Tag Archives: Robert Downey Jr.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron_Man_3_theatrical_poster

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.

Master of fear, Mandarin!

Master of fear, Mandarin!

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.

Four out of five of you won't make it.

Four out of five of you won’t make it.

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

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The Avengers (2012)

I was joking!

Seamless action and an all-star blockbuster cast compliment the first major superhero movie of the year, The Avengers. I have nothing, but good things, to say about this movie. A crew of unparalleled talents came together to create what may be the best superhero movie of all time. The Avengers was an excellent blend of humour, action, thrills, and suspense. Hey, they even had time for some back-story for the rather new or undeveloped characters from previous films.

If you’re a superhero movie buff, you’ve probably seen the previous Avengers tie-ins. In case you haven’t, go to the movie rental store that doesn’t exist anymore, break in and “borrow” Captain America, Thor, Hulk and both Iron Man films. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Okay done? Excellent! Let’s begin shall we? After the events of each film, Stark has continued being a billionaire playboy industrial philanthropist and is working on sustainable energy, having turned down Nick Shield’s offer to join the Avenger’s initiative; Thor has returned to Asgard and watches Earth closely, Dr. Bruce Banner hides away in India while avoiding the authorities and Captain America has just acclimatising himself to the 21st Century. Through a portal generated by the Tesseract. Loki appears, and steals the power source to bring an army to Earth with the intent to rule it. This brings together Stark, Thor, Banner, Rogers and newcomers to the team Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff and Clint “Hawkeye” Barton to stop Loki and close the invading army’s portal for good.

Looks like they have their work cut out for them.

Joss Whedon had a hard task ahead of him. So first I must thank him and praise the work that he did on this film. This movie pulled off something that was very difficult to do. It brought together the stories and the identities of each Avenger, and molded them so well together. Each of these characters have different personalities and ways of dealing with things, which is indicated by much of the dialogue between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, whereas Tony has a devil may care attitude that clashes with Roger’s for the uniform style of command. There was enough time given for character development, another difficult process considering the amount of people involved in the main plot. They even had time to give a small back story to characters like Agent Coulson. When you have a film that runs no longer than a movie about one superhero, which gives enough time for anywhere between eight and ten stories, that is talented direction and exceptional writing.

The action itself, to reuse the term, was seamless. I was incredibly happy with how well the action flowed. Believe me; this film has such an incredible amount of action within the last twenty to thirty minutes of the film. The camera’s follow and switch between characters with such precision that you can’t be removed from the fight. There is even dialogue between characters during the fight coordinating with each other and it keeps you entertained. This is the kind of action that any action film fan should be looking for.

So begins the action!

There is some amazing writing in this film. Between technical dialogue about locations, shady S.H.I.E.L.D. dealings, explanations about Loki’s origins or the humorous banter between the Avengers; there is a lot of work to be done. The task was bringing different characters from different backgrounds to speak together on terms in which they could understand. You have the overconfident Stark butting heads with the man out of time, Rogers; and then Banner befriending Stark as a kindred spirit as they both realize that they’re geniuses working together. The writers pulled this off without a hitch. All the character blended well with each other.

I’m going to skip a review of the main credited actors; we’ve already seen them do their films. They all did amazing work. However I wanted to speak about some of the supporting cast. This is my first real experience with Hawkeye, outside of brutally killing my friend in UMvC3, so I was actually looking forward to seeing how Academy Award Nominee Jeremy Renner would bring his skill to the role. I believe that Renner brought everything he had to the role and came out on top. The strength and conviction of Hawkeye blended well with a lot of the strong roles that Jeremy Renner was known for playing. He essentially played two versions of Hawkeye in the film, which is a challenge, but he certainly pulls it off. Cobie Smulders was a passable Maria Hill, whose role seemed really lost in this film. She was there to take orders, question them and then shrug and carry them out. Not much else to go on there.

And the rest…

Regarding acting, there were a lot of people wondering if Mark Ruffalo fit the big man’s pants in this film, following Edward Norton backing away from the film. The answer is yes. Mark brings his acting chops to full bare in a role that requires specific attention to how you carry yourself and how you speak. One move and you’re going to be seeing green. This actually makes me want to go back and see the previous Hulk movie with Ruffalo superimposed over Norton. I think he might even do a better job. He seems to have what it takes for it and I look forward to seeing him in future Marvel films.

So, here we have the film that beat record after record at the box office in a weekend, rivaling the final Harry Potter and The Dark Knight with its money making momentum. Can it keep up? If the third day viewing crowd was any indication, I think we may have another four weeks at the top of the box office style run that The Hunger Games carried. If you enjoyed any of the previous films you should go get avenged. You seriously won’t regret it.

Final Grade: A+

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