Iron Man 3 is now the fifth highest-grossing film of all time. Huzzah! Let’s celebrate this accomplishment with some more mockery.
I like Iron Man 3. A lot. However, it is not without its flaws, as I argued in my review. As a result, it does lend itself rather generously to the new Olympic sport of internet writers nitpicking big-budget action movies. I previously detailed 8 of the things that bothered us about Iron Man 3. Here are 5 more:
1) The Christmas Story Kid Sounded Like a Whispering Demon
Iron Man 3 director/co-writer Shane Black was but one of the many Hollywood scribes responsible for the notorious 1993 flop Last Action Hero, which did a modern-day Purple Rose of Cairo storyline with an annoying kid in for Mia Farrow and Arnold Schwarzenegger in for Jeff Daniels. Perhaps the experience hardened Black to the prospect of mawkish kid characters in action movies because Iron Man 3 could be sold with a tagline of “You’ll Cry with Laughter as the Little Kids in the Movie Cry for Real After Tony Stark Makes Fun of Them.” This is more apparent with the Justin Bieber haircut kid in the film’s middle section (more on him in a moment), but it is established very early when Stark greets a kid seeking his autograph with a mocking observation, “I loved you in A Christmas Story.”
Of course, the kid sneak-attack-whispers in Tony’s ear, “How did you get out of the wormhole?” in reference to the events at the end of The Avengers. This is an important moment as it sets off a panic attack in Tony and establishes the PTDS-like symptoms he will display throughout the course of the film in reaction to any reference to The Avengers (more on that later). However, because of the way in which we abruptly cut to a skewed-angle close-up of the kid as he whispers his line and the manner in which all ambient noise is briefly dropped in favor of only focusing on the dialogue this scene is actually kind of creepy. It is done to emphasize the line so as to make it clear what Tony’s reacting to, but the end result is a sequence in which one could argue the kid almost sounds as if he is a demon briefly visiting the film from some sort of adjacent horror movie.
2) The Bieber Haircut Kid is From the South, Right? So, Where’s His Accent?
The Justin Bieber haircut kid is living in the Nashville area of Tennessee. I am informed not just by film and television but also by WeMinoredInFilm writer Julianne, who is originally from Nashville, that the people of that town tend to speak with at least a southern drawl. In fact, Travel & Leisure recently ranked the Nashville accent as America’s 4th most charming accent. The Justin Bieber kid? No discernible trace of an accent. Granted, we don’t know his story – actually, we ultimately know rather little about him other than his propensity for whinin about his absentee father. So, maybe he has traveled a lot and is not originally from Tennessee. However, we have no indication that it is the case, ergo he should have some kind of accent.
3) New York, New York…Just Keep Saying It and You’ll Defeat Tony Stark
This is not so much a problem with the film as it is our pitch for a funny alternate ending to Iron Man 3: mentions of New York or the wormhole are to Tony Stark in Iron Man 3 as accusations of general cowardice are to Marty McFly in Back to the Future II and III. However, the Back to the Future films argued an aversion to “What are you? Chicken?” statements was Marty’s Achillee’s Heel whereas Tony’s panic attack reactions to forced memories of The Avengers is the script’s way to chart his growth and illustrate his interior monologue. However, what if the film had made it his Achillee’s Heel?
What if the villain, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), caught wind of this and utilized it strategically throughout the film? Imagine the comedic possibilities of Tony flying in his Iron Man armor only to be rendered limp and falling helplessly to the ground because Killian yells out at him, “New York, New York, New York” before landing the killshot with a hearty, “WORMHOLE!” Or maybe when Tony and Killian are facing each other on that bridge at the end after Tony has failed to capture Pepper and Killian offers general bad guy commentary on how he would saved Pepper. Right as Tony charges at him Killian could have just yelled, “New York!” forcing Tony to fall to the ground in a panic attack.
Of course, this is only funny if: you ignore that we’re somewhat callously proposing to make key word-induced panic attacks a punch line, and ignore that within the existing film Tony appears to be cured of his panic attacks before he even makes it to “The Mandarin”’s mansion.
4) Still a Dick Move to Put a Lonely, Crippled man on a Roof on New Year’s Eve
In the film’s opening flashback scene, Tony senses Killian is about to disrupt his romantic conquest of the not-yet-evil Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). So, he sends him to the roof of the building with a promise to meet him up there momentarily, a promise he has no intention of fulfilling. As a general reminder, Tony is doing this to a man whom he knows requires a cane to get around.
Dick move, Tony Stark!
We later learn this moment is the catalyst for practically the entirety of Killian’s evil villain plot. One can see why Killian was so bitter about Tony Stark, his statements to the contrary notwithstanding. Of course, Killian does eventually try to kill Tony multiple times, and takes Pepper Potts as his trophy, a trophy which he experiments upon. So, what Tony did was a definite dick move. What Killian did, though? Completely disproportionate response.
The film really attempts to make no apology for Tony’s actions because it doesn’t really need to – the flashback predates Tony’s encounter in the first Iron Man in which he created the suit and became a better person. So, we already know and accept that he was not so great prior to that. As such, this is not an error on the film’s part. However, what he did was still dickish, and we didn’t want that to go unnoticed.
5) Barrel of Monkeys – How Can They Hear Tony Stark in the Air?
At the end of Crank [you can stream the ending via YouTube], Jason Stratham’s character is falling to the ground after having been dropped out of a helicopter. He has enough time during this descent to call his girlfriend on his cell phone and leave her a “goodbye/”you’re the greatest, baby” message. Of course, if you’ve ever talked to someone who is walking outside in the wind you’ll know that something as mundane as that makes conversation next to impossible (or at the very least incredibly annoying). How on Earth could someone be able to hear anything you are saying if you are talking while falling through the air from a great distance?
Funny I should say that because Crank 2 jokes that all Stratham’s girlfriend heard on her answering machine was nothing but wind thus meaning his goodbye speech went unheard.
Maybe Iron Man 4 will have a similar joke explaining what it is the people falling from Air Force One actually heard when Tony, through his armor, was speaking to them during his rescue effort. This is a moment you simply have to go with, but when Tony is saving everyone via his barrel-of-monkeys method we the audience hear his expository dialogue explaining what it is he is attempting. However, you can’t help but kind of wonder if the people he is saving could actually hear anything he was saying, or simply saw his outstretched hand and reached for it. It’s not always been entirely clear how well understood anyone is from underneath their armor in the Iron Man films, but I can imagine this might be explained away by Tony possibly having something in his mask which amplifies his speech outside the armor thus allowing himself to be easily heard by others.
And with this, we might be scraping the bottom of the barrel (see what I did there?) for Iron Man 3 jokes. However, the prospect of Killian using mentions of New York as a Tony Stark diffusing-bomb has struck as at the site as so funny for so long we had to share it. If you have anything to add you know the drill – the comments section be your’s to use, abuse, and never call again.
I leave you with 8-bit Iron Man via LaughingSquid:
If you like this, check out our other “Nitpicking” Articles as Well as Some of Our Other Iron Man Content:
- Nitpicking Iron Man 3 – The 8 Things That Bothered Us
- Nitpicking Man of Steel – 4 Things We Liked, 4 Things We Didn’t
- Review: Iron Man 3 is Flawed But Remarkably Entertaining
- Jarvis is an Actual Person & 5 Other Differences Between the Iron Man Films and Comic Books
- Why Marvel Studios May Be Underestimating the Appeal of Robert Downey, Jr.