After the lackluster Iron Man 2; I was hoping that the new film would provide audiences with a reason to enjoy the series again. Well I’m happy to announce that we’ve been saved by this sequel. This installment was an action packed joy ride that filled the theater with laughter and loud explosions, enough to keep me on the edge of my seat and entertained thoroughly. Including some of the finest names in acting, Iron Man 3 is a great start to the superhero sequel streak that will fill the summer and beyond.
Tony Stark is back and flawed as ever, with his panic attacks running rampant. Spending all his time building Iron Man suits is beginning to take its toll on both him and his relationship with Stark Industries’ CEO Pepper Potts. When an attack by the elusive terrorist mastermind known as “The Mandarin” injures Happy Hogan, Stark issues a taunt; allowing the Mandarin’s forces to find and eliminate him. However with Extremis soldiers on his tale and no Iron suit available, he improvises his way to a final showdown between himself and Extremis’ most powerful soldiers; finding out whom he really is in the process.
Robert Downey Jr. returns to grace the screen as Tony Stark and once again proves that he has returned as the master of his craft. His strong performance coupled with the humour and heart that he portrays makes for a solid scene stealing execution. His talent allowed him to be incredibly humourous, especially when bouncing his relentless asshole banter off child-actor Ty Simpkins; and incredibly serious when dealing with Stark’s increasing imbalance after his experiences with the alien invasion of New York and the increased threat caused by The Mandarin and AIM’s “Extremis” Soldiers. Truly one of the best actors in the industry at this time, and this film showcases all he has.
They really stepped up to the plate and brought the full force of Hollywood talent to the screen. Ben Kingsley was incredible as the Mandarin. His portrayal brought the perfect blend of fear and funny that I was hoping for. As one of the most famous villains in the Iron Man universe, they had to pick someone who would bring their talent full bear, and Kingsley performed admirably. Guy Pearce, who I hate for his character in The Count of Monte Cristo, returns to the screen as an equally hateable villain Aldrich Killian. His purpose to cover up the misdeeds of his Extremis creation by (mumbling spoiler) is clever, and seeing Pearce return to his conniving villain roots was a refresher. Special love to the familiar faces rounding out the cast. Gwyneth Paltrow’s sweet performance allowed her to retain the professionalism of Pepper Potts, and show off some muscle in the movie’s action packed climax.
Hey, does anyone remember the 90’s? I think the most fun anyone had out of the movie, besides the whole thing, was when Eiffle 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” played during the film’s opening flashback sequence. Did anyone else think that was cool? The song was pretty big for a one hit wonder in North America and is very memorable to me and judging by the reactions of people in the audience, it was memorable for them as well.
During the final scene, one thing struck me as pretty damn odd. Apparently the Iron suits are made from cardboard and are easily destructible by super strength. We’ve seen the suit take punishment before, but in a battle involving say 42 Iron suits they seem to be just toys that break apart so easily. We’ve seen it take hits from tank shells, numerous gun fights, electrical whips and fighting another suit. Yet it seems like some extreme heat and a punch can take out most of the suits. They’ve been reduced to the durability of a Battle Droid.
The film was a triumph over the second, but doesn’t live up to the full expectations I had, nor can it reach the original’s legendary status. The inclusion of the veteran all-star cast gave the franchise a fresh feel, while keeping with the spirit. I liked the action, loved the intrigue and enjoyed it immensely. If you liked the original and want redemption for the kick in the ass that was the second film, you’ll want to go see this right away. Seriously, its 7:57 when I’m writing this; get out and see it.
Final Score: 8.5