I Enjoyed Iron Man 3, But…

I enjoyed Iron Man 3.  I was entertained.  I found Ben Kingsley delightful (and, truth be told, I was giddy when I found out he would be in it).   Plenty of scenes induced white knuckles, serious breath holding, and laughter.


Upon leaving the theatre I felt a slight pang of disappointment.  Was it the acting?  No.  Was it the action? No.  In fact, the film really was good fun.


Iron Man 3 contained the basic formula for Blockbuster madness: a great cast, charming dialogue, and explosions galore.  What was this “something” that it left out?

I realized the film lacked a “moral” to the story.  Superhero films engage audiences on more than an action/entertaining level.  They often provoke and affirm a value towards moral behavior. In the first Iron Man, for example, Tony Stark underwent a character transformation that highlighted a reorientation for “Right” and “Justice.”  Initially he indulged in a purely hedonistic lifestyle and when confronted with the dire consequences he chose change.  That moment of transformation was part and parcel to being “super.”  One could argue his evolved approach to business took on a John Stuart Mill-esque Utilitarian calculation for “higher pleasure” to bring about the best consequences.


This film presupposed an acceptance of “hero versus villain” as a sufficient formula.  Where was the “Ah-ha” moment for Stark here?  Yes, watching the development of the Iron Man suits captures our attention, however these really are not what make Tony Stark interesting as a Hero.  For the superhero, the moral compass serves as the driving force and the abilities (or suits in this case) are a vehicle for expressing a character. Iron Man 3 seems bereft of authentic purpose and personal growth.

What are your thoughts about the movie?

About unsolicitedtidbits

Philosophy, books, coffee, Mexican food enthusiast. View all posts by unsolicitedtidbits

4 responses to “I Enjoyed Iron Man 3, But…

  • kingmidget

    I think you’ve described a lot of “superhero” movies these days. It’s more about the action, the sarcastic wit, the special effects, etc. You’ve described exactly how I feel when I watch one. Whew, it’s a thrill ride, but there’s no there there. It’s why I’ve stopped going to see them.

  • Tania Malanga

    I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome site!

  • butimbeautiful

    I thought it was a little disappointing too. I mean, it did have a moral dimension, where Stark decides his girlfriend is the most important thing and all that. But..it was missing something, I don’t know what.

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