Iron Man 3

9 Overall Score
Visuals: 9/10
Story: 9/10
Characters: 9/10

Crafty, often hilarious dialogue meets extensive character depth and overall intrigue.

The film's balance is a bit questionable at times.

It’s quite impressive that Marvel has been successfully cranking out good superhero films for the last half decade. The cornerstone of the company’s movie machine, the Iron Man series, has been going strong for years. However, Iron Man 2 was a major bump in the road and one of the weaker films Marvel has released. Luckily, The Avengers was able to instill hope in the smartest and richest of the superhero gang. That brings us to the end of the Iron Man trilogy. And my God, what a finale. Iron Man 3 is more amazing than The Amazing Spider-Man, and more incredible than The Incredible Hulk. And even with its abundance of comedy, it may be just as dark as The Dark Knight Rises. Is there anything this film isn’t? Well, flawed for one. Or boring. Okay, you get the idea.

The main reason why Iron Man 3 is a metaphorical phoenix rising from the ashes of Iron Man 2 is because Jon Favreau is no longer in the director’s chair. Instead, Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) is both in control of the film’s script and its direction. Considering how awesome Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is, from the hilarity of the script to the silly narration style, I couldn’t think of a better fit. Not to mention that Robert Downey Jr. was also the star of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, so the duo has experience points to run off of. Black brings a similar style to Iron Man 3, enhancing the character of Tony Stark and basically revamping the identity of Iron Man, stressing his struggles and real-life predicaments. While that definitely gives the film a moody edge, it doesn’t take away from Stark’s “genius-philanthropist-billionaire-playboy” gelastic side. Iron Man 3 is not only the most emotional and inspired of the series, but it’s also by far the funniest.

Iron Man 3 - Promo 1The film starts out with Stark’s incredibly self-aware personality taking charge. The emergence of both an international terrorist named The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and the hero’s own struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder following the events in The Avengers demonstrates both his conflicts as Iron Man and as Stark. In addition, his relationship problems with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and the re-emergence of a scientist, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), and an old girlfriend, Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) has Stark on the edges of his own sanity. Though it takes the film a bit of warming up to really dive deep into his character, Iron Man 3‘s second half is arguably the best hour Marvel has offered audiences to date. Never before has a superhero film completely submerged itself into the man behind the suit and his complications so successfully. Audiences saw it last year in The Dark Knight Rises, and it is perfected in this film.

The writing is great, the characters are likable and flawed, the plot is intriguing, the action is immense, and most of all, the style is amusing. So with how rounded the film is, the only complaints I had were in the plot. In addition to the uneven screen-time balance between Stark and Iron Man, the story often lacks balance. At times, the story is a bit slow and monotonous, and at others, it was completely engulfing. While most of the characters are substantial, Stark’s odd relationship with an eight year-old boy (Ty Simpkins) feels a bit forced and unnecessary. However, Iron Man 3 is able to distract viewers from doubting its directorial decisions or its characters for the most part. Mostly, the immense character development, spectacular action sequences, and cheeky dialogue makes up for most of the plot holes and questionable strategies. Not only does Black make Stark’s character stand out, but he is able to direct attention to Potts, Rhodes, and most importantly, the fierce Killian (or for the sake of rhyming should I say the fierce Pearce?).

Iron Man - Promo 3Another thing that really impressed me about this film was Black’s incredibly witty filmmaking, not only in compiling an juicy string of one-liners, but also being able to make complete use of Starks’ available resources and relationships. It took me some after-thinking to try and interpret many of the plot events, but my final understandings had me in awe of the film’s brilliance and keenness. Of Iron Man’s resources, Most notable are Stark’s multiple armor suits, his new “call” commands, and Rhodes’ Iron Patriot (and I agree with you, Tony, the name sucks), and the film takes complete advantage of these pieces of equipment and technological advances. Despite a lack of singularity from Iron Man, the action scenes are just as effective as the past films in the series, if not, even better. Who ever said a superhero needs to fight alone? In addition, the engaging character development, plot movement, and resourceful creativity makes the satisfying big scenes – most significantly, the fight sequences and character reveals – that much more satisfying.

While I absolutely loved The Avengers and can say without a doubt in my mind that it is one of the best comic book films ever made, I am completely floored by Iron Man 3. For those who lost hope after the second installment in the series, have no fear. Shane Black is here. And he has created the most fun, intriguing, and overall gratifying movie of the Iron Man series. Not only is the film one of the funniest superhero films I’ve seen, but it’s also one of the most riveting. In one scene, Iron Man 3 will have you on the edge of your seat, and then nearly falling out of your seat during the next. It’s an exciting and entertaining movie from start to finish.

Watch out Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder. It looks like you have some competition, because Iron Man 3 rocks.


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Author: Tim Dodderidge View all posts by
I'm a student at the University of Kansas hoping to major in journalism. I love Christopher Nolan films, eating at Taco Bell, and playing indoor soccer. I also like to watch How I Met Your Mother and enjoy writing poetry.

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