Iron Man 3 was supposed to be the end of the trilogy ."Supposed to be" because now I hear they are planning on doing more movies. Whether it's true or not, the third part focusing on the adventures of Tony Stark is an entertaining summer blockbuster, but for me it was the weakest part of the trilogy. There was just a little too much silliness here and the villain weren't as menacing as he should be to provide the strong sense of danger.
After the events we saw in Avengers, Tony is experiencing panic attacks, being confused and scared of everything that lies beyond what he thought he knew. He cannot sleep, he cannot fully devote himself to Pepper and in the middle of his angst issues, the new enemy resurfaces. He is called Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and he is a terrorist who is orchestrating attacks on massive scale. Tony's friend and security chef Happy (Jon Favreau) is injured during one of such attacks.
To make matters worse, a handsome and brilliant Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce, who has clearly abandoned any ambition) shows up and he is interested in Pepper. He is like Tony - without all the baggage. There is also a mysterious substance - Extremis - that causes people to turn into radiating energy packs. It looks more ridiculous than it sounds.
It may sound odd but as cool as Avengers was, it now poses a big issue for stand alone movies set in Marvel universe. The whole time I was watching Iron Man 3 I kept wondering - where the hell are the Avengers? Why aren't they helping Stark? Sure, it would cost the studio a lot of money to bring them here, but come on, they can't really reference the movie directly here and expect people to let their absence slide, especially without a single attempt to explain it.
Then there is the villain. I'm not familiar with the comic books but from what I gathered those who are were quite pissed off by the way Mandarin was handled here. I enjoyed the twist that came with his character - it was quite hilarious and it wasn't half as ridiculous as the other threat Stark was facing which was these people with red glowing eyes. Whenever they appeared I felt as if I was watching a bad episode of Supernatural.
Movies based on comic books require some suspension of disbelief but the above problems were really hard to take even in a movie like this one. It also felt somewhat anticlimactic for the final movie (?). The ending was nice, but I don't think I caught the reference there - what was that thing attached to Tony's car? What am I missing?
The third act of the movie, as pretty much every single summer blockbuster's, was unnecessarily bombastic and loud. There were some great moments of humour thrown in there but I really could have dealt without the cliches such as the bad guy is not really dead and comes back and the girl is not really dead and she is fine.
The worst cliche in the movie was definitely the vice president/his daughter moment. I really expected more from the guy who wrote Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. That was just eye-rolling inducing lazy and uninspired writing. I did not however have a problem with the little kid who was helping Stark. It may have been old trick, but it was entertaining to watch.
I'm quite puzzled about the character of Maya Hansen. Why cast incredibly talented Rebecca Hall if she only has several scenes in the movie? Her talent was really wasted in this film and she deserves much better. If she was the main villain in the movie, the film would be far more interesting.
As riddled as it is with problems, the film was still very entertaining. Robert Downey Jr is one of the most amazing and charismatic actors working today and he is practically having the easiest job in the world playing - or should I say - being Tony Stark. Still, even if it's Downey just being Downey, it's so fun to witness. His quick wit, great looks and magnetism are always a treat.
The film was written by Shane Black who collaborated with Downey before on terrific and very clever Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and some of Black's strengths were put to good use here. The banter between Downey and Cheadle is infinitely better here than in second movie and I really adored the cute moments between Tony Stark and the kid that helps him out. Downey is so damn charming you love him even when he calls a small child a pussy.
I must also hand it over to Black - he makes really kick ass Christmas movies. This is his fourth action movie set at Christmas time after Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I'm genuinely shocked he didn't make Die Hard.
The film's most amazing action scene is definitely the destruction of Tony's mansion. It's actually one of the most incredible houses I've ever seen in movies so it was terrible to see it destroyed. The scene was really well made and I loved how Tony ordered the suit to head for Pepper instead of him, to protect her.
My favorite running joke in this one was Happy's adoration for Downton Abbey. It's one of my favorite shows so it was so cool see it featured here. Apparently there is more than meets the eye to the joke - it was done because of the suggestion of Jon Favreau, who is a big fan of the British series. He also felt the show would parallel the unrevealed back story that Happy is in love with Pepper but does not come between her and Tony out of respect for his boss, a theme that also exists in Downton Abbey.
Iron Man 2 is still my favorite film in the trilogy. It's an unpopular opinion and I realize that, but I genuinely adored the previous movie. Sam Rockwell goofing around, Tony and Pepper always fighting, kick ass red haired Black Widow and Rourke's batshit villain were so fun to watch it made all the shortcomings irrelevant in my eyes.
Iron Man 3 is fun and witty but it is troubling how many cliches and uninspired ideas made its way here, especially with 8 people responsible for the plot of the movie, if imdb credits are to be believed. It's a good movie but many times it seemed to me that those who wrote it didn't give it their best and chose the lazy resolutions instead.
Iron Man 3
(2013, 130 min)
Plot: When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
Drew Pearce (screenplay), Shane Black (screenplay)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall