The Flickering Myth Reaction to the second Iron Man 3 trailer

The Flickering Myth writing team look at the second trailer for Iron Man 3…

It’s finally here! The comic book movie season of 2013 is finally here! And kicking things off is the first part of Marvel’s Phase Two in the form of Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 which sees Tony Stark battling the evil Mandarin with plenty of explosions, sexy voices, beards and comparisons to The Dark Knight Rises.

We’ve already had one trailer from Iron Man 3, but the second trailer (released on Tuesday) really got the Flickering Myth writing staff talking – including some analysis of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole…

Chris Cooper: There is so much to talk about. The abundance of armours. Mandarin’s Joker-esque voice. Pepper as Rescue? Hulkbuster!! Hall of armour? Tony shooting a repulsor and a gun? Guy Pearce with Extremis throwing Tony around?

Basically it was bloody immense. Post Avengers there is one way to go, and that is all out. Going by this trailer, they have done that and more. Love it.

Anghus Houvouras: I’m horribly biased towards this film. They filmed the bulk of the movie in my backyard and I was lucky enough to watch a few big scenes being filmed. This trailer is just the best kind of crazy. There’s so much going on here. Even with all the big moments, my favourite scene was Stark talking to the reporters about “good, old fashioned revenge”. Like most three-quels, they have turned up the volume and look to be delivering something epic. Marvel has me primed for Phase Two.

Oliver Davis: The opening “then why can’t I sleep anymore” line is an absolute noir zinger. Hopefully there’s more Shane Black-esque stuff in there like that. What I didn’t realise until watching this trailer, although it’s not something that’s explicit, is the US (Iron Man) vs China (Mandarin) connotations. It’s always nice to see America unconsciously articulate its anxieties. And Ben Kingsley’s voice could give Tom Hardy’s Bane and Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln a run for their money.

Piers McCarthy: Oliver’s first point is what I want to reiterate – “why can’t I sleep anymore?” sets the trailer up brilliantly. Cast is looking superb, though I only caught a glimpse of Rebecca Hall who I expect will be great, as always. Kingsley and Pearce look like they’re giving the film extra magnetism (adding some sparks to Downey Jr’s already-fiery Iron Man antics).

Tonally you can see Nolan’s influence on the superhero genre but I’m still hoping for some lightheartedness. Trailer does show too much I reckon, so I didn’t want to pay strict attention to events shown. It looks pretty solid, though. I’m just happy Shane Black is back.

Tom Jolliffe: I like the look of this. It’s looking quite dark, obviously inspired by where Nolan took Batman. The second film was a bit of a mess in my opinion, and wasted Mickey Rourke (though he was far from his best), who could have potentially been a brilliant villain. Movies like this live or die on their villains. The best comic book flicks have the most memorable bad guys. Ledger set a bar. Cinema’s been full of great villains of late. Bardem in No Country For Old Men and Skyfall. So with Kingsley as chief baddie here there’s great potential for another standout villain. I’m hoping this isn’t just a very good trailer. This does look good and it looks like Robert Downey Jr is given more than just the task of repeating what he did before, like the second film.

Martin Deer: Agreed with Anghus, the best part of this trailer was the line about revenge, and I love the shot of Pepper Potts looking rather pissed. I am really looking forward to this film but I am nowhere near as excited by the abundance of Iron Man armour on show, that’s chiefly been my main issue with Iron Man seeing each villain just use a variation of Stark’s armour, it was all very repetitive to me. And so seeing even more on show didn’t exactly get me excited. With that said though I am thrilled for Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin. Why do people have such a hard time accepting voices that are ‘different’? I like what he’s doing here – even if it is a combo rip off of Ledger and Hardy . WE NEED TO SEE MORE GUY PEARCE! Please…

Alice Mary Rush: Wowza. There’s just so much going on! I totally agree with the Nolan influence, psychological realism among superheroes is definitely becoming the new ‘in’ thing, basically because no one wants to be patronised by perfect beings anymore. So the whole “Why can’t I sleep anymore” and showing scenes of Tony being ripped from his suit and beat down really sets the film up for a dissecting of everything that makes Tony Stark the great Iron Man, which just makes me extremely excited and giddy.

Ben Kingsley, though at first I must say I thought a strange choice, seems to have gotten that believability as a villain; he’s not just a straight cut “bad guy”, he seems to be the kind of villain that’s smooth talking, very logical and calm and one where (just speculating) you can probably see where he’s coming from.

Also something that intrigued me was Stark talking about “revenge”: obviously it could be anything, but it could hint at an important character death maybe?

All I know is it seems like this will be the most interesting out of the three films, because post-Avengers (Iron Man is prepared to sacrifice himself for the good of humanity) we really needed to see how this whole superhero persona has influenced the inner workings of his mind. I for one am extremely excited!

Brogan Jameson Morris: I feel like I’m in the minority for not being blown away by this trailer. The first Iron Man film stood out from the pack because it had a sense of humour, and was irreverent about the whole ‘comic book’ tag. There’s no trace of humour in the Iron Man 3 trailer, but a lot of dark musing and bombastic scoring that’s obviously trying to put a claim on the Christopher Nolan, Dark Knight audience. It looks like an Iron Man film that takes itself very seriously.

It’s only a trailer, but I at least expected some more comedy smarts on display with Shane Black at the helm. After he used him to such great (and career-reviving) effect on Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, I’d also have liked Black to bring something more out of Robert Downey Jr, who’s become a bit of a caricature as Tony Stark, but looks to have returned with no greater depth on the basis of that trailer. Still, it’s only a preview, and I’ve probably read too much into two minutes of footage from a movie totalling two hours. Maybe they’re saving the funny stuff for later.

That said, Ben Kingsley does look like a great villain. He’s already got that brilliant, iconic evil sod voice, massively elongating his r’s as though he’s trying out an American accent for the first time. Guy Pearce, too, looks like he’s adding to his gallery of right slimy gits with another charismatically evil turn, perhaps a little more subtle than that time he shaved off his eyebrows and went generally nuts for Lawless. Based on just the trailer, there already seems like there’s more purpose from both Kingsley and Pearce’s villains than Rourke and Rockwell displayed in the entirety of Iron Man 2.

Martin Deer: See I’m of the opposite opinion. I’m not the greatest lover of the Marvel films other than Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers – which continues to lose its charm on subsequent viewings. I am happy that they are taking a more serious route with Phase Two. And I would also argue that based on what was in the trailer Robert Downey Jr will have more issues with depth to deal with; being stripped of all he holds dear. Iron Man 2 was a caricature, it was woeful. Iron Man 3 at least looks like it will try and add some depth.

Alice Mary Rush: I’m glad we’re all in agreement of the farce that was Iron Man 2. I think the only thing I would be fearful of is that it seems to be going down a rather worn path, as in the plot doesn’t seem to be that unique. “Good guy meets the toughest villain yet and everything he holds dear to him will be taken away from him” etc. I guess I’m just a bit worried the plot of the film will act as a mere catalyst for Tony’s personal growth. Though of course I’m reserving my complete judgement for the film, as this is only a two minute preview.

Ozzy Armstrong: I agree with Brogan. Each superhero movie so far has had its own style and unique selling points. Spider-Man was fun and had a bit of geek chic, Batman was dark and brooding and Watchmen had a political heart just to name a few. If Iron Man 3 tries to borrow from Nolan’s take on Batman too heavily it’ll take away the sense of fun that drew me to the franchise in the first place.

Having said that, with Black at the helm I am still cautiously optimistic that this will have the right balance of dark humour and action which made his earlier work so impressive.

Martin Deer: Personally I found The Incredible Hulk and Captain America completely bland and with Iron Man 2 being a big pile of boring nonsense I’m happy to take an Iron Man 3 that tries to be serious. I’m sure there will be some humour in there, they aren’t going to lose that. At least it seems to be doing something different, the franchise has had two films that tried to be more fun than serious so changing things up and being fresh, at least for this franchise not the genre as a whole, is a good thing in my opinion.

Don’t forget there is a long plan here that Marvel has, having 4/5 Iron Man films all with the same general tone would become very repetitive. They need to keep things fresh. Tony’s drinking has also been a big part of the franchise so far, especially in Iron Man 2, and now that we move in to the third film dealing with these kind of personal issues absolutely requires a more serious tone.

Matt Smith: I think I’m part of the huge group that’s decidedly biased just because of the people involved. Robert Downey Jr. is one of those actors who can sell a film based on his involvement alone, but I’d like to see something fresh from the character of Tony Stark. Otherwise they risk him becoming a caricature.

Shane Black at the helm, for me, is a step up. And any talk of borrowing from Chris Nolan should be silenced. Black’s got his own style in terms of writing, which lent very well to his direction for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

I think the only issue concerning Nolan is the fact everyone keeps comparing other films to Nolan’s output. Just take it as it is. Yes, the Dark Knight Trilogy will influence some films, but there are dozens of others sources that film makers take influence from, and I may just state the obvious that there were superhero movies before Chris Nolan came along.

While Nolan might be the apparent figurehead of DC’s movie plans in some eyes, he’s not part of Marvel’s plans for the future. They’ve got their own plans, and as long as they keep the focus on the characters and the story they’re telling (Iron Man) and not too much on introducing future films (Iron Man 2) this third instalment will do alright.

Alice Mary Rush: I think the only reason the parallel to Nolan is drawn is because he helped (not just by himself) to usher in a new era of superheroes for a mainstream audience.

People who love superheros and comic books will obviously be very well read with regards to writers/directors who influence movies, but the general public I think will draw the Nolan card a lot with regards to this film.

Martin Deer: The general public aren’t going to judge the film on whether or not it appears to copy Nolan, the film will be successful based on The Avengers fall out and word of mouth as to how good it is. If anything, taking a more serious tone that some will perhaps link to Nolan isn’t really a bad thing. Yes Batman is a more popular character, but that didn’t stop Batman & Robin from tanking at the box office. Word of mouth that this is a more serious film might bring in general audiences who perhaps didn’t go to see the first two as well as the already existing fans who have enjoyed the first two and have somewhat of a vested interested in the character. It’s only really critics and fans who will make comparisons to Nolan in a negative light. That’s what we do ha.

Tom Jolliffe: To be honest I’ve been a little tired of the Marvel films in recent years. As good as some have been, they all just seem to blend together as the same movie. They all feel the same, have a similar tone. Thor, Cap, Spidey and the rest. Then there was The Avengers which, though very well made just left me a bit cold. I felt I’d seen it all before in each of the respective movies (even if they FINALLY got Hulk right) or just most Marvel films of the last few years. This trailer at the very least promises to be a little different from the standard formula. A formula that helped launch Robert Downey Jr as Stark in the first place. This seems to be leaning a little more into DC territory. Stark’s advantage over some over Marvel characters is that he’s very flawed. It makes him a bit more interesting like Bruce Wayne.

Scott J Davis: For a trailer, is pretty mega. Kingsley looks and sounds immense as Mandarin, and it looks like they are following the Joker-isms by having a proper villain, a 21st century type villain who has no regard for the world, and wants to watch the world burn. Agree with Iron Man 2, it’s the weakest of Marvel cannon, mainly due to the poor Villains, which in all honesty seems to be a Marvel weakness. But this looks like DANGER: danger for Stark, danger for those around, danger for the world. Up the threat level, and you get some to push the hero to the brink, and see if he has the power to fall off. Plus, Paltrow in a bra, Cheadle, Hall, Pearce, and several Iron Men?? Mega!!!

Kirsty Capes: There is so much going on in this trailer I don’t know where to start. First, I really like the indication that there is going to be some development between Pepper and Tony relationship because, as much as I hate to admit it, I really love a good old-fashioned love story. The opening voice-over is super cheesy but effective.

Obviously the action sequences, especially the last one and OH MY GOD ALL THE IRON MEN looks EFFING AMAZING. But I also love the fact that there is some emotional vulnerability to Stark, a man who essentially masks his insecurities with sarcastic humour. Overall I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a trailer since The Dark Knights Rises.

Alice Mary Rush: Yes totally agree about the vulnerability thing. Robert Downey Jr is brilliant at the switch between bravado and actual raw emotion.

It’s going to be really interesting to see Tony navigate an actual relationship (I assume they go the equivalent of Facebook official) rather than just pure sexual tension. We saw a glimpse in The Avengers but it’s going to be very interesting to see where it goes.

Simon Columb: I’m worried I’m getting bored of this year-on-year Marvel release. I’ll watch it but it’ll be tough to show me something I haven’t seen already.

Luke Owen: You all know my love of Marvel and the films they’ve been producing and this just looks ace. When they announced the line-up for Phase Two, this was the one I had the least amount of interest in but as each new trailer and poster come out I find myself growing closer to the flick. Iron Man 2 was a bit of a let down so this should really set the record straight. Shane Black is a fantastic director and I think he’ll be able to bring the best out of Downey Jr. I am very, very excited for this.

So there you have it. It’s been a resounding success story according to our writers with only Simon, Tom and Brogan feeling that we could be getting Marvel Overkill.

What did you think of the trailer?

Iron Man 3 will be released on April 26th and stars Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Guy Pearce as Aldrich Jillian, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine and Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin.

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