It’s finally time for movie reviews! I have been so excited for this summer as the set of movies coming out this season is much more conducive to my blogging than last summer. To start things off, Marvel kicked the blockbuster season into gear with Iron Man 3. I have been skeptical of this movie for a while now. The first trailer revealed suggested that this would be a much darker movie, and much of what makes the Marvel movie-verse fun is the humor. So with that in mind let me begin (following the same form as all previous reviews).
The cast has always been top notch. Both RDJ and Paltrow have been absolutely perfect in their roles. No one quite grasps their super hero role quite as much as Robert Downey Jr. To add to that, Paltrow had much more screen time this movie than I expected, which gave her the chance to really shine. Don Cheadle had quite the role as Rhodey/Iron Patriot. His part in the movie was once again well done, and quite satisfying to see his friendship/camaraderie with Tony. The two new big names for the movie were of course Ben Kingsley and Guy Pierce. Sir Ben was fabulous as always, but as the movie reveals Guy Pierce is the man you really need to watch out for. While I thought his acting was a bit blande, the part was well done and the twist perfectly executed.
The plot was….. well there were quite a few twists and turns to say the least. While the twists kept the movie moving I honestly got tired of much of the middle bit. The personal journey that Tony had to take was neat, but seemed to be a huge time suck. And they never really resolved his panic attacks and anxiety when anyone mentioned New York (see Avengers). Apparently solving this mystery was just supposed to clear all that up, which seemed a bit dull to me. The plot was fairly organic, as there was a (seemingly) clear bad guy, and it was just a matter of stopping him. But the multiple twists make it hard to believe that the plot at the beginning was the same as the one at the end.
The action was phenomenal. The last fight scene was literally epic, and even the biggest Marvel skeptic couldn’t help from cheering with how fantastic the final scene was. It was a Marvel movie masterpiece and easily one of my favorite moments of any Marvel movie. However, quite to my surprise, most of the movie felt like a huge mystery. It was less about over the top action or technology and more of a mystery “who dun it” type of feel. Which was different and rather refreshing.
While the early Marvel movies were chock full of obscure little in universe references, this movie (much like the Avengers) lacked much of that. While there was something that could have been referencing Fin Fang Foom, that was about it. There were some big Marvel Universe names that showed up in completely different contexts, which was somewhat disappointing to me.
This leads directly into accuracy. While comic book movies never try to be accurate, they do all take a page out of various comic book plots. This one does next to none of it. While the Mandarin and Extremis are both involved, they aren’t really the main aspect of the plot. The main aspect was, well I guess you’ll have to see the movie as I don’t spoil. But to do some critique’s, it lacked all that made Extremis the seminal and iconic work that it has become and the character of the Mandarin had literally nothing to do with any Mandarin in the comic books. This was a massive disappointment to me, as I have been hoping for a well done Mandarin since the original Iron Man.
The overall feel to the film was fun, yet it felt like something was missing. The master narrative was involving and quite intricate, but it still felt as if there was something huge missing from the film. It lacked a certain sense of charm that most of the other Marvel movies seem to have, perhaps because so much time went into the intricate and twisted plot?
As always I like to compare it to other like films. If you look at the cinematic Marvel movie-verse, this movie stands as one of their best achievements. While I’ll still wager that the original Iron Man was as close to comic book movie perfection that anyone could get, Iron Man 3 easily places itself above Iron Man 2. Compared to the other big names of the Marvel-movie verse, Iron Man 3 can easily compete and perhaps surpass both Thor and Captain America, which is a testament to the cast of the movie franchise as a whole (RDJ is pretty much the coolest thing to happen to movies).
Favorite part of the film: Easily the ending fight sequence. I don’t throw around the term often, but it was certainly deserving of the phrase epic.
Least favorite part of the film: The Mandarin….. or lack-there-of for those who have seen it.
(additionally, we had the absolute worst group of guys behind us. They were perhaps the most obnoxious lot I’ve ever had to sit near at a movie).
Now the moment you all have probably been waiting for. The final rating. After much consideration and much internal conflict, I have to do something I’ve never done before.
Iron Man 3 gets a 7.5 out of 10.
To explain, Iron Man 3 is one of the better films in Marvel’s arsenal. While it has it’s share of problems the dynamic cast and the in-universe continuity it draws from are unparalleled. I cannot give this movie an 8 as it simply wasn’t as good as Avengers, but I can’t give it a 7 because it was definitely better than both Captain America, Iron Man 2, and potentially Thor. While I originally used the 1-10 format to avoid complications such as this, I honestly see no other choice in the matter.
Iron Man 3 is a movie for all those who like the genre of super hero movies, and its narrative power is so great that even a new comer to the Marvel movieverse could feel comfortable watching the film. While I didn’t rank it as high as the Avengers, I could easily watch and enjoy this movie multiple times. Much more than the Avengers.
Until the next time,