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Review: Iron Man 3 (SPOILER FREE)

May 1, 2013

iron_man_three_ver9Iron Man 3

  • 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:
  • Review:

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.)

Hit the jump to see if Robert Downey Jr carried Iron Man 3 well enough on his own in this, his 5th time onscreen as Tony Stark!iron-man-3-dragging-iron-man-armor

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.article-ironman-2

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.iron-man-3-extremis-armor

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.ironmanphoto

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.Iron-Man-3-Interviews-The-Mandarin-Movie-Comic-Book-Differences

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! ironman3-trailer-blog630-jpg_061350

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.iron-man-0354_480_poster

My Score: 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!)

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Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

up next: Trailer Time Thursday

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. E.T. Faulkner permalink
    May 1, 2013 2:42 pm

    Thanks for the review. I totally agree with you on Downey bringing Iron Man up a notch as far as Marvel Superheroes go. Also, there are those of us who are just plain happy to see what we have read, become “reality” on the big screen.

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:22 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting! It is nice to see that as technology has improved, movie studios have done a very decent job at bringing some of our fave heroes to the big screen!

      Like

  2. May 1, 2013 3:00 pm

    The flaws in this film are the same in all Marvel films, 1. Nobody ever dies and 2. The villains are not impressing me. I wanted the Mandarin to turn this around but clearly not as you now know 😦 Good Review, very good in all other categories 😀

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:22 pm

      Agreed Tim. Completely.

      Like

  3. May 2, 2013 1:22 pm

    Just saw it a couple of nights ago, I think I’d agree w/ your rating, T.

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:22 pm

      Thanks Ruth. Appreciate it. I wanted a bit more from Iron Man 3.

      Like

  4. May 3, 2013 5:10 pm

    Great review. As usual Downey manages to steal the show as Tony Stark (hopefully we’ll get a couple more appearances from him as Stark, even if it is just cameos). On the villain front, I actually really liked the villain in Iron Man 3, I just thought he was actually really good, no Loki or anything but better than Whiplash, Iron Monger etc. Long live the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:25 pm

      better than Whiplash for sure. I just really wanted more! ha. I agree with you though “Long live the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” I’m just a lil skeptical right now of Guardians of the Galaxy…

      Like

  5. May 4, 2013 10:21 am

    Great write-up. I look forward to seeing this tomorrow. Can’t wait.

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:26 pm

      Thanks for reading! Hope you liked it.

      Like

      • May 7, 2013 2:15 pm

        The first half was awesome. Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin was so bad ass. Once his character turned it got lame. Parts were silly and ridiculous. Fight scenes and cgi was entertaining enough but the story really lacked. Also, they totally ripped off Batman Begins with what winds up happening with the villains.

        Like

      • May 7, 2013 2:32 pm

        I felt they ripped off Batman Forever’s Riddler instead. haha

        Like

  6. May 4, 2013 11:46 am

    I’m with you on it being disappointing, T. 4 out of 5 stars doesnt really fit with where I’m at with it though. On the Lambscores, where its “out of 5”, I gave it a 3.

    It was one of the lowest scores on the table, but I gotta call it like I see it. This was an empty movie, and not entertaining enough for me to look past it. Several eye rolling moments, plus the outright angering stuff they pulled with The Mandarin – let alone the Patriot, like you mention. 😦

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:26 pm

      I understand what you mean. I went back and forth between a score of 3.5 and 4, but I still liked it enough overall. Just a few disappointments, which we both agree on.

      Like

  7. May 4, 2013 12:17 pm

    Based on your rating and Ruth’s, I’ll probably go see this now. RDJ does have the capability to make things interesting.

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:27 pm

      He def makes it worth watching. He is perfect for the role. Thanks for commenting Paula. I hope you like it….you will! 🙂

      Like

  8. May 5, 2013 3:11 am

    Great review!

    I loved it!! What a fun ride–and yes! this is all RDJ. He is brilliant and made to play this role. I am not a comic book reader so there were not many disappointments for me on that end.

    This was a perfect start to summer 2013! Let’s do this! 😀

    Later.

    Like

    • May 7, 2013 12:28 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. a great start for the summer. And I think that you are right about it having fewer disappoints for non-comicbook readers!

      Like

  9. Kal-El permalink
    May 11, 2013 5:56 pm

    I liked the film but definitely felt like there was something missing. I love Tony’s interaction with others on-screen, tons of fun. It just seemed like in this film we got a lot of Tony with a lot of different people and not a lot of Iron Man. The storyline with the kid was fun but needed to be flushed out more. The kid shows up in the film, has a moment with Tony, and is just as quickly left irrelevant in the film. I think once Tony left, that should’ve been the end of the kid as his character does nothing else to help the story along.

    I didn’t mind the other Avengers not being involved in the film. It’s not like they all exchanged numbers and became best friends at the end of Avengers. They got thrown together for a massive threat, threat was neutralized, they went back to their lives. Besides, Tony was distancing himself from everything that went on in NYC as he was haunted by it. Makes sense for him not to seek out the others.

    What bothered me was the lack of SHIELD presence… as in NO SHIELD presence at all. Zero, zip, zilch. Terrorist organization is blowing up landmarks in the USA, taking over all television networks and transmissions to broadcast his activities, and directly threatening the president and yet no sign of and not a peep from SHIELD. I’m pretty sure the Intelligence Agents got an earful from Fury on missing that one.

    Like

    • May 15, 2013 12:56 pm

      Glad you liked the film. and yes, the lack of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a big criticism I have started to see mentioned more and more. It takes the film out of the reality of The Avengers and places it in another. But that is the challenge of all of these post-Avengers films.

      Your thought on a lot of Tony and not a lot of Iron Man I understand, but that was the same for The Dark Knight Rises. I think the main point, solidified by the last few lines of Iron Man 3 is that Tony Stark IS Iron Man and that they are one in the same. So I didn’t really see it as Stark time vs. Iron Man time. It all was Iron Man time.

      Like

  10. May 17, 2013 2:10 am

    So although a bit disappointed you did enjoy it. I had a great time with it as well, of course there are always things to nitpick about, but in general I enjoyed one of the first big summer blockbusters of the year. The season of big movies has been started!

    Like

    • May 17, 2013 10:42 am

      I think that’s a pretty accurate reiteration of my thoughts. the big movies are indeed here my friend.

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. “Trailer Time Thursday!” 5.2.13 | The Focused Filmographer
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  3. Iron Man 3 ROCKS! | nediunedited
  4. Iron Man 3 Review(Spoiler Alert!) | The Filmster

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