Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Better second viewing.
You ever experience a movie that affected you almost completely differently the second time around? I have, and chances are you have too. It all comes down to understanding what’s really going on. When it came to Iron Man 3, my initial review was pretty adamant about the film not making a lot of sense when it came to the antagonist’s story. I thought we had a clear understanding about Stark’s point of view, but when it came to the enemy, I was lost. I’ll tell you what, after buying the Blu-Ray and giving this a second viewing, I can understand the enemy’s intention easier. No, it’s not crystal clear like the predecessors, but here’s the thing…it doesn’t have to be.
Robert Downey Jr. returns to the iron suit after the events in New York (The Avengers) took place. He can’t sleep, he’s been having panic attacks due to the event…so he picks up the hobby of making more and more cool stuff…and it is cool indeed. As if his insomnia wasn’t enough, dozens of reports claiming a terrorist named The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is going around doing his best impersonation of Osama Bin Laden and claiming credit for local terrorist bombings around the country. His followers have the ability to turn into molten hot temperatures, burning through anything at the simple touch. Turning too hot can result in an explosion of unbelievable magnitudes. One of the Mandarin’s right hand men (Guy Pierce) is orchestrating most of the heavy work while the Mandarin is busy looking pretty for the camera, taking credit for everything. To make things short, Iron Man has to stop them before they hurt what he can’t live without, which may be difficult when his only suit stops working.
You know what I love about this movie? I’ll say it right up front…we get to see Robert Downey Jr. in action. Not as much CGI suit with close-ups of his face were used as they were in the previous films as Downey Jr. himself performing the action sequences. What that does is pull us in deep and have us believe in the character further. He is vulnerable, he is real, and he doesn’t need his suit to save the day…even though he does. As with every positive comes a negative, however, and my main negative here is quite frankly…the suit portion…which sucks, because well…it’s called Iron Man, not Tony Stark.
Look, I get it. Each film has to raise that bar higher as to Stark’s inventions, which include a new suit design and way of wearing it. What Marvel didn’t understand here is that you can overreach your limits, and they did. They made it way too easy, and I lost a sense of danger. What do I mean by that? Well…for example, Tony has created a way to be Iron Man without actually being in the suit. That means he can essentially face life-threatening situations, save lives, while sitting on his couch in his underwear. Where’s the danger in that? Plus, apparently a neverending supply of suits…come on, it has to stop somewhere. They just made things too simple to even ignore.
That being said, I can appreciate how this film looked and felt. It looked beautiful and it felt epic. You are thoroughly enjoying this flick from the get go. It’s darker, it’s edgier, it has got new locations, new characters that you’ll love, action scenes that will amaze you, and amazingly…it was still hilarious when it needed to be. Finally, this was the third film in a trilogy, and it was made well enough to fully feel “complete” as a series.
So no, Iron Man 3 was not perfect. It may have taken the easy route, but it did it in a way that’s still cool and enjoyable to look at. It may not have had the best written story villain-wise, but the villains themselves were incredible and looked stunning. It may not have been the best film in the franchise, but by golly did it satisfy regardless. It is definitely worth a look, if not a full out purchase.