Saturday, 4 May 2013

'Iron Man 3' Film Review

It has been three years after the last Iron Man film and last year's 'The Avengers' reminded us why we loved Iron Man so much, so it only seems right that Marvel's 'Phase 2' project started with the third movie of our favourite playboy billionaire philanthropist.

After the events of 'The Avengers',  Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is suffering from sleep loss and anxiety, spending all his time making Iron Man prototypes. His past comes back to haunt him as Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a scientist Tony stood up years ago vengefully returns to cause havoc. 

Meanwhile a new terrorist, calling himself 'The Mandarin', (Ben Kingsley) threatens America with spontaneous bombings in the states. When one attack sends his good friend Happy (Jon Favreau) into a coma, Tony responds personally, issuing a threat to the Mandarin himself, only for his verbal threat to be superseded by a bombing of his Malibu mansion. 

In order to protect what he cannot live without, which is Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), Tony vows to destroy this terrorist group in this soul-searching action superhero thriller.

From the start, the movie references 'The Avengers' and sets it very much within the context of the events that happened, but zooming in on Tony. Never ignoring the fact that there are others out there, Tony states that this is an American matter not a global crisis, hence not summoning the 'rest of the gang'.

The pace of the movie plays out as a retelling on events. If you watch till the end of the credits, it will make sense and the special Easter Egg is humorous whilst propagating the Marvel Phase 2 project. It firstly brings us back to 1999, when Tony meets Aldrich for the first time and how those events may have been a trigger for what is to happen. Back in the present day, the movie takes a drastic dark turn with the terrorism footage and the propaganda from The Mandarin, but these themes are alleviated with a well written and humorous script.

What was not evident from the trailer or the promotions were the villainous army which Tony has to fight against and I thought it was slightly outrageous and laughable at times the 'abilities' they have, but I mean, I've witnessed aliens and Asgardian Lords so this should really not bug me. But it does.

Iron Man 3 is definitely the strongest movie of the three. Learning lessons from Christopher Nolans 'The Dark Knight' trilogy, Tony does a lot of soul searching during a lapse of weakness. When his most beloved is   in danger and America is threatened, there is a real sense of ultimatum during the build up (which could have been taken further). 

As always, the action is spectacular and I think more so than ever, there is flair and elegance to the movement and combat of Iron Man, shot and choreographed with style that really leaves you at the edge of your seat. The five to ten minute finale fight sequence was brilliant, and whilst in the previous two movies were predictable, this was the complete opposite. 

The showcase of the range of Iron Man armour was spectacular, but felt a bit like a Transformers sequence, but nonetheless was executed with flair.

The ending offered shocks and surprises and ultimately many questions, but for sure, this is the best start to Marvel Phase 2 as we could have hoped for. Will there be an Iron Man 4? 

Reportedly, Robert Downey Jr's contract for the Iron Man series is up, and in several interviews, the star has  stated that it may be time to retire the red suit due to age as well as a desire to explore other genres. RDJ will be dearly missed as he is truly irreplaceable as Tony Stark.

With the way things end in Iron Man 3, there is a strong sense of closure, but in the superhero universe, nothing is impossible and perhaps his 'very likely' appearance in 'The Avengers 2' will end his run as Iron Man with a massive bang.

~~~TO 3D OR NOT TO 3D~~~
I saw this in 2D as my friend does not like 3D movies but it was still visually stunning. There is A LOT going on in the finale sequence and I can imagine that it would look great in 3D, but could also be a headache for your eyes to follow. I might see this again in 3D because you know, it's Iron Man.

Robert Downey Jr- Iron Man/Tony Stark
Gwyneth Paltrow- Pepper Potts
Don Cheadle- James Rhodes
Guy Pearce- Aldrich Killian
Ben Kingsley- The Mandarin

Also stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau and Paul Bettany.

Robert Downey Jr resumes his role perfectly and really is at his best in this movie, showing weakness and fragility yet still being smart and witty about everything. 

The biggest surprise is Ben Kingsley. I won't ruin it for you, but wow, that was a really good performance.

Also, with Scarlett Johannson's Black Widow debuting in Iron Man 2, it was a shame not to see her reprise her role even for a short while in this movie, but she will be making an appearance in Captain America: Winter soldier, so all is forgiven.

'Iron Man 3' is the perfect follow up to 'The Avengers' and leads the way for Marvel Phase 2. Taking a darker turn, the movie captures themes that the previous two lack and takes the franchise to the next level. Full of eye-candy action, paired with a witty script and offering twists and turns, this is the best Iron Man film to date.

The closure the movie offers to the trilogy and the report of Robert Downey Jr's due contract seems more than just a coincidence. If this is the end of RDJ as Iron Man, well, he was sublime and I cannot foresee a replacement or anyone who could lead a reboot with as much charisma, style and wit. I also cannot foresee an Avengers 2 without Iron Man so, we will see.

AVENGERS 2 (2015)
ANT MAN (2015)

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