Saturday, May 4, 2013

Iron Man 3 Review

Iron Man 3 Review
Director: Shane Black

Cast Headliners: Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce

Original Release Date: May 3rd, 2013
 The character of Iron Man is one of my favorite Marvel heroes.  Over my life, in media he was “that one red and gold guy” with a cool armor suit.  The general public didn’t really know him until 2008’s movie based on him, which also kick started interested in a connected true Marvel comics movieverse similar to the cartoon series of the 90’s.   That was a great film, and Tony Stark has been a lovely character played by Robert Downey Jr who essentially has become Iron Man to the real world. Even when watching Sherlock Holmes, I can’t help but think of Tony Stark with RDJ’s trademark charisma and suaveness at play.  He is a great character and a awesome superhero, so what challenge shall he face in his 3rd film?
            The enemy of Iron Man in 3 is deception.  Tony’s dangerous new foes deceive the world and deceive each other.   The movie deceives audience into thinking it is a very grimdark film, of which it has specks of but it is the most comedic yet.  The movie deceives potential movie goer that they will get a dangerous Mandarin as the enemy, but without going further into it he is not as much of a presence in the film as it appears to be. There are an surprising amount of twists and surprises in this film.
            The laughs are frequent and well done. The movie has a light-hearted adventurous feel to it, especially during a middle segment where Tony is without his armor and powers and befriends a plucky young boy in a lonely Southern town.  Nearly everything Tony says is funny, which makes him a likeable character that is interesting to see.  Now what I have said can be applied to the previous two films, so what sets this apart? It is really a film about Tony Stark, as he frequently takes off or loses his armor.  We really get to learn what goes on inside that suit, especially since the events of The Avengers have left him stressed and having traumatic flashbacks. Some of his finest acting comes from Iron Man 3 in RDJ, and you will feel truly sorry for him one moment and think he’s a humor wizard at another.  
A fantastic action scene of the movie is when Tony must sneak into an enemy base with no powers.  He makes custom tools and traps, showing that his true power is in his invention-creating capabilities. Little things like that bring the film back to number 1, and yet also give the film a unique charm.  Same with James “Rhodey” Rhodes played smugly as last time by Don Cheadle. Rhodey, who has his War Machine suit upgraded into the Iron Patriot, is out of his suit most of the time too even in action.
Therein lays the flaw in Iron Man 3. At times, it doesn’t feel like an Iron Man or even superhero film. One of the villians, Aldritch Killian, is apparently a businessman looking for a profit.  Now his actor Guy Pearce gives one his best performances as the snide and vile Killian, but after facing aliens and Loki the maniac fallen demigod in Avengers the threat is not nearly as much. The Mandarin is very evil, and Ben Kingsley was a great choice for the role. But the stakes are lower on a global scale, ignoring of course the awesomely powerful fiery enemy Extremis super-soldiers. Also, Pepper Potts (Paltrow) gets into some dire situations, and you’ll have to see how she survives them, it’s worth it.
However, this is not a bad thing. There are many awe-inspiring action sequences despite this.  The sheer shock of WHAT happens during them is very entertaining, most notably the “Iron Man Army” scene hinted at in the commercials which is fantastic, and the special effects of course dazzle as with any Marvel Comics film.  I really enjoyed the film. It has its problems for sure, with a plot that ranges from interestingly great to fill with confusion.  I do think it is an improvement upon Iron Man 2, which lost itself even more than this in trying to explain a connected super-hero world and what that means.  This film scales back things to be pure fun and speed. But it forgets that to do that, Tony needs to wear the suit like he did in Iron Man 1 which I think best captured the spirit of the comic series.  Iron Man 3 overall though is a very good superhero experience, delivering more adventures with the best Man of Iron around.  Due to the entertaining journey, it gets a  8.55 out of 10

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