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Movie Review: Iron Man 3

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 4 years and 8 months ago

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Third time’s a charm is what they say, right? Well, as much as most of us may buy into the ever-so-famous phrase, the “Iron Man” franchise, I personally believe, will live strongest among its first piece of exposure. Not to say the franchise’s third installment was “bad,” because it really wasn’t, however, with its unique display at the hands of Shane Black (pretty much pushed upon by Downey, Jr. himself), this piece will make its mark among Marvel movies, make both Marvel and Disney financially happy, but it didn’t really push for anything to be considered legendary as the world of comic-book movies move along its own bubble and/or universe.

Originally set up as a “secondary hero-based character” in the comics, it’s the world of movie-making-magic that elevated this particular character to reach the heights of heroes who stood out more among comics – Spider-man or Wolverine for example! But at the level we’re at now, it’s pretty much irrelevant to even say or think that now that Hollywood has dipped its finger into the batter, milking what works by utilizing all in its power to keep this contemporary “Tin-Man” up-to-par.

That said, there’s complexity to Iron Man, a being we’ve gotten to know through two films, as well as his heroic deeds as an Avenger. Here we dive into a journey which exposes the aftermath of Whedon’s epic monster, as we return to a PTSD-driven Tony Stark, who suffers from massive panic attacks, sleep deprivation, and a bit of insecurity due to Loki’s harsh invasion which nearly cost him his life.

Granted, we knew there was more to him than just ego, and a high-end power suit, but “Iron Man Three” – as post credits so eloquently state it – dives deeper into his character, rendering him more sympathetic, vulnerable, and caring than we’ve ever seen him. Tony Stark the egotistical, genius, playboy, billionaire is STILL very much in tune, but for the first time we really become educated with Tony Stark’s humility.

A fresh sense of unpredictability floors the narrative. With a bit of a unique twist at the hands of writers Drew Pearce, and director Shane Black, there’s a great deal of deception and theatrics coming into play when the world (of course) is made unfit, unsafe, and somewhat uninhabitable at the hands to two relentless villains, whose “Wag The Dog” approach has its highs and lows.

Menacing oversight at the hands of of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), the two set off what seems to be interesting antagonists, who set on their villainous deeds, build on what may seem to be a thought-provoking point on the present among U.S. politics and the war on terror provided with malicious pizzazz.

Throwing everything and everyone within the story for a loop, other traits like trademark tongue-in-cheeness, left me a bit confused and polarized though. I love how it carried its own weight, but its unique approaches – namely unneeded goofiness – weren’t always well-timed, or delivered, which exposed a pretty uneven contrast to what really was needed most in terms of effectiveness, and that would be good drama to run alongside its beautiful action-sequences and story as a whole.  

Back-and-forth like a see-saw, there are things in this film that worked, and obviously things that didn’t work!

The film’s beauty stems most from Tony Stark’s dialog delivered by Downey, Jr. so smoothly; it seems almost effortless as he spews his best lines in the most confident ways ever. Line after line, the brilliance oozes so much, it’s its own enemy as wit-and-wisdom becomes comical, leading to the audience laughing, pretty much making it a bit hard to follow up on what Stark’s has coming next. However it isn’t just Downey, Jr. that gets to have all the verbal fun, much of it also goes to supporting cast, each having their own form of lines defining them during scenes entailing high stakes, or simply coming across with severe points – mainly from The Mandarin and Aldrich Killian.

Cast chemistry is also a strong point in the film. One seriously doesn’t need to worry with a cast that includes actors like Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley. Working well off each other, it’s pretty hard to pick out who’s the better actor and/or actress. Much credit and respect to Rebecca Hall as well, carrying her medium role to its own level, never outdoing itself and running quite well among Paltrow, Downey, Jr., or Pearce. While we’re at it, Downey, Jr. and Paltrow always tend to steal scenes as they work well off each other, however, what stood out most for me was Ty Simpkins. It’s pretty much a hit-or-miss when teaming a child actor along with a major A-list star. But it worked fantastic here. Not giving much away, this kid’s character comes across Stark, and what follows through is a toe-to-toe “showdown” that allows the kid to serve as the voice and face of the world who’s curious about the world Iron Man lives in, as well as the heroes he fought side-by-side with, and questions upon a future that would entail invasions.

I can’t forget Jon Favreau, returning as Happy Hogan, and this time a pretty well-equipped Don Cheadle, referred to and recognized as War Machine, yet for some odd reason renamed as Iron Patriot at the hands of the U.S. Government. Although used up as much as they were in the second film, they were pretty much vital binds between Stark’s/Iron Man’s survival, as well as our nation’s security.

Fun, mashed together well among scenery, and action sequences that were pretty cool to watch and enjoy at the hands of 3D magic, I must say there were issues which didn’t quite sit well with me.

One of my major disappointments was with what Shane Black did with The Mandarin. The angle in which was set upon him was quite surprising, but in terms of what was presented, it failed miserably – total waste of a major, ass-kicking villain, played by a major ass-kicking actor! It’s not to say Kingsley didn’t do the role any justice. He played it as directed, but without giving anything away, totally a 360 on what was supposed to be a major showdown between Mandarin and Iron Man. I’ve never felt so distraught about a character in my life, and I have a strong feeling Mandarin will be a topic of much heated debate for weeks to come. If anything, don’t go looking for the epic face-off we endured in “The Dark Knight” when mortal enemies Bat-man and Joker went at it with the utmost cleverness between good and evil.

(To view what “Bain” would have looked like if Nolan would have pulled a Black on him, click here!)

Major plot-hole as I thought they had an amazing opportunity to bind together all of the Iron Man and Avenger films through Mandarin and the “Ten Ring” mention that was oddly ignored.

While I’m at it with plot holes, not to ruin it, but there were a few inconsistencies pertaining to actions at the hands of a vulnerable, armor-less Tony Stark, his existence, and act that left my head spinning. There are some more, but that’s for you to watch and find out!

Seeing as the film runs parallel to contemporary times, yes, things HAVEN’T been the same since NY. Get it?! So, why all the goofiness? If that’s the case, the writing in this film – although not bad – should have been geared with a bit more drama, harsh scenarios, and making the audience REALLY feel threatened by logical, rather than illogical circumstances among some in the story – especially with its villains who come off like they’re looking to manipulate everything and anything in existence among this big blue-green marble we’re renting space on.

The Iron Patriot angle was also quite hard to swallow. Its distorted origins were pretty bad if you know who really wears not only the iron pants, but the suit as a whole. It was also strange seeing as the film follows “The Avengers,” when the U.S. Government introduces Iron Patriot, Stark’s snarky, quick-witted ways not bringing it to attention and making “copy-cat” mentions about a specific patriotic hero he recently fought side-by-side with.

Last but not least, if it’s a Marvel film, there’s a post-credit scene. I won’t give anything away, but it’s NOT the rumored intro to “Guardians of The Galaxy,” “Ant-Man,” or any of the following with “Thor: The Dark World,” or “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but it is pretty entertaining as it features another Marvel character lending Stark an ear. 

As a whole, “Iron Man 3” is a cool film, but not a good a film. While I think that those (who I’ve already heard) saying “Iron Man 3” is better than “The Avengers” are really way in over their head or smoking something, I say I did enjoy it, and better than “Iron Man 2,” this film is NOT better than “The Avengers,” and certainly NOT better than the first. It’ll leave its mark, look cool among a Blu-ray collection, will be an awesome spring/summer blockbuster without doubt, but certainly not a Marvel(ous) classic!



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