MovieBob - Intermission
Let's Watch The Iron Man 3 Trailer

Bob Chipman | 26 Oct 2012 12:00
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Iron Man 3, the first movie to take place in the post-Avengers Marvel Universe, dropped its first trailer this week. Let's go through it and see what's what.

00:00 - 00:11 Beaten, bloodied good guy falls on his back amid a "dreamlike" (read: self-consciously artificial) blue-tinted snowy night. Yup, this is a Shane Black movie.

00:12 - 00:15 Hmm. Strange to still see the Paramount logo come up. Marvel/Disney is supposed to own all the movies from Avengers onward outright ... or does that not apply to this one because it was greenlit and in pre-production well before the transfer was finalized?

00:16 - 00:18 Tony Stark greets the media, not looking as thrilled to be doing so as we're used to seeing. Absent anything else to say about these two seconds, I'm given to wonder how nifty it'd be if this hadn't happened and there was instead a vague possibility that some improbably young-looking kid was going to stumble out of the crowd, partially blind Tony with a flashbulb and stutter "... comment for the Daily Bugle, Mr. Stark?"

00:19 "Nothing's been the same since New York." Beware of inferring plot points from trailer narration culled from spoken dialogue that doesn't show the actual scene where the line is being said, since a good editor can make anything seem to mean anything. That said, the inference - in this trailer, at least - is clear. Yes, folks, although the Iron Man movies are themselves closer to sci fi-inflected Tom Clancy thrillers, we are still freely acknowledging that this one takes place after the main character fought off an alien invasion alongside the Norse God of Thunder, a radioactive ogre and Captain America.

I imagine the film itself will be making a mighty effort to keep Avengers at arms length, lest questions of "Why don't you just call your invulnerable green rage monster friend to help?" intrude upon the suspension of disbelief, but I like the idea of acknowledging it and I love the idea that maybe having been through all that insanity is what's left Iron Man a bit shaken, unsure, etc.

00:20 - 00:23 Stark makes an Iron Man gauntlet power up and fly onto his hand from across the room. Important note #1: He appears to be doing this without those homing-bracelet thingies from Avengers. Important note #2: Just before it fades out, you can see the armor "spreading" down his arm. Well! It's been widely-rumored before, the cat's out of the bag now: They're doing some version of "Extremis".

To briefly explain, "Extremis" was the big "new status-quo" story for Iron Man in the comics back in 2006. The name refers to a radical nanotechnology procedure that turns Stark into, more or less, a full-fledged cyborg able to bond with his armor on a direct physical and mental level. He also has the ability to access and manipulate any computers and technology within his psychic range.

In the comics, Extremis was yet another unsuccessful attempt to replicate Captain America's Super Soldier Serum. In this movie? Who knows? It'd be nifty if it was tied back to one of the potentially body-altering events inflicted on Stark during Avengers (zapped by Mjolnir's lightning, influenced by a magic scepter, briefly devoured by a giant space whale, crossed over into another dimension).

00:25 Stark looking sullen in bedroom, pieces of armor all over the floor. File this one away for a moment, we'll come back to it.

00:28 Don Cheadle, returning as James "Rhodey" Rhodes, aka War Machine. I really hope the question of where, exactly, "Iron Man but with way more guns" was during Avengers is raised but then snarkily brushed off and never mentioned again.

On a side note, I actually overheard at the conclusion of an Avengers screening someone ask, "Hey, how come they didn't call up Black Iron Man?"

00:29 - 00:30 Ruined bunker, shadows blasted onto the walls like at Hiroshima. In "Extremis," a new bad guy got experimented on with the nano-virus before Stark used it. Is this the site of that?

00:33 Guy Pearce as Alrich Killian, an important character from the original Extremis story. Back when Marvel was playing coy about who the bad guy would be in this, people thought he'd be the main heavy. According to Pearce, it's more of a cameo.

00:34 The new, more gold-heavy, presumably Extremis-oriented Iron Man armor. I actually like it, though once people started pointing out that he looks like a can of Vanilla Coke I can't stop seeing that.

00:35 For those keeping track, this is the first time in the trailer that Downey's dialogue has actually been part of the scene depicted.

00:38 Whoa! Someone wearing that new suit of Extremis(?) armor attacks Pepper Potts (but not Stark) in bed. But wait ... is someone wearing the suit?

Remember, at 00:25 we saw the same bedroom with pieces of deactivated armor all over the floor. Was that actually the aftermath of this scene?

If so, the implication is that the armor, post-Extremis, was up and acting on its own and Stark had to deactivate it right there (though apparently not before Pepper stormed out). There are two immediate explanations for this: Either a villain can take control of the armor remotely; or "Iron Man" the mechanical suit, now infused partially with human intelligence, is acting as a separate entity from "Tony Stark" the human being. This has been a plot element a few times in the comics, but it'd be an exceptionally big and interesting twist here. Is the suit artificially intelligent? Or, more unnervingly, is it somehow channeling Stark's own subconscious (as in, is it grabbing Pepper's arm off him the suit's over literal interpretation of "I have commitment issues?") If that's the big central conflict of the movie - who's in charge, Tony Stark or Iron Man - color me interested.

00:42 - 00:45 Silence, and then ... BOOM! Exploding earlier-model armors. Bad guys? Or, maybe, is self-aware Extremis having it out with his predecessors?

00:47 A flowing jade robe, trimmed in gold, worn by a man with a distinctly Oriental-looking topknot hairstyle. No. No, it couldn't be ...

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