I had such mixed emotions walking out of “Iron Man 3.” There were things I really liked about it and others I didn’t. One thing I can say is it’s the best and most complex of the three films concentrating on the heavy metal super hero.
Tony Stark (Robert DowneyJr.) is suffering from anxiety attacks after his battle with aliens in New York City as a member of the Avengers. Things get worse when a terrorist calling himself the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) blows up different locations leaving no evidence of how he’s doing it.
When his home is destroyed by the Mandarin’s forces, Stark is thought to be dead after being jettisoned unconscious in an Iron Man suit across the country. He finds himself teaming up with a boy (Ty Simpkins) and getting back to basics in order to find the Mandarin and end his reign of terror. More complications arise when the President (William Sadler), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) are taken hostage by the crazed super villain.
Some of the things I liked and disliked in “Iron Man 3” are going to contradict each other. I’m just complicated like that. Some would probably call it indecisiveness and reject my opinions all together. I’m alright with that.
First let’s talk about the things I like about “Iron Man 3.” I love the chemistry between Tony Stark and the little boy Harley. It’s just cute enough to work and doesn’t leave fanboys wanting to blow chunks at the screen. I also thought the main plot twist was excellent. I giggled to myself while imagining angry comic book purists fuming and flaring their nostrils in disapproval.
Director Shane Black deserves a huge pat on the back for successfully inserting certain elements into the film I thought would make it cheesy and ridiculous. He found a sensible and intelligent way of getting Pepper Potts into an Iron Man suit for one. Secondly, having several Iron Men fly to Stark’s aide worked. However, it still felt a bit like overkill.
Another point I’m torn on was the lack of Iron Man in the movie. Part of me enjoyed seeing Robert Downey Jr. get more actual face time and have the opportunity to really dig into the character of Tony Stark. The other part of me felt like it would have been nice to see more of the super hero the movie is named after.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that the villain doesn’t wear an Iron Man suit of some kind. I was seriously considering walking out or boycotting the next film if they went down that road again. I was a bit worried for a while when my son informed me that the Mandarin has a suit in the comic books.
Another point I’m torn on was the lack of Iron Man in the movie. Part of me enjoyed seeing Robert Downey Jr. get more actual face time and have the opportunity to really dig into the character of Tony Stark. Another part felt like it would have been nice to see more of the super hero the movie is named after.
As an action film, “Iron Man 3” delivers big time. What’s great is it also delivers a great story with some genuinely emotional moments as well. We get to see a side of Tony Stark we haven’t really seen yet in the past movies. Love it or hate it, “Iron Man 3” definitely doesn’t just play it safe to cater to the comic book crowd. It takes chances and makes changes to keep things fresh and unpredictable for first time viewers and longtime readers of the comics.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
DVD Review: ‘Iron Man Anime’
Movie Review: ‘The Avengers’
‘Avengers vs. X-Men’: The Superhero Movie Dream Project