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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Ironman 3

Genre: Action/Adventure
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley & Guy Pearce
Running: 130 Mins

"More DC, more DC" said those who stood outside the home of Christopher Nolan. At one stage that same minority were huge fans of Marvel and its Avenger creation, however the forthcoming movies of both Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be so drawn out that we will thank the heavens for Man of Steel this summer! But before any such antics, Ironman must almost meet his end when he comes up against the Mandarin in the third and possibly final chapter in the life of Tony Stark.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is tormented by the events in New York this time around as the Avengers are nowhere to be seen because, well, this is a different movie. Stark's nightmarish flashbacks are keeping him up all night, while the United States are now dependent on Colonel James Rodes as the Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle). While Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) continues to run Stark Industries, she is intruded by an old friend - Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who's determination of a better world raises suspicions among Pepper and Happy (Jon Favreau). Excluded from the business end of things, Tony is forced to get involved when a terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) begins blowing up parts of the world, with threats of wiping out the president of the US edging ever so close.

It is when Tony's former bodyguard Happy, is seriously injured in a bomb attack that sees Tony wage all out war on the mysterious Mandarin, leading to an attack on Stark and everything he lives for. Just a man in a troubled suit remains as we witness Tony's fight for the salvation of the country as well as his own personal revenge on the Mandarin. And even with the potential of a serious premise ahead, there is not a serious bone in this story, which makes me wonder why the trailer advertised a movie consisting of the ultimate revenge. 

Tony Stark is as sleazy and witty as ever with his dialog being the true savior of the movie as we see time and time again how the productions comedic appeal depends on that of Robert Downey Jr. who once again succeeds in making us laugh -which grows endlessly tiresome. There were expectations this time around regarding the possibility of a gritty, more in-dept plot involving the reconstruction of Stark's potentially destroyed life. And while the plot does add an element of Tony's tormented involvement with the Avengers previously, the scenes are far from engaging as you somewhat struggle to believe a character that has in truth, made a joke about "life" since the first Ironman movie (2008). 

Ben Kingsley as the daring Mandarin is a great addition to this superhero comedy, proving a breath of fresh air every time we see him. You look forward to Ben Kingsley every time because unfortunately the majority of scenes involving Tony Stark are funny but far from engaging as you begin to wonder whether the genre of this is in fact a comedy. We see less of Ironman and more Tony Stark, which is not a bad thing but the premise of "the man make suit or the suit make the man" appears lack-luster, telling us nothing we don't already know, revealing a some what drawn out comedic performance from Robert Downey. Fortunately Ben Kingsley's Mandarin helps bring a touch of reality to a movie that struggled to hold onto the modern concept it began with back in 2008, and even the twisted mind of the Mandarin is turned on its head to suit that of a younger demographic, which is understandable in terms of this being an Ironman movie, but fans will either love the direction or hate it. I for one was not surprised. 

Ironman 3 is 130 minutes too long, however some might bare the majority of boring scenes in order to last to scenes of the plane rescue and the climatic ending in which are the only two scenes worth remembering; they show us the true effect of Ironman, leaving you mind-boggled as to why we had to watch a plethora of panic attacks from Stark before he finally goes into battle. 

There has been endless praise for Ironman 3 in the media in which I fail to understand. Sure, we can keep reflecting back on how Ironman is cool because he is an "out of skin" superhero who thrives off the media with his cockiness and endless bravery providing us with entertainment  And while he is one character who doesn't hide behind a mask, people seem to love that and accept his persona for who he matter the movie. Ironman 3 gives us too much of that and no Ironman. Of course there is always that chapter of weakness in every superhero movie and while Ironman 3 ran with that vision originally, it was overshadowed by comedy which overshadowed the potential of a dramatic, more engaging plot. Ironman 3 lacks on its dark advertisement and goes with turning each scene on its head to prolong the use of comedy - which some will argue suits that of Ironman and the character behind the suit. I for one found it tiresome and boring.

Overall: Lacks the action premise of the first two, attempting to humorously dramatise the story of a man we already know so much about. Doing so created a lack of Ironman as a superhero and more Tony Stark the washed up comedian. Never the less, the CGI provided in the plane rescue and the ending might be enough to satisfy the average popcorn muncher!

Final consensus: Cool CGI, bad twist, overly funny dialog, great final scene and a silly ending = 6/10


  1. Great review and I couldn't agree more with your points. I think avid fans of the RDJ character would be happy regardless if it works as a narrative or not. I think this sadly goes for most of the Marvel efforts, to much emphasis on character and not enough on an engaging plot.