Iron Man 3 follows Tony Stark after the events in New York City as he tries to rebuild his life. While trying to improve his Iron Man technology, a new business competitor and villain comes in his way and it is up to Tony to either cause trouble and protect himself or those he can't live without.
If you read my blog at all you know that I love the superhero movies in general and was excited for Iron Man 3. I stayed away from a majority of the previews and clips and promo pictures because I wanted to go in as fresh as I could. I am glad I did because this is one that really relies on the element of surprise. It also relied on action and lots of it.
Now... I enjoyed Iron Man 3. Does that mean I absolutely loved it and overlooked the flaws? No. I would say the keyword for me is "enjoyed." It was very funny, silly, and action packed. That is really about it. I expected it to be more in depth character-wise with Tony Stark and with his struggle since the events in The Avengers. It was very odd that those events were not really discussed. Whenever someone mentioned The Avengers or New York City he would have a massive anxiety attack and then it would go to another scene. Any potential seriousness was placed on the back burner so we could have action scenes, explosions, and several prototype Iron Man suits that Tony had been building in his spare time. That was pretty much what Iron Man 3 was.
In terms of the plot, I feel like it could have been better. When the villain was announced to be Mandarin I got excited and was expecting so much, especially after Ben Kingsley was cast. Mandarin kind of faded a bit once you got the big reveal of exactly who he was (which I will mention below in spoilers). You have this badass villain and you get excited until you have that one moment where you laugh and go, oh really? It was funny but not really taken seriously.
As far as the script goes I think it had similar problems like the plot did. They sacrificed good plot points for humor and just moved on. Naturally you have to include Tony Stark's smartass demeanor but they took it a little too far.
The cast had the potential to be great and came off as just alright. For me personally the best ones, aside from Robert Downey Jr. (duh), were Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley. They played the characters great and delivered the dialogue they were given very well. I appreciated the hell out of those two. I thought Jon Favreau was a bit ridiculous and I don't know what happened with Gwyneth Paltrow in this, but Pepper Potts came across very barky and bland to me. It was like they were aiming for her to be concerned about Tony but she didn't quite make it seem that way. She came across angry and bitchy. [random: I also realized where I had seen the kid (Ty Simpkins) before. He was Dalton in Insidious!]
The main character in this movie is truly the action. People are not kidding when they said this movie is action-packed. Practically from start to finish something is getting blown up or tweaked with or crashed or melted or whatever. In my opinion they sacrificed what could have been a great, character driven movie about post-NYC Tony Stark for an action flick. It is enjoyable and funny, but I expected more.
I won't say Iron Man 3 was terrible because it wasn't. It just could have been so much better. Easily a 7/10. But hey, at least is was better than Iron Man 2.
Now for some spoilers! If you haven't seen Iron Man 3 yet I would skip reading this portion. Trust me, you don't want the spoilers.
I want to start off by mentioning the big reveal with Mandarin. We were teased with trailers, TV spots, promo pictures, interviews, etc. that Ben Kingsley was the big villain and terrorist. I knew when Guy Pearce was cast that he was cast in a villain role, but I didn't expect the twist we were given. Basically, they pulled a Wag the Dog on us. Ben Kinglsey's character was really Trevor Slattery, a drug addicted British actor who was hired by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to play Mandarin on TV. In reality, Killian was truly Mandarin and the true villain of the movie.
Ordinarily I would love a twist like this and although I did find Kingsley's portayal of the real Trevor hilarious it did kind of irk me. I went in expecting this great villain portrayed by such a great actor and it turns out to be a trick. Disappointing to say the least and most reviews out there so far have said the same thing.
The other thing that was weird to me is that practically everyone involved with Killian turned into human torches. I know the Extremis arc and what the serum does, but the way it was portrayed was just weird to me. I would also go far enough to say a villain like Aldrich Killian didn't belong in an Iron Man movie despite him being in the Extremis comic arc. The villains we have had for Stark's stand-alone movies have been more tech savvy, power hungry guys. Not genetically altered human flames. It's something I would expect to see in a Captain America or Thor movie, not a stand-alone Iron Man. I also think they killed Aldrich Killian off a little too soon. Just my opinion. That, however, doesn't necessarily mean we have seen the last of A.I.M, though. I would keep that in mind for a potential Avengers 2 plot point. That is if Stark Industries gets back on their feet.
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