Director: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley
With Iron Man 3 being the first film after The Avengers’ major success and also the first huge film to kick off the summer, it had a lot of high expectations from everyone. Although it does live up to what was expected of it (lots of action, cool special effects, lots of RDJ), it doesn’t go much further. This was a very entertaining and fun movie to watch and I did not leave disappointed. However, it didn’t necessarily go above and beyond what I was expecting either but is just the action-packed superhero-y awesomeness that will thrill audiences and comic book lovers in the moment but leave them wanting something a little more.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is looking for revenge. The Mandarin, a terrorist that has been hijacking American television waves , is claiming that he is the source of several mysterious bombings that have gone on around the country. The most recent has left Stark’s close friend, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), in a coma. Stark threatens the Mandarin and even gives him his home address. This ends up in Stark’s multi-billion dollar mansion and Iron Man suits being destroyed during an attack. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) abducted by the Mandarin, Tony must figure out the connection between the Mandarin and Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), whose name keeps popping up in Stark’s quest to find out the source of the country’s current terror.
The storyline should be one that pleases fans of the comic books, as it incorporates several story arcs into one movie. However, it might come off as misguided to those who have not read the comics. There is a bit of twist in the second act of the movie that may seem silly and disappointing to some; it was a little bit to me. I have not read the comic books and at times I was confused about the main villain’s true motives. The plot seemed to just have more and more holes in it the more I thought about it. Every superhero movie needs a really great villain and this one just did not do it for me. Everything about him was obvious from the beginning and it just didn’t feel sincere to me. However, that just gave me a better reason to love Tony Stark even more and he did not disappoint in this movie. Witty and sarcastic as ever, Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man.
I also loved that they stepped up Pepper’s game quite a bit in this installment of the series. They transformed her from a “damsel in distress” into the woman that is ultimately protecting Tony because she gives him something worth fighting for. I appreciate when a movie doesn’t just focus on the woman needing the hero but the hero needing the woman as well. This movie just really focused on making Pepper more of her own character which she really needed.
The movie is a little slow at picking up a decent speed at first. It takes a while to see our first action-y scene but once it does pick up it feels like there is a nice pace to the rest of the movie. I’ve read some complaints that there isn’t enough of Stark being in the Iron Man suit. It’s true that for a lot of action sequences Stark is without the suit but I feel like this was a good direction for the movie to go in. It shows that Stark doesn’t need to have the suit to be a hero and can rely on his wits alone to get him through sticky situations, but I understand the frustrations of people disappointed by this aspect. The suits actually take on a character of their own in this movie as they don’t really need Tony in order to function. It takes a little bit of the marvel (haha) out of Iron Man.
All in all though, this movie is truly an experience. There are some great action sequences, my favorite probably being the one in which Iron Man has to save several people who have fallen out of an airplane. The suits and gadgets are looking nifty as ever. I also love the references to the Avengers movie. Stark is suffering from some sort of PTSD from what happened in the end of that movie and I thought it was cool they brought this in. It showed that being a superhero does take it’s toll on you. This movie did just what it was supposed to do. It kicked off the summer with a bang and offered some true entertainment that has me in big anticipation of the next Marvel film.