- Starring: Robert Downey, Jr. (The Avengers), Ben Kingsley (Hugo), Gwyneth Paltrow (Se7en) and more.
- Directed by: Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
- Synopsis: “Marvel’s Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, 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 has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?”
- Rated: Rated PG-13 for mild language and violence.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Superhero sequels: Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan’s Batman, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, etc…they all have such a daunting task -to out perform and impress above their predecessor. Will the hero’s plight be just as believable? his danger just as credible? his damsel in distress just as beautiful? And, the ultimate question: how long will the movie make us wait to see the hero overcome like they always do? 😉
While the second Iron Man film was met with only so-so enthusiasm from critics (most of whom accused the film of being nothing short of a rehashed and recycled plot from the first one while focusing on the lesser important daddy issues of the hero), Iron Man 3 is not as much a sequel to Iron Man 2 as it is a sequel to The Avengers, and therefore had a bit of a higher bar to meet and a greater challenge to tackle as the story takes place soon after the events of last year’s blockbuster giant (the absence of the rest of The Avengers undoubtedly is noticed.)
Marvel wins on so many levels in the superhero movie universe now. (Sorry, DC fans, but it’s true). And the success of their studio taking a B-list superhero (Iron Man) and making him an A-lister essentially overnight with Robert Downey, Jr as the titular character is a Cinderella story that even Cinderella herself would turn green as The Hulk with envy over. Downey definitely deserves as much recognition as he has been receiving for his large part in the newer Marvel Studios’ success.
We love Downey as Stark for so many reasons. His wittiness, his charm, his charisma, his wisecracks…all of it is the perfect pairing, so the thought of him possibly ending his time in the Iron suit definitely built the hope of Iron Man 3 being fantastic.
Shortly after surviving the events in New York with Loki and the rest of Nick Fury’s assembled team of Avengers, Tony Stark (Downey, Jr.) finds himself in not so vulnerable of a state as he was in in Iron Man 2, but of the mindset of preparedness and protection of that which he values most. With a new terrorist villain bent on destruction that goes by the name The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), Stark must face against enemies of the past, problems of the present and predicaments of the future with self-fortitude, helpful friends and allies and a bit more of what we also love…new technology, suits and weapons.
With plenty of action, great special effects, an appropriate mix of characters and plenty of Downey doing what he does so well as Tony Stark, Iron Man 3 contains plenty to enjoy. Granted there is plenty to overlook (such as the unbelievable re-naming of War Machine that ignores so much of other Marvel mythos and frustrated me in solidifying the fact, possibly, that the outlook for Spider-Man & Norman Osborn to ever be in a Marvel Studios production with The Avengers looks bleak -those who know who the Iron Patriot really is will understand that.) but Iron Man 3 successfully brings something for fans of all ages to enjoy.
Ironically, the Iron Man movies’ weakness continues to be what plagues this one as well: the villain. Any good hero needs a good villain, but most of Iron Man’s true villains in the films remain his inner self doubt, anxiety, etc as his physical villains are not quite memorable. Enter: The Mandarin and co-villains. The acting by Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, 24‘s James Badge Dale and more was satisfactory, however their characters amounted up to less than the desired effect, especially once certain plots are revealed. We get it, inner struggle is usually the more interesting as opposed to outer conflict, but it’s a tired repetitive story with Iron Man films. Just sayin.
Some of the other side characters were quite enjoyable, but none so much as when the main guy was on the screen. It is his movie afterall. Almost a tad bit too long, Iron Man 3 leads up to the promised big ending with suits upon suits upon suits and wow, what a fun visual treat that is. More so for the geek-fans (like myself) who know more about the comics and like seeing visual manifestations of what has been read on pages for years!
There is a fun after-credits scene that may or may not be worth it to you to stay through the long credits to watch, but it is there and may bring a smile to your face. It’s no “Schwarma” but know that there is one.
Ultimately, Iron Man 3 was fun to watch, albeit a tad disappointing. Themes of continuation, what’s important in life, what’s worth fighting for and more permeate throughout alongside Stark’s fight against terrorists both foreign and domestic. Not as bombastic as the first but will definitely be received much better than the second. Well done, Shane Black. And, Robert Downey, Jr., if this is indeed to be your last Iron Man film…thank you for bringing Tony Stark to life and making it what the fans wanted to see.
My Score: 4 out of 5 stars for Iron Man 3
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 200 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
up next: Trailer Time Thursday