It finally happened. I’ve now seen the three films I’ve been eagerly anticipating for months. And let me say, I wasn’t disappointed. Here are my (spoiler-free!) thoughts on the three films that have made May an excellent month for movies.
Iron Man 3
This film surpassed my expectations. It seems as though director Shane Black knew better than to compete with the sheer scale of The Avengers and opted to focus on Tony Stark’s character development (which I’m completely okay with). Tony’s got a lot to sort through after the events of The Avengers, including a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder. The supporting characters that provide Tony with a significant amount of support are fleshed out further, making for particularly enjoyable dialogue scenes (don’t worry, the action is great, too). Iron Man 3 is not without its share of plot holes, but if you’re looking for a fun, creative flick (and if you, like me, just enjoy watching RDJ being RDJ), then this film is sure to satisfy. What sealed the deal for me were the scenes that bookend the film: a flashback to a certain significant event and a wonderful post-credits sequence. Those alone were worth the price of admission, but there’s lots to love about Iron Man 3.
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Oh, man. This film. As a Trekkie, this was the one I was looking forward to most. And I can honestly say that I enjoyed the heck out of it. The villain of this film, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is nuanced and chilling, and his actions force our heroes to decide what the future of Starfleet will look like. I’ve heard others complain that Into Darkness lacks the philosophical aspects of the original series. I’d say that while it’s not nearly as contemplative as the show, Into Darkness is still intelligent and captures the scale and wonder of space exceptionally well. Also, I’d keep in mind that this is JJ Abrams’ Trek, a different animal than the original series altogether. So, I’d enjoy it for what it is, which is a film brimming with heart-pounding action, breath-taking imagery, and a colorful cast of beloved characters. Ultimately, I think Jonathan Frakes, the actor who played Will Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, summed it up best: “Star Trek: Into Darkness is a BIG, beautiful film.”
The Great Gatsby
This film seems to have divided its viewers. I think you’ll either love it or hate it. Personally, I think Baz Luhrmann’s grand, opulent style is a perfect match for the lavish parties that the title character routinely orchestrates, but such a style is not to everyone’s taste. Before I saw the film, I was worried that the message of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work would get lost behind the film’s imagery and music (both of which are beautiful). However, the powerful performances by DiCaprio, Mulligan, Maguire, and Edgerton (as well as text from the book injected directly into the script) keep the film grounded in the book’s themes of hope, delusion, and the inability to escape the past. This is The Great Gatsby done right.
Here’s to a great summer movie season!