FILM REVIEW: Iron Man 3

IRONMAN3
Can this latest entry into the Marvel franchise survive a new director and the pressure of following the Avengers behemoth?

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?

The plot of this film neatly ties up threads from the previous two with Tony, on what is being described as the most human story of the three, facing a villain like no other one he has faced. The Mandarin is becoming a threat to the world and lands on Tony’s radar after a personal attack. During the course of the story we see Tony Stark become the hero more than Iron Man but also we see him grow up.
He is having nightmares since the attack in New York and has buried himself in his work but this is also causing him issues in the shape of anxiety attacks.

Robert Downey Jr is back on top form in what will be remembered as his landmark role while Gwyneth Paltrow brings a new hotness to the role of Pepper Potts that I never saw coming and I like it. Cheadle is back in the action again and seems much more at ease in the role this time out. Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan is reduced to just a bit longer than a cameo but is integral to the plot.

There is no SHIELD presence this time as they are all tied up with the Captain America sequel I’m guessing but the new characters all hold their own. Guy Pearce is excellent as Aldrich Killian, a fellow inventor and someone who has score to settle with Tony. Rebecca Hall shines as Maya Hansen, who has a hand in the Extremis plot thread that plays a huge part in the film. Ben Kingsley brings something exceptional to the character of the Mandarin which just has to be seen and is by far one of the highlights of the film.

The humour in the film was hilarious and something I never expected, yes we have had it in the past but this is a different type of comedy. During the middle of the film Tony strikes up a bond with a young boy and the writing by Drew Pearce and Shane Black gives the scenes some great emotional content that and take Tony back to his roots.

IRON MAN 3

Shane Black’s direction is on top form seamlessly blending his style with what Favreu did before him . The camera work is clean and colourful and it would not be a Black movie without Christmas.

The music by Brian Tyler (The Expendables 2, Fast & Furious 5, Battle Los Angeles) is very noteworthy with some powerful scores that do a great job of bringing the atmosphere to the scenes and build up the action. I am still disappointed that there is no memorable theme tune that I can hum on my way to work but this seems to be the case with a lot of films.

As you would expect with a Marvel film there is a lot of CGI involved and this was actually a mixed bag of emotions for me this time round. All three previous films featuring Iron Man (including Avengers) have been near perfection in terms of the armour visuals but in this I was quite taken back at a few scenes where the CGI was not up to par. This was mainly when he steps in and out of the suit and just looks cheap. I know it is nit-picking but when a movie costs $200M to make I guess I expect more.

Previous Marvel films have all had a feeling that something bigger was coming or about to happen with the cameo’s and SHIELD but this movie does not feel like that, it really is a stand-alone movie.  Apart from an end credits scene the film feels like it has lost a little of its bigger Marvel world feel to it.

Those wanting a full superhero suited up action movie will be in two minds when they see this film because as I said before it is the most human of the three movies and that is not a bad thing but is it right for a superhero comic book film that wants to attract families with children? I know my son will be bored for the whole first half of this film and by the time the last act arrives he will be waning which is a shame because the final part of the movie has more Iron Man than any person can handle.

This is why I am in two minds with the film, yes it is a great adult character story but children who will buy the toys and read the comics want superhero action and lots of it. Who is the film aimed at I wonder?

This does not mean I did not enjoy the film because I did but I fear it will alienate some people. Overall it was an excellent ending of what I would like to call the first Iron Man trilogy.

RATING 4/5

Reviewer: Montoya

 

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2 comments

  1. Million dollar question (no spoliers), do we need to sit through the whole of the end credits?

    • montoc1701 /

      As with all Marvel films there is a end credit scene but is it worth it? Hmmmmmmmmmm I could live without it. All previous ones have lead into something bigger or a hint at another film. Take that as you will.

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