Iron Man 3

Posted: May 5, 2013 in Movie Reviews

Robert Downey Jr.__IM3

What makes a man? Is it the everyday apparel he dresses himself in; or the guise he uses to conceal his true nature? Is it what the public sees him doing, or is it ultimately his heart and soul that defines him? If he does bad things and everyone is aware of it, is he still the same man he could be if he does good things that no one sees? These are some of the moral dilemmas presented in Iron Man 3 . And while many we encounter in life may appear a certain way, no one is ever truly who they appear to be.

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Summary: (Spoiler free)

Traumatized by the events of New York, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.—–Sherlock Holmes) has become lost inside himself and confused regarding his true purpose. He spends his days building Iron Man suits while evading his lifelong supporter/girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow—–Se7en). Surrounded by his work and with no evident function, Tony wrestles with himself about his true vocation in life.

The answer comes through a mysterious terrorist called the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley—–Schindler’s List). Surrounded by Arab supporters and bearing great resemblance to Osama bin Laden, the Mandarin seeks to engulf America in a war of terror, creating panic and sewing fear in the heart of the nation.

With the American government unable to find him, even with the use of James Rhodes’ Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle—–Hotel Rwanda), Tony Stark must intervene and try to stop those responsible for the ruthless acts of terrorism.

"Iron Patriot on the job"

“Iron Patriot on the job”

When Tony calls out the Mandarin, even giving him his home address, the Mandarin makes good on the threat by destroying Stark’s home, leaving him completely destitute and with nothing left but his single Iron Man suit—–putting to test Captain America’s question of what Tony Stark is without his armor. Relying solely on his ingenuity and mental superiority, Stark must survive to succeed in his critical mission.

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 The Avengers is a tough act to follow. Going from four major superheroes to one is a bit demoting, but the way in which Iron Man 3 plays out, you never really notice. It was intense, thrilling, had a compelling story, and never had a dull moment.

 Tony Stark is a man out of his element. In trying to deal with his post-traumatic stress, he works 24/7 amassing an armada of Iron Man suits. He can’t sleep. Nothing makes him content. His relationship with Pepper is bleak at best. He doesn’t know what to do with himself . . . and I like that.  This isn’t simply “The Continuing Adventures of Iron Man” or anything comic book-like. This film connects itself to The Avengers  and feeds off of Tony’s past.

There are several subplots in Iron Man 3  like Iron Man 2, but unlike the latter the subplots of this film were connected and cohesive, creating one ultimate story. Although it would be spoiling the film to mention all of these subplots, know that this is a very in-depth film that requires all your undivided attention. There is so much more that has not been mentioned. Most of the plot I liked, but one aspect in particular I found a bit extreme—-even for a comic book film.

As for the Mandarin, Stark’s most defying and unsettling villain yet, I can only say “wow.” The way in which he was presented was exceptionally well-done, the Joker incarnate. He is a villain, though, that is not too-distant, very bin Laden-like as I have before mentioned. Although many have griped about the way in which he was used in the film, I personally thought that it made sense. A great character with an incredible performance by Ben Kingsley.

"You'll never see me coming"

“You’ll never see me coming”

We also get to see more of Stark’s genius technology in this film, most notably is an Iron Man suit that assembles itself to the body piece-by-piece for moments when you’re in a tough spot. The look of the film is truly spectacular, and the tech really adds to that. In fact, we get an enormous amount of technology in this film. But ironically Iron Man 3 really has to do more with Tony Stark than with Iron Man. Similar to The Dark Knight Rises, we become so invested with the hero that we eventually don’t mind when there’s less suit than man, which begs the question of “does the man make the suit, or does the suit make the man?”

In a nutshell:

Iron Man 3  is a true special-effects spectacle, but unlike most films where it distracts from the story and becomes tedious, in this film it adds to that great cinematic luster. While it occasionally becomes a bit jaded by extra plot and odd scenarios, and cannot match up to the first Iron Man, these small quibbles do not take away from the fact that Iron Man 3  is a marvelous piece of work that perfectly retains the essence of the original and is an enormous  improvement from Iron Man 2. Well done, Marvel.

 

 

8 stars

Mark 42

Mark 42

 

 

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Comments
  1. CMrok93 says:

    Good review. It’s decision of where and how to go with it’s story may piss some off, but it at least offers a new twist on a tired-genre that needs some life here and there.

    • davidc1776 says:

      Thanks! Yeah you do make a valid point…with so many superhero (and especially Marvel) films you have to change it up a bit here and there. I don’t necessarily think they handled it quite as well as they could have, but it was still a bold move on Shane Black’s part.

      I don’t know if you watch Jeremy Jahn’s youtube reviews, but he did bring up an interesting point in his IM3 review. He said that in Batman Begins, we eventually learn that the guy we thought was Ra’s Al Ghul wasn’t really him at all, he was just a decoy. But instead of losing a great villain (like in Iron Man 3) he’s replaced by the real bad guy—-Liam Neeson’s character. And Guy Pierce can’t hold a candle to Liam Neeson. Again, Chris Nolan superiority.

  2. Personally I was deeply disappointed by the film. It seemed like Marvel and Disney were like, “Hey Avengers made a billion dollars, hurry up and forget the whole plot thing and make another billion dollar earner!”

    • davidc1776 says:

      You know I can understand people who didn’t like this movie, as opposed to those who thought Dark Knight Rises was bad. Since I didn’t feel as strongly about Iron Man 3 as I did for, say, The Avengers, I won’t argue with that. It wasn’t a film for everyone like Avengers was.

      But you didn’t think it had a plot? I mean if I had to summarize the movie in a sentence I would say “Tony Stark has to deal with his emotions and lack of purpose while also dealing with a new enemy and a shady character from his past.” I mean I think that’s a pretty meaty plot right there. Especially compared to Iron Man 2 where the main obstacle Tony had to overcome was figuring out how to keep his chest piece from disintegrating.

      Your thoughts?

      • Its not that I didn’t think that it didn’t have a plot, I just thought that the writers rushed through major points of the plot and tried to make the plot complex, but they didn’t managed to make it all come together in the end. In Iron Man 1, they had a more deeper plot, yet manage to make it all come together in the end, this one didn’t quite manage to have all the facts resolved at the end of the film. Besides that I thought the film was pretty good, the action sequences were great and the CGI was good. And of course Robert Downey Jr. was amazing as usual.

  3. davidc1776 says:

    Fair enough. I agree it wasn’t as genius as the first one was. I personally was wondering why Tony never had surgery to remove the shrapnel beforehand, as if he had to muster the courage to do it or something odd.

    But yes, CGI was fantastic and RDJ is always the best no matter what.

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