Monday, May 6, 2013

Iron Man 3 review; a nice addition to a wildly popular franchise

I've been waiting a long time for Iron Man 3.  And I don't mean since The Avengers last year.  I mean, since that hot mess of a sequel, Iron Man 2.  The first film in the franchise, starring Robert Downey Jr. as our ironclad hero (Tony Stark), was great.  It featured a relatively unknown character, a rehabilitated actor and a tone all its own.  The sequel was a stinker, for the most part.  And now, Iron Man makes his triumphant return.  Let's go!

What I liked about the film:
The Cast
Robert Downey Jr. is such an incredible actor.  In this film, he gets to play his usual, funny parts; but with much more of a dramatic spin.  Tony Stark just hasn't been the same since the events that took place in The Avengers.  He knows there is more at stake now a days, and must do everything in his power to protect the ones he loves.  So it's an interesting thing to see such an arrogant man worry about such fundamental things.  And RDJ does a fine job of not 'overacting' it.  Gwyneth Paltrow is wonderful as Tony's girlfriend, Pepper Potts.  She is a much bigger part of the action this go around, and really sells it.  Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau do well in their limited time onscreen.  Guy Pearce plays a mystery character, and we don't know which side he's on.  Pearce played this delicately  and definitely had me guessing which side he was on.

The Writing
The writing is probably the most effective of the franchise.  Director/co-writer Shane Black and Drew Pearce wrote a good script that has so much of what we love about the Iron Man character.  I'll tell you what you've probably already heard... the movie is hilarious.  It is so well written, and so witty, you can't help but love these characters.  Now the story is something else entirely, and I'll get to that in a moment.

The Villains
Ben Kingsley is a legend.  And he plays one hell of a villain in this film.  The Mandarin is a Middle Eastern terrorist.  He is out to show the world that Tony Stark and Iron Man, are not enough to protect them.  Kingsley's costume, hair, make-up, voice, accent and general demeanor are terrific.  He is a terrifying presence onscreen.

The Action
There are some great new action sequences in this film.  It's no wonder the Super Bowl trailer simply featured a clip of the action in the film.  The scene I'm referring to is a daring mid-air rescue of people falling out of Air Force One.  Awesome!  The climax will remind of Iron Man 2 with all the drones, as well as the harbor climax in The A-Team.  But don't worry, it's much much better than both of those films!  And I must say that the music which coincides with this climax, is great.  Shane Black just hit it out of the ballpark with so much in this film.

What I didn't like about the film:
Certain Character
I enjoy Rebecca Hall's acting, I really do.  But she served no purpose to this film.  Without spoiling anything; I understand WHY she was in the film, but still think they could have done without her character.  I don't know much about the Iron Man comics, but I really didn't see the need for her character.  I will tiptoe around this one because of huge twist in the film.  But I didn't like the way a certain character was portrayed in the film.  The character just isn't supposed to be like that.  If you know what I'm talking to, let's keep it spoiler free here; but I must say I was really disappointed with the way it was handled.

The Story
It. Is. So. Dumb.  I don't nitpick films, that's not what I like to do when I leave the theater.  But when I left; I couldn't help but ask myself question after question.  Why did that character do that?  Why didn't Tony Stark just do that, instead of that?  I'll give you a minor spoiler that is actually in the trailer.  In the climax of the film, described above, Tony Stark calls on 30+ suits to help him in saving the day.  Well, that's awesome.  It's incredible eye candy!  Except for the fact that he spent an hour of the film trying to get a broken suit back up and running!   Why not just call 1 of your 30+ suits to begin with!!!  Silly things like that make me just check out and watch the movie as nothing more than eye candy.  Oh and one last thing; the 'suspenseful moment' involving a main character, is not so suspenseful when they gave it away in the trailer.  Just saying.

The Verdict:
Better Than Part 2, But Still Not The Best
Iron Man 3 is good, real good.  It is a hilarious film that is packed with some serious action.  That being said, it's not better than the first film of the franchise.  And saying its better than part 2 is like saying Superman Returns was better than Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.  I mean come on.  Still, it was a very entertaining film, with so many talented people involved.  As you probably would expect out of a Marvel film; stick around until after the credits for a great little clip with a surprise guest.  That's all for now folks, I'm off.

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