.
But you're here for what he says to Tony.

Nick Fury: "I'm here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative."

Cut to black.


"You're welcome, nerds."
Finally, it's time to review. Spoiler alert: I love this movie. But we can still look at it critically. Then we can gush over it.


  1. So, any plans to recap Iron Man: Armored Adventures one day?

    1. One day, yes. As I've said before, though, I've got a buttload of shows I'm working on already. Luckily (or unluckily, in some cases), some of them only had one season. I'll be adding a couple new shows this year (though one of them doesn't really count; you'll see), and I'll have completed Beware the Batman by the end of the year if all goes according to plan. And once I've caught up with HAS, USM, and AA I can look into adding other shows to the mix.

      And rest assured, Armored Adventures is on my to do list.