Wednesday, April 24, 2013





Robert Downey Jr.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Ben Kingsley

After Marvel’s The Avengers gracing our screens last summer as it shreds box office records, what’s next? Marvel’s next big move is Phase 2, another series of big movies building up to the next Avengers film. And Phase 2 kicks off with Iron Man 3, the third entry and maybe the final entry to our favorite Avenger (Don’t worry Hulk you’re my no.1). Jon Favreu left the directing job and passes the torch to Shane Black who is known for writing the classic Lethal Weapon and 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The only question is left to him being able to upgrade the series or a downgrade? Here’s my review on Iron Man 3.

Iron Man 3 – Takes place after The Avengers, Tony Stark finds himself getting traumatized by the fact that he is at his most vulnerable because of his discovery of beings that are more powerful than him. Now, that fear is coming to life when an international terrorist rises from infamy, The Mandarin who is threatening the globe and a ghost from the past, Aldrich Killian both seek to destroy and threaten Tony Stark and the people close to him. And when they threaten one of them, Tony Stark decides to put matters in his own hands to seek and destroy The Mandarin by himself.

It’s no surprise that I am very excited for the third installment of Iron Man 3; I had really high expectations that this will not just be better than the last one but also be as good as or maybe even better than the first Iron Man. But I’m also curious on how director, Shane Black will give a “new road” to the movie because the previews did show that this is more of a “grounded” road that people tend to compare this to Nolan’s direction to the Batman movies. I couldn’t really call the 2nd Iron Man a “sequel” to the first Iron Man because it was more of a commercial for the Avengers than a sequel. Now that we finally have this movie flying to our theaters, I’m very happy to say that this movie very much so exceeded all of my expectations and I can actually call this a legitimate sequel.

Director, Shane Black upped the scale that is even bigger than the last two movies and as a result he was able to take this series to a different road and delivered (probably) the best Iron Man movie in the series; not really the more grounded road that people would compare to Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” series but it felt like it has a tone of an 80s action film which is ironic because Shane Black wrote the classic “Lethal Weapon”( and other really great movies like “The Last Boyscout” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”).  When, Tony Stark is not in the armor they were able to do some creatively well thought out action scenes with the character. The action scenes of him using everyday materials into something he can use against some enemies was pretty well thought out that it felt like it was something his character in the Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films would do so. And yet when he is in the armor the action becomes intense, thrilling and exciting, when I said earlier that the action upped the scale I mean it, it is more than just him blasting stuff up in mid-air, The visuals were able to bring classic armors and did an incredible climactic action scene by the end and also translates the Extremis soldiers very well on-screen. The way the previews make this movie, I was worried that they might forcibly (overly) ground the character of Tony Stark to be part of the “in-crowd” of making things dark and depressing. Like I said it didn’t necessarily take the road of being dark and depressing, it had hints of it but wasn’t likely that it was taking that road. 

Tony Stark is at his most vulnerable in this movie and I like it when they illustrate that sometimes heroes are not really an unstoppable force of justice. It never lost the comedic- light hearted feel of the movie, the character of Tony Stark can still pitch some clever and hilarious scenes and one-liners throughout the film. But I do have one little thought that I do want to reserve for a while until I see more from the other movies and that is "Where is SHIELD?", "There's a terrorist in American soil? where's Captain America (the list goes on); the movie had very little important references. I don't want too many references since that was the flaw of the last Iron Man movie but I do wish they reference a few important things to tie-in to a few movies, maybe they'll reveal it in Captain America: The Winter Soldier or other movies. The movie was a little bit self-contained to connect to the future "Phase 2" movies but for now I will be reserving my thoughts about it until I see some more stuff.  But my real gripe about the movie is that the concept of the Extremis storyline was very under-told. They took ideas of the storyline but not the entirety of it, There was barely a time where they stopped and explained that concept for a little bit and it did suffer for the most part. 

Though as much as I want to say this is rather a light-hearted film than an edgier film, the movie surprisingly features tons of hilarious comedic dialogue though there were most scenes where it doesn't really need to be funny (especially when shit was serious). There were very serious scenes in the movie and out of nowhere Tony Stark will do some slapstick comedy or say something witty when he witnessed something that could possibly scar a man for life. It did took me out of the film. 

It’s also a no big surprise that Robert Downey Jr. still kills it as Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man, like I said he was still entertaining as he spew out some hilarity but Shane Black was able to take another side of Tony Stark that we may have not seen before. It’s not his usual performance of being this jokey type of person. Shane Black took some time to develop him further to show how damaged he really, how big of an impact the “battle of new york” was to him, how it built him to be a hero and the struggle of becoming. He was able to wring out a great performance from him. But I was most curious about how will they handle The Mandarin in this movie. Surprisingly, they took an interesting twist to the character that is very (VERY) ballsy and it may not be for a comic book buff’s liking, me being one of those people I will not compare the comics to the movies, that’s just not my thing. Let an existing lore exist on its own there is no point in comparing an existing lore to another. That being said, I thought Ben Kingsley was able to deliver an entertaining performance nonetheless. It’s not the version of Mandarin that I wanted to be but Ben Kingsley’s performance did make it up. Speaking of surprises, Guy Pearce is probably the most fleshed out villain in the series. I thought that he played an exceptional villain in this movie; he had the right amount of menace and threat factor throughout the movie.

Though, I thought the weakest link was Rebecca Hall’s character Maya Hansen was barely fleshed out throughout the film, I just wished she was developed a little bit more and have a role that is bigger than it could’ve been. The returning cast like Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle; continues to be great as well. I liked how they expanded characters like Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine/Iron Patriot in this new movie, which I thought was a bit lacking in the last movie. He shared a really good amount of screen time with co-star Robert Downey Jr. as they share a partnership like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover did in Lethal Weapon. They also expanded characters like Jon Favreu's Happy Hogan giving him a very pivotal role than just a cameo and also Gwyneth Paltrow giving her more to do than being a damsel in distress. Last but not the least; I want to mention this kid in the movie. There was this kid that Tony Stark partnered with for a little while. When they brought this kid in I was about to dread of what to come, basically to me when a kid is in a movie sometimes it could be a kiss of death to your movie if they weren’t handled very well. But they did handle that aspect of the movie very well and I thought their partnership, the "heart-felt" relationship and  the comedic scenes between them were pretty well done.

In the end, Iron Man 3 may be the best out of the series; Marvel’s Phase 2 is off to a good start with Iron Man 3, Iron Man 3 is an exceptional comic book movie as it corrects every flaw it did from the last Iron Man movie.  Shane Black was able to deliver a smart, fun, fast-paced and entertaining film and he also upped the scale of action and storytelling as it tells a more personal story without relying on forced references for the Avengers and overly grounding the film, though one flaw of the movie is explaining its core concept. Iron Man 3 has exciting, thrilling, incredible almost larger than life action scenes that will entertain you from start to finish. The cast was able to give out convincing drama and hilarity that is entertaining as well though some showed its weakness. I highly recommend you see this immediately in theaters, though I do not see the rush in seeing this on a 3D format. Fans and non-fans of the series will love this movie but I don’t know if some comic book fans will accept some twists that regard the villains in this movie. This may be the last time we will see our high-flying Avenger in a solo movie and if it is so, it was a great run and it concluded very well. 




4/5 - FOR THE WIN! 

No comments:

Post a Comment