If it's crap ... We'll tell you
IRON MAN 3 REVIEW
By Armando (aka Army1601)
Does the suit make the man or does the man make the suit?
This is a question Iron Man 3 seeks to ask throughout its roughly 2 hour length as Tony Stark battles demons from both his recent and far past. It's an interesting angle to take for the Shellhead's first solo outing since the Avengers and it proves to be successful one as the movie moves into its more dynamic moments. This being the beginning of Phase 2, they needed something to really raise the stakes coming off of the Avengers, and as kick off party to the next barrage of Marvel films, it works, for the most part.
We catch Tony a few months after the events of the Avengers. He recollects on New Years Eve 1999 when he met the brilliant scientist, Dr. Maya Hansen who revealed her breakthrough in biotechnology "Extremis" that allows for regenerative processes in the human body and superhuman abilities. He blows off one Aldrich Killian who heads a think tank looking for brilliant ideas to advance in the field of science, this of course come back to bite Tony in the ass. In Present day, Tony is haunted by events that transpired in The Avengers as he discovers that there are far more powerful forces in the world than himself, such as Gods and Aliens. This happens at the wrong time, as the world known terrorist known as the Mandarin pops up to bring chaos to America. He is believed to be the cause of weird attacks happening all across the country. He ultimately seeks to destroy all that Tony Stark is, leaving him stranded, without resources, and with only his wits and smarts to survive the situation.
It's quite the plot, if there's any plus that should be given to this movie, its how it handles all this with differing tones. The film juggles drama, comedy, and action all with surprising effectiveness. It also work as a great spy type thriller with buddy cop elements. This is evident when Tony meets a young boy in the first half of the film, the dialogue and banter between the two is perhaps the films greatest accomplishment as great humor comes from these scenes and clever character development for Tony and this boy. Director and Co-Writer Shane Black should be commended for his work here, he seems right at home as parts of this movie reflect what he's done with Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, also with Robert Downey Jr.
This also ties into another plus, the character work done on the central players such as Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), and Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). They all get much more to do and as a result it shows alot of growth in the characters as opposed to Iron Man 2 which just used the characters as comic relief. The highlight of course is Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr. who gives his best performance ever as Iron Man in this movie bringing far more humanity to the character. The action in this movie is also exhilarating and comes really close to the action seen in the Avengers in terms of shear thrills. One highlight is a thrilling sequence where Tony takes the suit out to save falling passengers aboard a broken Air Force One, the result is high octane action, as Tony must quickly devise a plan to save all the people before they hit the ground. And of course, the finale of this film is absolutely spectacular, and is breath of fresh air for this series especially considering the intelligent design of the whole set piece.
One caveat as most have found out by now is in the from of a key twist that involves the Mandarin. It won't be spoiled here, but just note, it will ultimately divide audiences from enjoying it or being disappointed all together. While it did throw me off at first being a fan of Iron Man in the comics seeing what they did with the character, it did occur to me after leaving the theater how that twist fit into the plot and the overall tone. It did however prevent this movie from being something truly special, something that could have easily been toe to toe with the Avengers in my opinion, but as it stands, its just very good, well done blockbuster material. The other problem I had was the underdevelopment of the scientist Maya Hansen. Yes even in the "Extremis" story in the comics, she wasn't given all that much to do, but a little more could have been put in to her character instead of being a throw away thing, especially considering all the fantastic work seen with the other characters in the film.
Overall, Iron Man 3 is still a strong addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and stands as one of the better Marvel movies despite the missed potential. Audiences not versed well in Marvel mythology will find this to be truly entertaining and will be mesmerized by all the parts coming together on screen, while true comic book fans depending on how much they are willing to accept huge changes, might find themselves much like Tony Stark in the first act of this film, left out in the cold. As for myself, I did find that this movie did work well, and was really firing on all cylinders when it was working. Do stay til after the credits for hilarious bit of footage.
Out of Ten, I give this an 8.9, its very good, but just shy of greatness due to missed potential.
Spill Rating : FULL PRICE