Iron Man 3 – Spoilerific Review!


Yet another highly anticipated superhero movie is upon us, and I finally
got to see it at 9pm before almost everyone else – even the
Midnight ticket-holders (excluding press who saw it the day before).
 Now, when I questioned why there was a 9 pm showing to begin with, a
friend mentioned the studios were tired of NYC and the rest of the east
coast spoiling the movies online, so we in Mountain/Pacific (and
Central) see it when they do. I’ve also seen mention of
“midnight attendance being down”, so they offer an earlier option.
Whatever the reason, I win (as well as the group of friends I went
with.)  Lucky for us: the theater was sparse with people, we had *maybe*
20-25 folks all accounted for (including our own group of 6).  Finally,
the lights dimmed and the 3D trailers started: Man of Steel, Star Trek
Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World, and White House Down. Then, the
moment of truth: Iron Man 3 began.

for me was either a relatively unknown/unimportant character (such as
Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian)  or they had been established in the
previous two movies: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Happy Hogan (Jon
Favreau), Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow), Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes
(Don Cheadle) and J.A.R.V.I.S. (voiced by Paul Bettany). I was a little
uncertain when I heard Sir Ben Kingsley was being cast as The Mandarin,
but I’ve seen him act (and dominate) in some *amazing* roles.  
As far as direction, Shane Black steps into the
shoes of Jon Favreau (who not only continues his role as Happy Hogan,
but directed the previous two Iron Man installments.). Black not only
took on the job admirably and made it his own, but he did so in such a
subtle fashion as to not disturb its prequels. (Think about what a jump
it was design-wise between Batman Returns and Batman Forever) The pacing
of the movie was one of the most notable changes: the action shots came
fast and numerous, never feeling like they were crowbarred in just to
keep the story moving.  Any non-action scenes (like Tony blowing off Guy
Pearce’s future villain character in a flashback or Tony befriending a
rural Tennesee kid when Tony’s Mark 42 suit is rendered useless during
the 2nd act) were still filled with quippy dialogue that helped you
forget a guy in an exo-suit wasn’t punching bad guys right now.  The big
destruction of the Stark mansion was every bit as intense as the
trailers suggested. I was also more than a little heart-broken to see
Tony’s helpful armatures “Dummy” and “Butterfingers” slide out of the
collapsed house and into the ocean. (I honestly can’t remember if “You”
was there…I can’t even tell if those are the names he gave them or
just nicknames he used in the first film and never again.)  I also
regained hope when I watched him drag them out of the water and drive
away with them secured on a flatbed trailer. Since Disney wasn’t happy
about the “Demon in a bottle
story line, giving Tony PTSD after the New York events of The Avengers
was equally humanizing for the character.  Watching Tony battle through
his fair share of panic attacks gives more pathos than the comic book
character ever deserved, but Robert Downey Jr. can’t help but inject a
little heart into every role he’s given. 
The plot was largely adapted from the Extremis 6-issue
story arc from 2005/2006.  I’m more lenient with changes from the
source material because I understand that there are things on the comic
page that just aren’t do-able in a movie whether it be for budgetary
reasons or the idea doesn’t translate well. The Extremis is still touted
as a “hack for the body’s operating system”, allowing for enhanced
strength and healing properties, though still unstable (a tainted batch
turns more than a few folks into human bombs). Plus the idea that the
Mandarin was a focus group-inspired, psychological compilation created
by Killian to “give evil a face” was pretty brilliant. I don’t know that
you could successfully portray The Mandarin in an Iron Man movie
without the term “racism” being bandied about.  
As if a battle-ready madman weren’t enough,
Tony also has to deal with people from Killian’s organization – Advanced
Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) – who volunteered to be injected with the
Extremis serum. Those fortunate enough not to explode (literally and
spectacularly) from the body rejecting the serum were set against Tony,
Rhodey, Happy, and even Pepper in a ploy to help Killian control the
supply and demand of unstoppable weaponry and super-soldiers.  Their
enhanced speed, strength, and ability to internally generate enough heat
to melt metal (and pretty much anything else they came in contact
with) was a pretty cool effect.
The *BIG* scene of the 3rd act was beautiful dance
of action and pacing. Each shot neither lingered too long to allow me to
wonder what was going on elsewhere nor moved to fast to be a high
definition “blur of motion”. The arrival of all of Tony’s
remaining armored suits was incredible: each one serving a different
purpose. Tony jumping from suit to suit in an attempt to fight the
 amazingly agile and super-powered Killian was a real treat. Iron Man 3
was every bit the adrenaline-pumped action movie I needed to kick off an
amazing summer of movies.

Once the credits started rolling, I couldn’t help but notice not a
*single* person in the theater stood up to leave. Congratulations,
Marvel: it only took 6 movies in 5 years to properly train the general
public. (I think it’s gotten to the point where people are disappointed
if there *isn’t* a post-credit scene in a movie.)  Now, some of you may
have seen the post-credits scene already.  I know when I was offered the
chance online a few weeks ago, I took it. I had forgotten about it
until it started, though: I was expecting a Guardians of the Galaxy
teaser.  But what are you going to do? 

Since its opening, I’ve heard a lot of negativity
about the movie, putting it in the same boat as “Spider-man 3”.  I
respectfully (mood permitting) disagree and I will vehemently defend
this movie any day of the week.  All-in-all, it was a great experience
and now comes the long and arduous wait of getting to own it so I can
watch it whenever I want. Fortunately, there are plenty of summer
blockbusters waiting around the corner to distract me until then. 
Thanks for reading.

One comment to Iron Man 3 – Spoilerific Review!

  •  says:

    Whether audiences initially respond well to it or not, a second viewing may be required to appreciate the scope and the risks that the film takes. Good review Katrina.

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