Iron Man 3 – A Stark Difference

I was running late. 7:45pm with my eyes on the
9:00 showing in 3D and a friend texts me to say that the theater was filling
up. I’m normally the type to walk in halfway through the first preview and
rarely on opening night. (I’d nearly gotten into fisticuffs at the Harry Potter
and the Goblet of Fire opening and it had soured the experience.) I walked in
to find my party occupying prime real estate in a nearly empty theater. I
couldn’t believe it, at 8 o’clock just outside the door the first ambitious few
were lining up for the 12:01 showing of the same movie I was about to see in an
hour. Suckers.

Even the previews thrilled: Star Trek Into Darkness,
Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World. My inner nerdlet squeeing with joy. Even at
this point the theater was still mostly empty. It was ok though: our row was
holding enough collective nerdiness to fill the vacant seats. Occasionally,
throughout the movie, I would tilt my 3D glasses down to test the depth and
found it impressive. None of the effects were so over the top that I thought to
myself ‘they put that in there just to show off the 3D.’

With the third installment of the Iron Man
franchise we find Tony Start working full tilt on his suits in the aftermath of
the Avengers.  I don’t need to tell you that he cracks wise, does some
amazing stuff, and saves the day because that’s what we’ve all come to know and
love about this unabashed bad boy.  But, this movie feels different
somehow, it does more than just scratch the surface of the suit: it shows you
what really makes Tony tick and it’s not the arc reactor in his chest.

Jon Favreau set the bar high and director Shane Black
did not disappoint, bringing a touch of nostalgia to his vision of Iron Man
with flashy sectioned shots resembling comic book paneling as well as some
indescribable filter I can only say reminded me slightly of Bond, and it fits.
Let’s face it, Tony Stark is basically Bond without any capacity for subtlety,
but Black shows us the softer side amidst rising action and snarky one liners.
The dozen or so people in the theater laughing, cheering, and gasping in unison,
the effect no less awesome due to diminished numbers.

Iron Man 3, while not staying entirely true to the
original Extremis story arc (which I did not read before seeing the film,)
delivers all the action we expect to see and then some. The movie mixes an
engaging plot, a new take on a favored villain,  and the evolution of a
major character.  There’s no reason to walk away feeling anything but
satisfied, even if you happen to be an Extremis purist. As we came out of the
theater, we couldn’t help put a nice capper on the night: observing the throng
of of people clamoring to get into the 12:01 as we sauntered out of our theater
some of us began trolling the crowd. “I can’t believe Iron Man died at the

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