Iron Man 3 – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

ironmanIron Man 3 – 4/5 – There is something to say about films, especially when they are the third in the trilogy.  In most cases, the third films had to live up to so many expectations; they usually fail (aka Spiderman 3, X-men 3).  A lot of the reason the third film fails is because of stagnant direction, and a general lack of another story to tell.  In some cases, the tides turn the other way, and with a fresh vision on a continuing story, you get something that is innovated, fresh and stands out as a film filled with great characters, stories, and overall, a conclusion fitting of a trilogy.  Iron Man 3 fits into this category.  With a mixture of the new director Shane Black’s taste and some story elemental twists, Marvel Studios has given us the best Iron Man film to date.

Premise:  In a post Avengers world, rash-but-brilliant Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces, not only the aftermath of that fateful day, but also is pitted against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When his personal world is destroyed at this new enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible.  With his back against the wall, Stark is left all alone, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him.  As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that secretly haunts him, ever since the attack on New York: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man.

Out of all the characters that have populated the Marvel universe to date, I think the most genuine and constant thought is that Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man is one that cannot be replaced.  He is Tony Stark.  Like his previous ventures into the world, he brings a bravado that is unlike any other character he has played on screen.  He provides a character that is sarcastic and narcissistic, but charming in his own right mind.  His comedic and dramatic timing with other characters on screen is so amazing, that you forget he is playing a character.  If the movie was bad (which it isn’t) he would still make it a great movie because the characteristics he brings to Tony Stark would carry the film.  In the role of his trusted confidants, Pepper Potts and Colonel James Rhodes are great as always.  These characters are played by Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle.  They don’t have the same intensity or suave as Downey in his role, but they provided quality and depth to the characters, giving a complimentary existence to this world, and Tony Stark himself.  Picked as the villains, Aldrich Killian and The Mandarin, they are played by Guy Pierce and Ben Kinsley.  In these roles, they give the best villains Tony Stark has ever faced in the trilogy (minus Avengers), and help provide a real strong antagonist to Tony Stark/Iron Man.  Not only do they pit strength of arms against him, but also provide an intellect that can battle in comparison to Tony Stark’s own genius, with his suits.  Guy Pierce provides the smoother and charming individual in Aldrich, as Ben Kinsley provides someone who is both a face of a dangers group, but fixture that must be taken down in The Mandarin.  In the lesser supporting roles, you have Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, James Dale as the president and, of course, Paul Bettany as the voice of Jarvis.  They weren’t as stellar as the main cast, but at least provide more to the roles than a typical ‘story fixture’ for a comic book movie.  Each of these people had a purpose in the film, helping the main characters progress and providing unique scenarios for each.

The direction of this film is a mixture of two genres.   In the beginning, and the entire first half, the film has a very dark but comedic feel to the way the characters are introduced and the story progresses.  This is a post Avengers world for Tony Stark, and he has been having trouble sleeping.  The New York incident has done something to him, and it has caused him to just continually build machines, as he is on Mark 42 (the previous model was Mark 7).  Along with this, there is a new threat to the world from someone called the Mandarin that Tony has come to find out through his confidant, Rhodes.   Once his world gets affected by one of The Mandarin’s attacks, you see how this thrust a vengeful, mentally unstable Tony Stark into the mix.  The realism that happens here gives off a feeling that was missing from the second Iron Man.  You feel for the characters, and become attached to some (Tony Stark, Pepper Potts) and fear others (The Mandarin and his disciples).   In this realism, as stated, you get a mix of a darkly tone with a touch of comedic elements, which can be conflicted at times in the film’s first half.  The timing of each is precise, but sometimes the comedy takes away from the dramatic situations.  This doesn’t actually hinder the films progress, but it is very obvious when the overlapping happens.  After Tony’s home is attacked, and he is left to his own skills, you start to see a shift from the dark and realistic elements, to a more comically induced film.  At about the halfway mark, a twist is introduced to the story, to help flip this change.  Outside of the change of tone of the film, the change in the direction of the lore seemed somewhat, unwarranted, but it didn’t have a negative effect on the story.   What the film does with these liberties is help mix the two genres, as the realism keeps an overall cocoon, but the comic book tone taking full affect.  From this point on, the film is shows off Tony Stark’s wits, combined with saving the world, Potts, and destroying the Mandarin once and for all.  Through this climax, you see the characterization of Tony Stark come full circle, realizing what he needs to do to become, what he should have been all along.  Through this, Shane Black’s spin is put on the film.  You can tell that his flavor of dark comedy mixed with characterization of a comic book character helps bring a fresh feel, providing quality to the third incarnation of the Iron Man films.

When it comes to visuals, they are as outstanding as the previous films.  In the creation of Tony Stark’s world, we get a wonderful glimpse into his mansion, his basement of ‘Iron Men’, as well as a general look at everything around him.  The world is great, but it’s the suits what is the main draw of the film’s aesthetic appeal, and there are plenty of them.  All the suits have distinct features, and each provide their own little quality in fighting.  This creation of all the suits is amazing, and you wish you had your hands on at least one of them.  The score is a welcoming touch, but it doesn’t deter from anything in the film.

Overall, Iron Man 3 is a wonderful, genuine comic book film; a great conclusion to the Iron Man trilogy.  It has a mixture of very two opposite genres, but the combination of those, plus Downey Jr.’s acting helps makes this an entertaining flick.  I can see how the liberties taken from the comic lore could make some people mad, but as all translation to the screen, things have to be change.  From a story aspect, it made the character of Tony Stark deeper and relevant.  If you’re looking to have a great time, a great summer flick, and are a fan of Iron Man, this is one for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *