It’s the time of year to watch Christmas movies – and also the time to start debating which films do or don’t officially count as a Christmas film. A newcomer to the annual debate is Shane Black’s Iron Man 3. Despite its April 2013 release date, Marvel have explained that the film starring Robert Downey Jr. should in fact be considered a Christmas film.
The film is even categorised as a Christmas film on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney Plus. But is a film being set at Christmas enough to classify it as a true Christmas film?
On their website, Marvel explain:
“The plot of Iron Man 3 could honestly take place at any time of the year — considering it’s not wholly dependent on its Christmas setting. But, the fact that it does take place at Christmas makes it a clear contender for a true Christmas movie, and we’re here to say, once and for all, that it deserves a place in the Christmas Movie Hall of Fame. Proclaiming this, of course, brings up the age-old debate as to what actually qualifies something as a Christmas movie, and your mind probably wanders to that argument over the likes of Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Gremlins, and Rocky IV. Hey, if those are allowed to be classified as Christmas movies, so is Iron Man 3.”
While acknowledging that Christmas isn’t all that essential to Iron Man 3, Marvel lay out a strong argument here. They go even further:
But even more so than the others, we believe Iron Man 3 is a Christmas movie because the essence of the story revolves around Tony going through hardships and coming out the other side to see the wrong in his ways. That’s the spirit of Christmas. […] Tony is struggling with his own inner demons because he is still trying to get over the events of Marvel Studios’ The Avengers. Tony isn’t sleeping, he’s suffering from frequent anxiety attacks, and everyone just wants to talk about how he escaped the wormhole in the sky. You’d be pretty on edge, too — and that’s not including the added stress of the season like picking out perfect presents and decorating trees.
In their complete article, they even compare it to the quintessential Christmas story, A Christmas Carol:
The Christmas setting adds another layer to the story because it sure feels like Killian is literally a ghost from Tony’s holiday past that’s come back to haunt him. Honestly, if there’s one movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that could be compared to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it’s Iron Man 3. Just like Scrooge (but without any of the “bah humbugs”), Tony needs some pushing to get to where he needs to be. He needs Pepper to almost walk away for him to realize he needs to be a better partner; he needs his new tween friend Harley to remind him what it’s like to lose a father figure and abandon responsibilities; he needs Rhodey to once again show him how to spring into action and save the day.
So, there we have it – a fairly sturdy argument for why Iron Man 3 should be added to the ranks of beloved holiday movies.
Do you agree with Marvel’s reasoning? Drop a comment below with your thoughts!