Tuesday, July 2, 2013

More boom! More bust! Is that all there is?

by Eilis Flynn
To celebrate our 29th anniversary, the hub and I decided to see the three movies out currently that we've been meaning to see: Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, and Star Trek Yet Again (sorry, Star Trek Into Darkness). Today we saw IM3, the first of the three. We enjoyed it. I rated it as a half rewrite or one rewrite, which in our rating system is quite good (the numbering refers to the number of rewrites the script would have needed to reach perfection, which of course is not easy at all).

But ... it could have been better (which is why the rating). Robert Downey was fabulous, but even he seemed a little strained to sell the anxiety-plagued Tony Stark. And that's why I knew that the final rewrite I thought it needed would have helped. Downey has shown himself to be capable of breathing true life into what was (in my opinion, but then I'm not a Marvel fan) a flat character. He infused Stark with charm, reason, and even GMC (that's goal, motivation, and conflict, for those of you not in the writing game). But he seemed to press at being afflicted with PTSD. (That the character would suffer from it would make sense; the events--referred to in passing nicely, and reacted to logically by Stark--would be enough to unnerve someone who lived solidly in the real world.)

The other events and characters--the cute kid, the near death and coma of another major character--also seemed to be calculated, and the previous movies didn't have that quality. Again, it's not that I didn't enjoy the movie; it just seemed less organic than the others.

Or maybe I'm just too jaded. The big explosions, the army of empty suits, Gwyneth Paltrow in a sports bra--it seemed like it was pandering to the main part of the audience, males 13-49. The army seemed more than a little nightmarish, the big explosions just there to be the big booms that the audience expected. Paltrow had more to do this time, which was a good thing. (I didn't think hanging around in the sports bra was necessary, but again, clearly I am not the target audience!)

In all, though, I think those things basically denote what this movie, as enjoyable as it was, really is: a summer blockbuster. So it worked for what it was designed for. But I can't help but wonder how much better it could have been with just one more rewrite.

Eilis Flynn is the author of fantasies and, many years ago, a few comic book stories. She lives and works in a fantasy world when she's not editing professionally as Elizabeth MS Flynn. She can be reached at eilisflynn.com, emsflynn.com, or Facebook, Twitter, or ... aw heck, just do a search. She's always around!

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