And so, as with the Avengers, I feel like I've already seen everything there is to say about this film, a film I enjoyed a lot but with some very conflicting feelings. Very little has changed, really, from the initial reaction shot I wrote within a day or so of watching it -- I love Rhodey in this film, I'm happy that the Battle of New York had real consequences for Tony that can't be brushed off, even months later; I'm excited by the choices they made with the Mandarin. My mixed emotions mainly center on the treatment of Pepper. As always, I appreciate that she cares about Tony but also takes care of herself, stands up for herself and her needs -- and by extension his needs, since in those rare moments that Tony is able to look beyond the end of his own nose, it's obvious that her happiness is more important to him than his own; he's just still not sure how to deal with that. And I like that we see her in smart business leader mode, and of course it's great that she's instrumental in saving the day at the end of the movie, once again. But I'm not sure how I feel about the ass-kicking superpowers they give her to save the day.
In the first two movies, Pepper Potts saves the day by being Pepper -- by pressing through her terror to blow the large arc reactor in the first movie, by taking charge of Hammer and his goons in the second. Using the super-strength and regeneration powers of Extremis to take out Killian via brute force is rather un-Pepper like. I do like that they acknowledged this through her reaction to the situation, and it's not that I find it unbelievable that her adrenaline would kick in and make her aggressive in the moment. And to be fair, I should say that in the moment, when I first watched it, I appreciated the way in which Pepper becomes her own hero, to rescue herself from being damsel in distress. But did she ever have to be the damsel in the first place? That bothers me, too, along with the fact that she kicks her way out of trouble, rather than either thinking or managing herself free.
I really hope that Age of Ultron reveals whether Pepper was completely cured of Extremis, or if she still has the power and is now stable. Despite everything I said above, I hope it's the latter, because it would be pretty fascinating to see how she might handle that.
At this point I don't think I'm going to be able to watch much, if any, Agents of SHIELD, but we'll see how it shakes out. Either way, I think Thor 2 is next. I haven't watched that since I first saw it in theaters, so it should be fun.
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