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May 3, 2013
Iron Man 3 Mega Review
— Posted by Ryan
Synopsis: When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
I have two perspectives regarding this film. On one side I have the fanboy inside of me that wants to say go see it and then bitch about how they should have followed the comic storyline more closely. The other side, which will be giving this review, will be suppressing the fanboy rage to provide a more accurate, unbiased opinion based on the film’s mechanics and portrayal of the characters themselves.
I’m going to start with quoting Stan Lee and stating that “Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man.” There is no doubt that RDJ has taken the role of Iron Man to a new level with his performance. He has essentially done for Iron Man what Sean Connery did for James Bond by creating a likeness and persona that many others have emulated in their own versions of Iron Man. But while I love RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man, he was about the only thing I loved about this film. While I liked a majority of the heroes, the villains were either a bit weak or a bit over the top. I can’t say why I dislike The Mandarin without giving away plot details but I was extremely disappointed in how they developed his character. I’ll just say that he is not the menacing, unstoppable force that is shown in the trailer and I’ll leave it at that. But while his character was disappointing, there were a few other disappointments as well.
There were moments in Iron Man 3 that made me think it was going the route of a high intensity blockbuster but then things would slow down and I thought the focus was going to be character development by exploring more of Tony Stark. While there were bits and pieces of each, there was not enough of either to satisfy me. I kept wanting more of Tony in the suit and in addition to that, an improved and more efficient suit. Instead there were more malfunctions and mishaps with his armor which was clearly attributed to comic relief. While I was patiently waiting for Tony to work out the kinks in his armor, he would tip toe around the events surrounding The Avengers and how he was affected personally but never went into enough detail for it to be pertinent to the film. There were some redeeming moments in the film such as the flight rescue scene which was pure eye candy, the new fighting styles Tony adapts when using his new armor, and just about every other action scene shown in the trailers.
While I did enjoy the mindless entertainment and eye candy moments of the film, I think they just tried to cram too much into Iron Man 3. There were multiple subplots that needed deeper exploration, the villains were either disappointing or not fully developed, and maybe it’s the kid in me, but I wanted more of Tony in the Iron Man armor. I think that the average fan will enjoy the film because I can’t deny that it is entertaining, but it just felt rushed to me and I couldn’t completely remain engaged.
There’s nothing I could say that could change public perception of Iron Man 3. People will enjoy the mindless fun. I wish the movie was as grand as its International record breaking box office gross. However, my film loving conviction got the best of me while watching Iron Man 3. I found it to be an underwhelming, by-the-numbers summer movie that flirts with being as disappointing as Spiderman 3 and is almost on par with Iron Man 2. Why make such an assertion? There is too much going on. Would-be intriguing story lines are never fully explored including Tony Stark’s anxiety (pretty much dismissed by petty jokes), Gwenyth Paltrow’s…(never mind, I wont ruin it.), Rebecca Hall’s pointless character, and a little boy who’s name I didn’t remember.
The weakest element to Iron Man 3 was an uninspired villain. For me, a comic book movie sinks or swims with the top-notch villain (like Heath Ledger’s Joker). Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin villain was dreadfully boring, an Asian-Islamic hybrid without a defined motivation who collaborates with an equally unimaginative Guy Pearce. The Mandarin isn’t interesting or original (Imagine Osama bin Laden and whoever else comes to mind.) Any critic who thinks this is good villain (which some have) needs to take a sabbatical. Robert Downey Jr. was amusing as always with his sarcasim. Coming across as the delicate egotist can be his one-dimensional shtick. He improvised the previous two Iron Man movies but he is painfully not up to task this time reading from the script. Like Tony Stark’s suit controlled on autopilot, Iron Man 3 reminded me how the manufactured blockbusters mechanically go through the lifeless motions.
I could tell the preview audience was uninspired as it received an overall lukewarm reaction, void of enthusiasm. Keep this in mind: these are people seeing a hotly anticipated movie in advanced for FREE and couldn’t bother to really get into it. That said something to me. One could tell jokes and big moments failed to deliver on a grand scale. For all the let down, at least the climatic set up was somewhat impressive and admirable for director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon movies, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) to pull off, who even is at times over his head. Audiences who are conditioned to expect the best of super hero movies from Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan deserve so much better than what we get from Iron Man 3.
Iron Man 3 is barely adequate, and forgettable, summer entertainment not worth remember after viewing. Certainly not an ounce more than that.
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who has written 330 posts on The Movie Blog
First and foremost, Ryan Brown is a fan. He has been an avid fan of both the theater and cinema since an early age and his passion for both has been continually growing ever since. When dissecting a film, he focuses on all elements of film-making including some fan/cult factors. He believes that character development is the foundation of a good film and usually starts his analysis of a film from there moving forward. His writing style may be influenced by his background of narrative and argumentative studies in the subject, but he tends to enjoy a more conversational style to better interact with the readers, unlike some other pretentious and pompous writers.
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