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Iron Man 3
Science of Iron Man
Iron Man 3
Director: Shane Black
Writers: Drew Pearce, Shane Black, Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Ben Kingsley, Jon Favreau, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak, Paul Bettany, William Sadler, Dale Dickey, Ty Simpkins, Miguel Ferrer, Xueqi Wang, Shaun Toub, Pat Kiernan, Josh Elliott, Megan Anderson, Thomas Roberts, Bill Maher, Joan Rivers, George Kotsiopoulos, Ashley Hamilton, Stan Lee, Mark Ruffalo
Synopsis: When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content
Origins of the Mandarin
It's been said that a man creates his own demons...
To sum up how I feel about this movie, I'll simply say the following. It's definitely better than "Iron Man 2", but it's not quite as good as the first "Iron Man" movie, by comparison. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean "Iron Man 3" is a bad film. Far from it, as I actually enjoyed "Iron Man 3" a lot.
Before I start the review, I will say that if you're one of these purist fans that gets easily riled up over tiniest change to their beloved fictional characters, then I wouldn't recommend watching "Iron Man 3" at all. I won't spoil it for readers, but there's a plot twist in this movie that'll surely p*** off some people if they don't like changes made for adaptations. In context to the movie, I found the twist to be rather clever, and it fit perfectly with the kind of story that Shane Black was trying to tell. However, I know some fans won't care about that; thus if you don't like any liberties taken with a comic book adaption, then "Iron Man 3" probably won't be your cup of tea. But if you have an open mind, then you might find that this movie serves as a perfect way to round out the trilogy if this is to be the last one possibly.
As for those wondering if this movie addresses why Tony Stark simply can't call on "The Avengers" and SHIELD to help him out, I should tell you that "Iron Man 3" never addresses this issue. It's a huge plot hole in the film, and it's one of the many reasons why a shared cinematic universe can hinder a movie's overall performance because of tedious questions like these.
However, I would like to remind readers that one common trait these Marvel films share is that they're all part of one gigantic story. Iron Man's story flows right into Thor's story. Thor's adventures flow right in Captain America's plight and etc. The point is all these Marvel movies are interconnected, so they might explain this issue in the upcoming movies "Guardians of the Galaxy", "Captain America: Winter Soldier", and "Thor: The Dark World" for all we know.
Granted, it still doesn't make up for "Iron Man 3" never explaining it, but it is something to think about. On the bright side though, it does explain why War Machine wasn't in the Avengers' initiative. As Rhodey (Don Cheadle) put it, he takes care of all the military stuff; while Tony handles all the superhero stuff. Gee, I guess that means aliens invading Earth doesn't fall into the military's jurisdiction. Nah, that's what we have the "Avengers" for anyways, right?
I mean it's not like the US president would be inclined to summon any of our military forces to combat the alien threats; particularly one that wears an armor suit that's nearly as indestructible as Tony Stark's armor. Just saying. However, it's just a movie, so I guess we'll have to let it slide in the nature of good old cinematic fun.
The film itself essentially takes place after the events of "The Avengers." Tony Stark comes to the harsh realization that amongst the gods, super soldiers, monsters and aliens out there, he's nothing more than a man in a suit of armor. Needless to say, Tony starts having nightmares over his experiences with "The Avengers", as he fears that inevitably he won't be able to protect all the people he loves; particularly Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).
This also leads to the dilemma that Tony confronts throughout the film. Is it the suit that makes the man? Or is it the man behind the suit that matters? This leads to quite an interesting issue for Tony Stark, and for the audience watching "Iron Man 3" as well. Although most of the film revolves around Tony Stark being out of his armor, it's never boring to watch at all. If anything, it reminds audiences the real reason we fell in love with "Iron Man" to begin with. It wasn't because of the cool armor suit that allows him to do all these great things. Although, it did certainly help out a lot. However, it was the man behind the armor that intrigued us the most.
In the first movie, Tony was so pompous and arrogant that he couldn't see past his own ego. Yet, when he was forced to come to the realization that his military weapons were causing more harm than good, Tony starts to care more for the benefit of others than himself. Granted, in most movies, this transition probably would've been handled in the most cliched way possible. However, Jon Favreau and his team of writers did a great job handling that transition. It was not only believable for audiences to buy into, but it was kind of heartwarming to see as well. Plus, Robert Downey Jr. did an excellent job in the role, as one could argue that he was the best part of the first movie.
Sadly, the sequel was a bit of a disappointment to say the least, as it featured too many subplots and references, in order to set things up for "The Avengers" film. Again, this is another problem when you create a shared cinematic universe, as it forces some of your movies to set things up at the cost of telling a great story.
However, "Iron Man 3" makes up for that sole heartedly. With Shane Black brought onboard to direct and write this time, we can definitely tell the franchise takes a bit of a darker tone in this latest version. Don't get me wrong, it's still light hearted enough to fit into the style of Marvel's cinematic universe (MCU for short), and there's still plenty of jokes in this film as well. In fact, I would dare even say there's a lot more jokes presented in this one, than we've ever seen in the previous films. As Shane Black alluded to in various interviews, this is by no means a serious movie.
There's even a little boy that's introduced, into this film, that plays sort of the annoying kid sidekick to Tony Stark. Granted, the tired old cliche of a kid sidekick has been done to death in countless of other movies, but it surprisingly works well in this one. Sure, the kid may be annoying sometimes, but he falls more into that cute kind of annoying, to where you can never bring yourself to want to smack him; unlike that spoiled brat in Tim Allen's "The Santa Clause", for example. Plus, it's funny watching Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark) exchange witty repartee with the kid.
Anyways, getting back to the story, Tony Stark finds his life being threatened by a terrorist threat known only as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Although very little is known about his character at the beginning, as all audiences know is that he's not someone to be messed with. I won't reveal too much about his character, as part of the joy is finding out more about him. However, I will say that the clever plot twist that involves his character might be deemed controversial to some fans, but in context to the story that Shane Black tries to convey, it works all too perfectly.
Also, there's someone who works for the Mandarin named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who turns out to be more than he's cracked up to be, as he too has a clever plot twist as well. Again, I won't spoil it for readers, as part of the fun is finding out more about the main antagonists, but it's definitely worth seeing for those two characters alone.
The special effects are great as to be expected, but I still wouldn't recommend seeing this in 3D. The 3D conversion is barely noticeable, so it's not even worth spending the extra few bucks just to see "Iron Man 3"; considering you won't be missing much by watching the regular version on the big screen.
The actors play their parts rather well, but I especially loved the performance of Robert Downey Jr., as it's hard to imagine any other actor to playing this iconic role. Like Tony says at the end, he is "Iron Man." Just like how Christopher Reeves was "Superman" back in the late seventies to early eighties. Or, how Hugh Jackman is now considered to be the definitive "Wolverine" among die hard comic book fans. Indeed, if this does turn out to be Downey's last time putting on the armor, then whoever replaces him will have some big shoes to fill. Robert didn't just portray the character, but he made it into his own; hence creating one of the best superhero adaptations of all time.
Overall, "Iron Man 3" serves as a perfect way to round out the trilogy, as it delivers a great ending to Tony's story arc; while still leaving the door open for a possible sequel if Marvel Studios ever chooses to go that route. In the end, I'd have to give this film a three out of four. It's definitely worth seeing in theaters if you haven't already, as long as you don't spend the extra money to see it in 3D because it's not worth it.