Iron Man 3 (2013)

May 09, 2013 By Mike B
Movie Review

Iron Man 3 Film Review

What Worked?

Usually, the last film in a superhero trilogy tends to fail, but in this case Iron Man 3 makes enough updates to its armor to avoid malfunctioning. Taking a look at the cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kinglsey, and Guy Pearce, one expects quite a finale with all that firepower. Shane Black reunites with Downey Jr. for the first time since Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, and he injects some new swagger into world of Iron Man that makes it a worthy addition to the Marvel movie universe.

There are the typical Shane Black trademarks, like the movie being set during Christmas time, and the buddy-cop feel in the third act, but he does mix it in well enough that it’s still an Iron Man film. Black’s script, more specifically the dialogue than the story, compliments Downey Jr’s Tony Stark rather well with his biting wit and charming charisma. The action scenes are a step up from the first two installments, as Tony Stark  goes toe-to-toe with his foes inside and out of the suit. There are some changes that Black made to the story that does take some balls to do, especially because he’ll manage to anger nerds across the world, but the changes are quite entertaining. Although this doesn’t give any of the top superhero movies a run for their money, it’s still a worthy escape into a world where superheroes exist.

Robert Downey Jr. never fails to deliver as Tony Stark, and even though having no change is usually boring, here it’s welcoming to find Downey Jr. still in stride as Iron Man. This time Stark has to deal with his trip to the other side from the ending of the Avengers, causing him to have anxiety attacks. The Playboy part of Stark is taken down a notch due to his commitment to Pepper Potts, but that lovable sarcasm is still there; it’s nice to see the character grow more while still keeping his bravado. Downey Jr. simply nails the role once again as the narcissistic, quick-witted hero with gadgets galore. With every piercing look that Downey Jr. delivers as Stark, while he goes up against the Mandarin, it’s evident that the only thing as big as Stark’s ego is his heart.

It’s definitely Downey Jr’s show, but Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, is also worth taking notice of. Killian works with the Mandarin, as he has created a formula to allow certain people to regenerate. Pearce is dangerous, in a Bond villain type of way, in the best sense.

Iron Man 3 gives us a deeper look into the character of Tony Stark and the world of Iron Man, and Downey Jr. is as committed to the role as ever. He’s got drinking out of the way, along with putting a cork in his womanizing days, but he still hasn’t got it together, making us relate to the character even more. The story is frenetic, and it may not be the best superhero film to date, but one thing remains more true than ever about the lead that acts as the arc reactor powering the entire  trilogy: Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man.

Potential Drawbacks:

The one that most will be talking about, especially those that are biblical about their comic books, is the way Black handled the Mandarin. They use him in a different way than the comics, and the anticipation of Iron Man fan-boys will be the significant factor in killing off the nice little surprise. Things were changed. Get over it. Life will move on, and if you keep complaining you’ll just be left behind (okay, so it kind of bothered me initially, but Kingsley was too good).

There could’ve been more to the end cap of this trilogy, although it does feel like a stand-alone film rather than a lead-in to Avengers 2. The third act was rather weak, as it became a buddy-cop action movie with the addition of Iron Man suits flying around. From the trailers, it felt like this would be a darker film than the rest, but it never really went there enough.

Another potential downside for movie-goers is that Tony Stark isn’t in the Iron Man suit enough. There are some fun action scenes with him outside of the suit, but it really did need a little more Iron Man action.

Film Recommendations: 

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Iron Man

The Avengers

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