Fans are finally able to watch the third Iron Man installment in cinema’s. After the disappointing second movie and the fantastic The Avengers expectations for Iron Man 3 were high. For the most part those expectations have been fulfilled, but there are a few wrinkles here and there. I like this movie more than I did the original Iron Man mainly because of its depth. However, the movies villains are just as shallow and un-memorable as before. As per the fact that I was able see the movie in cinema’s myself there is now a review here on SciFiEmpire.net.
Iron Man 3 at first follows a very popular plot premise. The hero, in this case Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, is down on his luck. He is suffering from nightmares after his near death experience in The Avengers and neither his girlfriend Pepper nor Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle) can get to him. Finally after his friend and bodyguard Happy Hogan (John Favreau) is critically injures in a terrorist bomb blast does Tony snap out of it and pursues the villain the Mandarin. Quite quickly Tony is attacked by the Mandarin gunships and the world believes him dead as his Iron Man suit flies him to rural Tennessee. As Tony tries to uncover the plot of the Mandarin bombings a surprising twist leads the trail back to himself and scientist Aldrich Killian.
Well, I believe that gives readers just a basic overview of what Iron Man 3 is about without spoiling too much. As stated before Iron Man 3 follows a hero who has essentially fallen from his pedestal and needs to reconsider his past choices before he can get better. If you think it sounds similar to events from The Dark Knight Rises than you would be right. However, in this film we see Tony’s not trying to be Iron Man again but Tony Stark again. The film succeeds handsomely in this reverse hero’s journey. In fact, the storyline of the villains The Mandarin and Aldrich Killian seems rather goofy in comparison. From that point of view the Iron Man movies have suffered from a lack of recognizable villain ever since Jeff Bridges played Obadiah Shane in the original Iron Man of 2008.
Both Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce play there respective parts as best as they can. The roles they played certainly weren’t easy. Guy Pearce’s character Aldrich Killian is especially near the end somewhat unbelievable. There the movie is mainly saved by Gwyneth Paltrow and her character Pepper Potts as the audience start to sympathize with her. Also actor William Sadler merits special mention as President Ellis.
Robert Downey Jr. plays his role of Tony Stark better than in any movie before. Both the actor and the character seem to have matured since the start of the series. The movie takes a long time to explore the root of Tony’s problems and as such his character development feels authentic. The viewer thus manages to relate to him similar to the way they did in the first Iron Man movie. The last scene of the movie in which Tony has managed to discard his miniature arc reactor in his chest and has destroyed all the Iron Man suits seems an appropriate end for a hero.
On the internet much has been made about actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her character Pepper Potts. I think it merits a special paragraph…
At this moment it can be confidently stated that we are in the middle of the Third Feminist Wave. The character off Pepper Potts played by Gwyneth Paltrow has been seen by some commentators as an example of a woman that conforms to the latest ideals of female independence and empowerment. Ever since the movie Alien sci-fi has had a love for strong women. At times this merely meant physical strength or onscreen promiscuous sexuality. Almost always this was accompanied by a rather scantily Hollywood dress code involving high heels and tight skirts. Women complained because of perceived sexual objectification. Fans complained as their favorite characters were altered to increase sex-appeal. Strangely enough the character of Pepper Potts is not immediately different from the ones that were criticized before. Pepper wears pencil skirts and Louboutin high heels but in a world were women are sometimes insulted for their feminine attire her looks are surprisingly independent and appealing. This is backed up by her actions. Since the second Iron Man movie from 2010 Pepper has been CEO of Stark Enterprises. A place that often puts her head to head with Tony. Gwyneth Paltrow has since the first Iron Man movie pretty much owned the role of Pepper Potts. Her real-life commentary on women’s issues allows her to play a mature independent business woman with much conviction. Pepper’s role in this movie is much expanded from the first two Iron Man movies as well as The Avengers. You can almost state that the movie is split in two as the storylines follows both Tony and Pepper closely. The scene were Gwyneth Paltrow briefly dons Tony’s Iron Man suit was over far too soon. It was sad that we did not see her transform into her superhero alter ego ‘Rescue’. It is also sad that both Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. have stated that this could be their last Iron Man movie.
For the most part the visuals in Iron Man 3 are good, even very good. However, just like some instances in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers there are moments were the person wearing the iron man suit looks fake. Those scenes do distracts a bit. For the most part the action scenes are well choreographed but often they do last a bit long. This causes the viewer to lose track of what is happening and thus the suspense of disbelief is sometimes ruined. However, for the most part the action scenes contrast nicely with scenes that move the plot along. As such it is not the action rollercoaster rides that films studios have come up with like the Spiderman sequels or Pirates of The Caribbean.
Iron Man 3 is very good summer action flick. I have seen it once and will definitely get the Blu-ray disc because I belief the subtle plot points are worth a second and third viewing. I think it is the best Iron Man movie yet. It is of courser better than the second but it beats the first when it comes to character development. Gwyneth Paltrow acting needs particular praise, though we didn’t see her character Pepper Potts transform into ‘Rescue’. She is also no longer the Hollywood damsel in distress which I saw in the first two Iron Man movies. Director Shane Black has managed to beat fan expectations in my opinion.
Score; 8.3 / 10.
Below are some pictures of Iron Man 3 première events.