Films about futuristic weaponry typically fall neatly under the archetypes of Mars and Uranus: Mars for the fighting, metal and militarism. And Uranus for the visionary punch, including robotic machinations, of what’s to come. Most blow-’em-ups manage to cover the larger-than-life gadgetry and the 100-years-from-now angles. But true “Aquarian Age” movies that deliver the entire archetypal package are more rare. Iron Man 3 comes close.
The archetypal impact generated by director Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 comes from its providing a deeper and more encompassing view of Uranian themes. The plot is simple. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) are still an item. There’s someone blowing up (Uranus) public gathering spaces where communities (Uranus) gather, but there’s never any evidence of a bomb (Mars). Whether two characters – Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) – are good or evil, from the point of view of world domination, is tough to determine. And who or what is Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), and whose side is he on?
What matters more is that there’s a kid in the picture whose cleverness serves the same role as the adolescent bunch in the classic movie comedy Galaxy Quest. Here, he’s a pre-pubescent named Harley (Ty Simpkins).
Harley provides necessary Leonine balance to the robotic Uranian shenanigans. The astrological sign Leo is directly opposite Uranus-ruled Aquarius. Aquarius, with its high-tech and automaton vibe, archetypally needs the generosity associated with unbridled, child-like self-expression that’s ruled by a Leonine heart. It’s on the money that, in the end, Tony rethinks his artificial metal ticker, despite its reassuring glowiness, for the real thing.
Iron Man 3 doesn’t stint on the community- and group-centric theme, another stomping ground of Uranus. Rather than keep his suit of armor to himself and ally Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Tony lets lots of folks wear the weaponized costumes his millions have helped fund.
Fanboys may prefer the elitism of one-suit-one-Tony. But like Prometheus sharing fire with the masses, Iron Man 3 wants to go out of the franchise’s comfort zone for a bigger archetypal wallop. Nice suit, man.
Astrology Film Rating: ♂ ♅ (Mars, Uranus)