Friday, May 3, 2013

Movie Review: "Iron Man 3"

The thing with Iron Man 3 is not that it's bad, it's actually enjoyable and quite good as a whole, but after following up The Avengers, it feels as if it's a little bit of a let down.

Iron Man 3 picks up right after The Avengers, with Tony Stark experiencing post traumatic stress disorder from the events of that previous movie.  When a terrorist calling himself the Mandarin, who is like Bin Laden's evil twin, starts wreaking havoc, Tony Stark embarks on a manhunt to bring the Mandarin down.

The returning cast is all exceptional, with Robert Downey, Jr., once more anchoring the film with equal parts wit, charm, and heart.  The new cast members, from Rebecca Hall to Guy Pearce, are all good, but none of their characters are really quite as charismatic or as likable as the returning characters, or the supporting characters from the previous Iron Man movies for that matter (I personally miss Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer).  As for Sir Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin, he turns in a really great performance, but I'll just say this, if you're a fan of the comic books, you will be flat out disappointed by this representation of the Mandarin.  Let's just say Marvel really let one of Iron Man's most iconic villains slip through the cracks here.  He could have been as awesome of a villain as Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, but Marvel just wasted the brilliant set-up for the character.

While the film often struggles to justify why this movie is the perfect follow-up to The Avengers, Iron Man 3 excels in asking the central question:  Is Iron Man the suit, or is he Tony Stark?  This is the most character centric of all of the Marvel movies made thus far, and in that arena it does not disappoint.  I would wager at least 90% of the movie, Tony Stark is without his Iron Man suit and is having to save the day using just his wits, this leads to the greatest moments of the film where Tony Stark crash lands in  small town Tennessee and recruits the help of a young boy to get back on his feet again.  These are the moments where Iron Man 3 feels the most true and authentic to what I think Marvel and director Shane Black were going for, unfortunately the script often feels the pressure to make this a Summer blockbuster and therefore flips back into relentless action mode without ever truly giving a definitive moment where Tony gets over his PTSD.  Plus, am I the only one that thinks the way Tony's suits fly around and attach to his body is getting a little ridiculous?  Sure it looks cool, but come on.

When it's all said and done, Iron Man 3 is a worthwhile Summer blockbuster, featuring inventive action sequences and some genuinely funny moments, but it doesn't quite measure up to the previous three movies featuring Iron Man.  As is evidenced by the brilliant post-credits scene, perhaps it's best just to only make more movies starring Iron Man when he's playing with the rest of the Avengers.

I give Iron Man 3 a C+!

(And I've just now realized I've given the last three movies I've seen this same rating.  Come on 2013, step up your game here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment