Iron Man 3: Review










The events of The Avengers has left Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) an anxiety stricken man. This has caused him to become obsessed about his work and in turn begin to neglect Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) a bit. A terrorist named The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) surfaces and begins orchestrating bombings throughout the U.S. which immediately gets Stark’s attention but it’s when Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) gets injured in one of the attacks that all bets are off. Stark issues a challenge to The Mandarin and he accepts by attacking his home directly causing all of his Iron Man tech to be destroyed except the suit he is wearing. Tony must regroup and and find it within himself to stop The Mandarin once and for all.

With this film starting Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe there’s a lot of pressure on franchise newcomer Shane Black when taking the director’s chair. If you don’t know who Shane Black is then maybe you remember Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (which is the film Marvel and Jon Favreau looked at before casting RDJ in the original Iron Man). He’s responsible for writing those films so he’s no stranger to the action genre but he is new to the superhero genre and sometimes those can be tricky to get right. Thankfully he got this completely right. A lot of the concern from plenty of people (myself included) was “How are they going to top the extravaganza that was The Avengers?” but Black does just that. He stripped Stark of everything he had and basically made him start from the ground up again almost similarly to the first movie. This made a good portion of the movie feel like a good action flick with Stark not depending on the armor completely. My favorite example of this was the one handed/one legged battle in the film that showed him brandishing a pistol as well due to limited resources. The inclusion of Extremis was great and made for the perfect baseline for this film. The Extremis storyline in the comics is one of the best Iron Man stories told and to see it transfer to the big screen was pretty cool to see. The Iron Man films had been missing something(s) and this third installment was the best time to introduce it. The main thing that I’ve always remembered of the Armored Avenger was his extensive collection of armor. We finally get a glimpse of the variety in his Hall Of Armor as he remotely calls on various models that include Igor, Shotgun and the famous Silver Centurion. Even though it was only for a portion of the film it was still nice to see them flying around but I would like to see more of them in future installments. The Mandarin was an interesting addition to the franchise. He is famously known as Iron Man’s greatest foe but the film version of him was a bit different. They teased him a bit in the first film with the organization that captured Stark but I kind of feel like Marvel took a page out of Warner Bros. book with a mixture of The Joker and Bane from the Batman films. They created him as a terrorist and kind of ambiguous as far as his ethnicity goes which was a smart move. It made him less of a stereotype and more of a menace without any sort of ties to any country. With that said, the twist with The Mandarin was completely unexpected and really fresh. It very obviously doesn’t follow the comics but it is an interesting take on the character and his mythology nonetheless. The formula for the Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) character is one that continued over from what they did with Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2. What I mean by that is the mixture of two seperate characters to create someone battle worthy for Iron Man. It’s about time that Pearce was in a superhero film. I’ve always thought (especially after seeing him bulk up for Lockdown) that he would be a perfect canidate for a genre film like this and he could honestly play hero or villian and he would still be great. I thought the way they brought in Iron Patriot was perfect considering the comic counterpart was totally different. They basically made him the symbol of America. The thing that I didn’t like is that they really didn’t allow James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) to really get in on much of the action as War Machine/Iron Patriot before he basically gets kicked out of the armor. They really need to utilize him more and have him alongside Stark but it seems like they treat him like a “filler” character. Hopefully they make him more of an integral part of Avengers 2. There really isn’t much to say about RDJ that hasn’t already been said. This man embodies everything that is Tony Stark/Iron Man. His sarcastic/arrogant humor makes the character so funny and yet when it comes down to it he bring out the big guns and be extremely tough. If this film was the last time we saw Iron Man I would feel pretty content with the outcome. I felt like it wrapped the story up rather nicely and didn’t leave too many openings for another installment. Shane Black showed that he understands the characters and his style was the perfect combination for this franchise. Watch this film and watch it more than once. It’s deserving of that.

Iron Man 3 is in theaters NOW from Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures


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