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.
6.5 out of 10 – Ryan
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.
6 out of 10 – Kenny
It’s not what you expect. It may not even be what we want but Iron man 3 is the very next film in the Marvel cinematic universe and in this film we catch up with Tony Stark and Pepper Potts following the events last year’s “The Avengers”. This may be Iron Man’s 3rd film, but its also a movie for a lot of ‘firsts’ as this is the first film in Marvel’s “Phase Two”, director Shan Black’s first comic film, and the film also introduces a few key characters including Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian and Ben Kingsley’s The Mandarin. It’s also Disney’s first Iron Man film resulting in a mix bag of results.
Robert Downey Jr. has trouble not being Tony Stark so judging his performance, in my opinion, would be a waste of space. Instead I’d like to focus more on the story as Iron Man 3 features several character developments for Tony Stark. Iron Man 3 finds Tony in a mind state unlike anything we’ve seen from the character in prior appearances with him being noticeably shaken and more than a little paranoid after the events that occurred in last summers The Avengers. That alone is a fact that shouldn’t be overlooked as I believe The evolution of Tony Stark is a story in itself. We’ve seen Tony evolve from a self-absorbed, egotistical arms dealer to a person with deep insecurities and sensitivity. It wasn’t a change that happened overnight and the fact that RDJ has been reflecting this development, without question, is remarkable in itself. You don’t have to study nearly as hard as say Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne to see what’s going on in his head and it’s not something that I took lightly. Hats off to RDJ.
The other major sense of satisfaction to be found in this film is with Ben Kingsley’s The Mandarin. This is not the same character from the comics using magic rings and dragons to cause chaos throughout the world and instead we have a character that’s more in line with what we’ve seen from the series and a character that’s easier for audiences to identify with: a global terrorist. These are glaring changes to the character but not all that surprising with the way the film has handled the buildup of the character in the prior 2 Iron Man films. I still notice that ideal sense of danger that comic fans demand from one of Iron Man’s premiere foes but there are more than a few changes to the character that comic fans will undoubtedly riot about. Again, nothing is completely surprising considering how the Iron Man franchise has evolved thus far.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts is consistent with what we’ve seen of her in the past and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. For the most part I don’t dislike Paltrow’s character I’m just indifferent to her. She’s a major character in the film but not someone that I particularly felt was interesting, armored up or not. Don Cheadle’s Iron Patriot continues to be a fun distraction but his impact on the film doesn’t have the gravity that I hoped for. Iron Patriot makes appearances all throughout Iron Man 3 but the film wouldn’t have been drastically different if he, or Pepper Potts for that matter, weren’t in the movie at all. They seem like furniture more than anything. A nice and welcome breath of fresh air was found in Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. Guy Pearce has the ability to steal a show if you let him and he gave an appreciable effort in this film to do just that. I found his character interesting and complimenting to the overall story. I’m not too fond of all of the developments of his character but the actor himself played the character well. I never questioned his performance or motives in the film and immersion is an often overlooked factor in film that I don’t disregard.
The story of Iron Man 3 does have one incredibly hard to ignore issue. Nothing happens. It’s amazing that a film like Iron Man 3 can introduce like 50 new Iron Man armors, an Iron Patriot, The Mandarin, and more but by the time the credits roll feel I felt like Tony was pretty much in the same ‘space’ he was when the film started. For sake of argument when compared to the first Iron Man there’s no ambiguity and Tony is a radically different person than when that film started and there was no confusion as to if things had changed. Iron Man 3 seems more like a ‘happening’ than an ‘event’. Its filler and is being used as a springboard for the next phase in the Marvel universe, much to the detriment of the film. Because the film has dependencies it can never really be too unhinged from the rest of the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that anchor has continued to hurt the Iron Man franchise.
Overall Iron Man 3 has some story ideas that will drive fans insane. There’s a great evolution in the character of Tony Stark and appearances of from more Iron Man armors than I could keep up with. I like that the franchise is continuing to pay homage to the comics but is determined to blaze new territory and radically alter the mythos of the man. Love it or hate it, Iron Man 3 has a pair and isn’t afraid to flex em.
I give Iron Man 3 6.5 out of 10