Iron Man 3 Reviews
Now look at the start of this film. Killian approaches Stark about his new company, Stark denies him, so off he goes filled with vengeance, recreates himself as a nemesis to Stark and the Iron Man hero, using his company alongside a new experiment. Notice any similarities here?
I'm no Iron Man fanboy, I don't know all about the Iron Man lore, but that still doesn't detract from the fact they really fudged up The Mandarin. The whole setup for this guy is really well done, it really is. We see lots of news footage, stock footage and hand held camera footage of the character as it buzzes around various TV stations. Its all been created in the same vain as reality, obviously in recent years with Osama Bin Laden and various other terrorist propaganda, what you would (and still do) see every night on the news. Footage of him with his extremists, firing guns, preaching, making statements etc...
The Mandarin is envisioned just like this and it all looks very realistic, threatening and intimidating, Black and his team really do make this villain look good, like he's really gonna be a hard underground nut to crack for Stark. But then out of nowhere the whole setup is thrown out the window because the character is fake, a front, a big setup created by Killian to cover himself and his experiments. Neat twist? yes, very much so...good idea? no definitely not, not for a franchise like this. A franchise where a villain like The Mandarin is very popular and people wanna see The Mandarin not a puppet creation.
A film like this hinges on its villain, usually the villain makes the film. In this case they made a great looking villain with Kingsley (despite his rather odd drawl) but they threw it away. Plus you also gotta ask yourself who would actually agree to act or play a villain to cover someone else? surely common sense would dictate that you're only gonna cause a lot of trouble for yourself? even if you didn't actually do any of the things you claim, you're still gonna be in the shit for being involved with terrorism. Just doesn't make any real sense to me.
Must admit I liked Kingsley's little performance in the reveal sequence, a kind of typical drunk, drugged up British hippie, but it just made a mockery of the whole film. Makes you feel you're watching a spoof not a serious adaptation.
Nice little touches of humour throughout as we have come to expect from this franchise and Downey Jr. The small team up with the little kid isn't as cheesy as it sounds and offers some nice dialog, although one sequence seems to be pretty similar to a certain John Candy/Macaulay Culkin film from many moons ago.
On the whole the film is really quite average in my opinion. I didn't think that much of the whole Extremis idea and the way characters looked when they went all ballistic. The visuals and ideas kinda looked like something from a hammy sci-fi flick to me, it all felt a bit X-Men-ish, a franchise I never liked. I still don't really get how this regenerative power causes people to have such extreme heat power, its suppose to help them heal no? so why the heat? Plus I really don't see how Stark manages to kill most of them when they can regenerate so easily, when Savin is killed, why couldn't he regenerate from it? The Extremis soldiers seemed so much more powerful, they could easily take down Iron Man suits as shown by Pepper Potts.
The finale is on impressive scale but messy really. Lots of Iron Man suits flying all over the place, difficult to make out what exactly is going on, Extremis henchmen/women leaping all over the shop. It all sounds cool and the idea is cool but like some other superhero comicbook flicks it becomes a fast blur of CGI, an incoherent badly lit chaotic brawl between metal suits and CGI people. Plus I gotta ask, why didn't Stark just utilize all his Iron Man suits together originally? before Jarvis went offline, and why does Stark keep running around without his suit?! just stay in it you fool!
I must say I'm disappointed with this trilogy bookend. The first film was superb, the second (in my opinion) was clearly not as good as the first but still a solid action film. This third entry has lost me completely with bad plot decisions and untidy action sequences (something which the made the first so good, it was very clear without excess CGI mess).
So the question is...was this all just narration, a therapy session for Stark to get some previous history of his chest with Banner or is that it? no more Iron Man films and no Iron Man for 'Avengers 2'?
Rocking and rolling all over the place, Iron Man 3 is but one of the latest examples. Multi-leveled, multi-charactered, and loads and loads of action, rip-snortin', hoot hollerin' action, it even seemed as if they weren't trying so hard, that they actually had fun making the thing. I certainly had fun watching it.
Someone in the Marvel Studio's production chain must have read reviews for their earlier films but not the right ones because this movie is a big departure from their standard formula. Instead being a character piece about a nobly intentioned goof learning to get out of his own way to become a hero, this film is a very traditional action movie designed to showcase some very expensive set pieces. There's no improvisatory freshness or winking humor to the film, just ham-fisted themes and a relentless pace.
In spite of their corporate mandate, Black and Pearce do work in some fun bits of genre tweaking. They retconned Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts into a capable super suit pilot which was nice since she spent two movies being tied to train tracks. They even allowed her to personally redress the kidnapping and torture the film's villain puts her through but she's still the only character to be kidnapped and tortured so it's a one step forward two steps back situation. Don Cheadle is still Robin to Downey's Batman but he does get to save the president and perform Chow Yun-fat's signature move of backsliding into a room while gunning down every bad guy in sight. Blowfish antagonist Ben Kingsley gives his most enjoyable performance since "Sexy Beast." James Badge Dale is great because he plays his super powered henchman like a guy who has always has something more important to do.
The big draw with these movies is Downey and he doesn't disappoint. He's more engaged with the role than he was in "Iron Man 2" and less abrasive than he was in "Sherlock Holmes 2." He's called on to do some actual acting in this film and it was affirming to know that after five years of commemorative cup roles he can still do that. It's a not a defining performance by any means but Downey makes you feel that the character has a gone on a real journey and is legitimately changed by the end of it.
"Iron Man 3" is better than most super hero second sequels but it's only an okay film. It's too plot driven to be to have much depth and it's overloaded with themes it only plays lip service to. The main conflict in the film arises because years ago Tony Stark slighted an insecure inventor (Guy Pierce) but at no point does the character lose his trademark arrogance. "Iron Man 3" also introduces the idea that Cheadle's War Machine armor has been turned into a slightly more P.R. friendly military drone but nothing comes of it, or the idea that Eastern terrorism is funded by Western business interests. Those concepts are there to make the film seem more sophisticated than other movies where super powered dudes try to punch each other to death.
There was lot of excitement around the announcement of Shane Black as the co-writer and director of "Iron Man 3." Instead hiring a studio hack or a discount TV director, Marvel Studios/Disney enlisted someone with a few bona fide classics on his résumé. Though nobody but James Cameron gets to make $200 million movies without non-negotiable parameters, it was reasonable to think that Black could bring of his lacerating humor and old school action sensibility to the film. Unfortunately, what ended up being made was a movie that asks permission instead of forgiveness. There's no bite to it and while the CGI set pieces are skillfully animated, they don't integrate into the narrative organically. Most of the film's dialogue feels like chewed over superhero movie boilerplate save for a few grace notes. It's silly to expect auteur filming from anything with a 3 in the title but this movie felt like opening an In-N-Out bag only to find a McDouble.
Iron Man was created in 1963 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby.
"Iron Man 3" also features material from Iron Man comic books by Warren Ellis & Adi Granov and Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca.
This is a film that non-comic fans can enjoy too.