Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 photo starrating-3andahalfstars.jpgAs a fan of writer/director Shane Black, I see Iron Man 3 more as the long awaited follow-up to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang than part two in the superhero franchise. Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy the Iron Man series just fine, but it’s the writer’s wit that captivates me more than awesome technology. In both respects, Iron Man 3 does not disappoint.

An enigmatic terrorist known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) has taken control of the U.S. broadcasting signal. He has claimed responsibility for a string of bombings across the nation and ultimately threatens the safety of the President.  The threat becomes personal when Tony Stark’s security officer Happy Hogan is gravely injured in one of the attacks. As is usually the case in these Iron Man movies, multiple characters abound. Jessica Biel Rebecca Hall plays a botanist who manipulates DNA to reproduce the limbs of plants. Guy Pearce is also on hand as brilliant scientist Aldrich Killian, who continues to harbor a bitter resentment well after Tony had rebuffed him years before. He’s currently involved in scientific work isolating and empowering certain areas of the human brain. But the most welcome addition is a young Tennessee boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) who is sort of an amusing foil for Robert Downey Jr. They’ve got great chemistry as a comedic team in the couple scenes that they have together.

I’ve never taken to superhero films that take themselves too seriously. I was one of the few that actually appreciated Iron Man 2 over the original. And this time around, I think I preferred this to part two. With Tony Stark as a lead portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., all of the Iron Man entries have been infused with a lighthearted touch. Its charm helps make this superhero picture a lively romp. Shane Black does a brilliant job at keeping the series light and fun while injecting enough of the requisite dramatic struggle that seems to afflict all superheroes. His major battle with The Mandarin is underscored by juggling relationship problems with girlfriend Pepper Potts and post-traumatic stress related to the events documented in The Avengers. While not particularly deep, the ideas help make the character a bit more complex than simply a generic champion for righteousness. If there is a failing, it’s that the action reverts to a conventional big loud explosion fest at the end. It’s still entertaining. I only wish the story had been as clever as the dialogue. That’s ultimately what makes this the funniest Iron Man yet.


37 Responses to “Iron Man 3”

  1. I think this is the best of the Iron Man series, loved the humour and thought it was skillfully directed, it’s darker than the other two, similar in tone to The Dark Knight Rises, but it still manges to be light hearted at times and all round good fun. Thought it flowed between the dialogue heavy scenes and the action scenes quite smoothly whereas other movies have suddenly felt as though they became a wholly different movie when the action kicked in. Here’s my review from last week –

    • The terrorism subplot was dark, but overall it was quite funny. That little kid especially. People laughed intermittently throughout, but there was one guy in my theater that was guffawing almost every 5 minutes. He was having a good time.

  2. GaryLee828 Says:

    Okay, I may have to check this one out, but I think Mud and Disconnect are higher on my priority list.

    • Those films are so different so hard to compare, but yeah I liked Disconnect more. Can’t wait to see Mud. You’ll probably see it before I get a chance so I am looking forward to your review.

  3. yeah, the story wasn’t extremely original. but i think the way it was presented was original. and the wit–oh, the endless wit–MADE the film. i appreciate, like you, that it didn’t try to take itself seriously.

  4. I enjoyed reading your review. Hope to see Iron Man 3. Maybe soon, but I’m not sure. You know I wasn’t that much a fan of The Avengers; I didn’t get all the rave for the original Iron Man, either, and I have yet to see Iron Man 2.

  5. Honestly, I only watch these for RDJ. 😉

  6. Good review Mark. Not the best out of the three, but still a nice reminder that Iron Man can, and still does kick ass.

  7. Good review Mark. It is enjoyable, a great blockbuster, but i don’t think it has anything new we haven’t seen before.

  8. Nice review. I hope to catch this in theaters soon.

  9. I was one of the ones who liked part two, too, Mark. I actually like it much more than this one though. Wasn’t pleased by the kid sidekick, but I will agree that I wish the story was more clever. 😉

    • Really? That’s good to hear! Finally some validation for Part 2. I knew I wasn’t alone. 🙂

      • It had a great action scene at the end, the buddy banter between Cheadle and Downey worked, that Black Widow scene kicked ass, and Mickey Rourke was a charismatic villain… I’m willing to forgive the rest. 😉

        #3 is a different story though, I was distinctly unimpressed. 😦

    • Without spoiling the plot development, did you like The Mandarin as a villain?

  10. Nice review. I enjoyed this a fair bit but it was a bit of a shallow plot. The more I thought about it, the more I realised there wasn’t much substance to it. I thought the dialogue was excellent though.

    • It’s kind of funny because the more I think about it, the more I realize the shallow plot isn’t really a problem for me. These fantasy movies don’t have to be full of substance for me – just interesting. Iron Man 3 was escapist fun with a sense of humor.

      Looking forward to your review when you post. 🙂

  11. After seeing Iron Man 3 I thought they missed the marked. I felt like they did everything to show that Tony Stark is a hero even without his armor, yet this should’ve already been established after the first movie. Most comic fans would agree that Iron Man isn’t a great hero on his own and honestly RDJ made him cool. I love Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark but for all the problems facing him he played it way too loose for me. Iron Man 3 was a great comedy but not a great movie in my opinion. My friend CJ wrote a complete review on our site as always I enjoy your work.

    • Thanks so much. I agree with everything you said and yet I did enjoy this film. RDJ really makes the role and a lot of my enjoyment comes from his performance, not the action of the plot.

  12. “… the writer’s wit that captivates me more than awesome technology” Yep, I’m with you on that one and that’s why I’m glad they got Shane Black to write this movie.

  13. “As a fan of writer/director Shane Black, I see Iron Man 3 more as the long awaited follow-up to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang than part two in the superhero franchise. ” Agreed! 😀

  14. It has been a while since I’ve seen Iron Man 2. At the time I remember enjoying it at least as much as the first one, maybe more like you. However, this has become my favorite in the series as well, for Shane Black’s wit and its successful inclusion of more dramatic struggles for Tony Stark. Black also infused some of his great stylistic flourishes that I cherish like the film noir style narration, the rough and tumble buddy cop elements, and increased violence (without taking it too far). I think the best part of the movie was Stark’s development as a character into someone who’s a lot more humble. I’m curious to see how those lessons affect him in the next Avengers film.

    • The script did deal a lot more with Tony Stark as a man over Tony Stark as Iron Man. Since I have come to really appreciate RDJ in the role, it was a good decision as far as I was concerned,

  15. I thought this was the best one, so far. It was funny, exciting and a little heartfelt. I didn’t mind the twist, because I don’t read the comic books. I give this 4 stars.

    • Iron man 3 certainly sets the bar sky high for the next time we see Tony Stark. As if expectations weren’t already huge for The Avengers 2. 😀

  16. Markus Robinson Says:

    Perfectly said. Iron Man 3 is the sequel to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang above all else.

    • I’ve heard Black’s next project is a film adaptation of the Japanese manga Death Note. He’s supposed to direct only though, not write. 😦

  17. harleyisnarley Says:

    I thought seriously about walking out of this film. It makes me sad that The Avengers was followed up with this movie.
    I love Robert Downey Jr, so he was probably the only saving grace this movie had. It had so much potential to be great. The first Iron Man was terrific, Iron Man 2 was terrible, then this? I am so disheartened by these latest Marvel movies, sans The Avengers, that I have lost interest in seeing Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier. If this is the best that Marvel has to offer me, I will just stick with the DC universe.

    • I get that you didn’t enjoy Iron Man 3, but why? I thought Shane Black’s writing was on point.

      • harleyisnarley Says:

        Perhaps I should have explained better. I suppose I hated it from a comic-person view. Does that make any sense? lol

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