Trailer Ricochet: Iron Man 3

Here begins a new series on the PlayFighting blog: I'm going to take a trailer for an upcoming action movie, and pair it with footage and commentary from its predecessors. The trajectory may bounce around a bit, but in the collateral damage you'll have a better idea about the potential of the upcoming action film.

That's not to say that I'm only going to review sequels, although that is what's happening today, I'm also going to look at what will give you the best impression of previous works that echo the film. Sometimes, these will be movies by the same director, other times it's the plot that seems so familiar, or a may just resort to talking about the lead actor.

Iron Man 3

Why does this remind me of Clash of The Titans?

Iron Man 2

Well, it was a sequel. I didn't expect much.
Don't care.

Iron Man

I was very impressed by the debut of Iron Man to the big screen. I have to admit that I've never been a reader of comic books. I've read the Watchmen graphic novel, and I'm fascinated by the format, because it's so similar to storyboarding a movie. Yet, I just can't get into them.

So I understood Spider-Man and Batman and Superman as cultural icons that merited movie treatment, but I could generally tell that the second-tier comics would always pale in comparison. I'm talking about Green Lantern, and the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four... and I thought Iron Man would be the same.

Boy was I wrong. The original Iron Man was a great film, which many attribute to Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of a deep character with a great sense of humour. Of course, actors can only perform as well as the story and the script dictate, so we should give credit to the talents of Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matthew Holloway under the direction of Jon Favreau.


Iron Man 3 takes place in the same universe as the other Marvel films, and the trailer makes reference to "what happened in New York" which is the final confrontation in the Avengers (2012). That was another milestone in the superhero genre, and the credit goes mainly to director Joss Whedon.

Therefore, we should not be surprised if this echoes all previous movies in the Marvel universe and the characters in the Avengers: Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow (who first appeared in Iron Man 2), and Jeremy Renner's archery guy. It will undoubtedly set up future films, including a sequel to Thor and Captain America, and a film called Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Avengers 2 is slated for 2015.

Action Score

There won't be unarmed fighting, except perhaps by power-armour. No way there will be hand-held weapons. There will be plenty of bullets and even more rockets, causing explosions and crashes.

It's an action movie, but not a martial-arts movie, so we fight performers will not learn lessons in movement. If we're lucky, we'll learn a little about comic and dramatic timing from RDJ.

What's the Lesson?

I don't know what the third instalment will bring, but it looks like a death-and-resurrection thing, maybe more than once. I'm dubious, since the second movie seemed to abandon story threads, and substituted deep character motivation for surface animosity and charm.

If you haven't seen the first Iron Man, run out to rent it. But I might wait for video on number 3.

Head of Stage Combat at Academie Duello and certified Instructor with Fight Directors Canada. Head of Bartitsu at Academie Duello, the longest continuously running Bartitsu program in the world.
Read more from David McCormick.