All right, so last week, as I noted, we saw Iron Man 3. If you haven’t seen the film yet and plan to, skip this blog entry as there be minor spoilers. I’m not going to do an in-depth review but will post brief reactions to certain elements in the movie. This goes the same with Star Trek: Into Darkness.
BTW, I’m not a “real” diehard fan or even a “real” geek when it comes to these films / genres. I love superheroes and enjoy Star Trek (mostly The Next Generation), but I’m definitely ignorant about way too many things about them. So my reactions are those of a layman, so to speak, and my interpretations of certain plot points could very well be off the mark.
1. The whole Mandarin subplot was anticlimactic. I was really hoping to see Ben Kingsley as a ruthless villain, considering the controversy surrounding his casting. As I’m not a comic book aficionado despite my love for superheroes, I was looking forward to seeing the Mandarin for the first time. I understood the purpose for what the writers did, but it still left me deflated and dissatisfied.
2. The movie was very much a Robert Downey, Jr. fanservice thing, with zingers flying all over the place as only RDJ could deliver them. It was fun half the time, but the other half, it got a bit old.
3. Pepper Potts kicking ass! :D All right, so it was a fluke, and I still had to cringe my way through another “damsel in distress” scene in order to see a fantastic payoff, but beggars can’t be choosers where female roles in adventure films are concerned. Sigh. Too bad it was short-lived, but it was naturally too dangerous for her to be in that state (plus it’s not in her nature to be violent), so I had to regretfully bid her ass-kicking kinda-sorta alter ego goodbye.
4. Guy Pearce rocks every role he takes on. Period.
5. How would the Avengers writers work this into the Avengers 2 timeline? At the end of the movie, I assume that Tony Stark’s retired even if he still has Jarvis, but it means starting over where his suits are concerned in case S.H.I.E.L.D. calls him into action again. All the memories that haunted him were all from the first Avengers battle in New York and no hints of anything else we haven’t seen. I might be reading this incorrectly, of course, but still.
All in all, while the movie was a fun way of spending an idle evening, it wasn’t anywhere near the first Iron Man installment (and the less said about the second movie, the better).
And today, we saw Star Trek: Into Darkness.
1. I’m still very fuzzy as to Marcus’ purpose for doing what he did. I’m wondering if I have to watch it again in order to follow the story more closely seeing as how the first viewing is really mostly about experiencing the movie with zero ideas on what to expect, plot-wise. Now that I know what happens, I need to mull over specific details that drive the story forward.
2. The plot adds nothing new – at least to fans of Star Trek – but it continues to introduce non-fans to the universe (albeit an alternate one). On a fangirly note, I’m now wondering whether or not the Romulans will ever be brought in if there’s another movie in the works; I mean, hey, now we get to see the Klingons, right? The Romulans have always been my favorite villains. :D
3. Female roles – yeesh. Yes, Uhura’s a strong female character, but she still had to be turned into a love interest. At least she wasn’t shadowing Spock around like a watery-eyed, lovestruck puppy the way she did in the first movie. Carol Marcus is a weapons specialist who had to be momentary eye candy in her underwear. Sigh. Wanted: serious ass-kicking female hero, fully clothed and with no romantic interest anywhere within her lifetime.
4. Benedict Cumberbatch is magnificent. But I expected nothing less from him. I guess I’ll have to watch Amazing Grace and enjoy his work as William Pitt while ignoring the overly romanticized take on William Wilberforce’s fight to abolish slavery. I’ve been on the fence with regard to that movie, and I really shouldn’t be. ^^;;;
5. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are holding their own pretty damned well as Kirk and Spock. I was pleased to see Scotty get more screen time compared to before, though too bad Sulu remains sadly underused even with him taking over the captain’s role for a moment. But working with an ensemble cast is a tricky juggling act, and priorities need to be made according to character hierarchy, I suppose.
I definitely enjoyed this film much more than Iron Man 3 despite its somewhat stagnant take on the Trek universe and its muddy plot points. At the very least there’s a lot more going for it by way of characterization, and, yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.