Published on May 5th, 2013 | by Max Havey, Columnist
Iron Man 3 – Review
After what many considered a subpar sequel, Iron Man 3 delivers with more than enough action, thrills, and wit to compensate for its predecessor’s shortcomings. Iron Man 3, along with last year’s Marvel crossover blockbuster The Avengers, are the definition of what a summer movie should be: funny, intense, and entertaining all at once. It’s the perfect way to start off the summer movie season.
Robert Downey Jr. returns as everyone’s favorite playboy-millionaire turned mechanized vigilante, Tony Stark. Things should be great for him, except that he can’t sleep following the aftermath of last years summer hit The Avengers, in which he almost died trying to save New York City from an alien invasion.
Some demons from his checkered past come back to haunt him, including Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and a new Terrorist threat known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who both want nothing more than to see Tony Stark’s death. Following a crippling attack on Stark’s Malibu home by the Mandarin, he winds up in Roseville, Tennesee. There, he befriends a young boy (Ty Simpkins) who helps him to rebuild his suit while searching for the truth behind the Mandarin’s attacks, and stumbling upon a much bigger plot in the process.
Downey Jr. gives an expectedly spectacular performance as the witty, loveable jerk, along with Don Cheadle returning as his comrade War Machine, now renamed Iron Patriot. Guy Pearce yet again proves that he can play a fantastic villain as Aldrich Killian, a successful scientist who plots to take down Tony Stark. Sadly, due to an unfortunate plot twist Ben Kingsley’s role falls a little flat, which isn’t helped by his voice sounding like a second-rate Bane.
A strong theme in the movie was the idea that Tony Stark is still very much the same broken man that the audience knew in the previous two films. It involves him having to start from scratch again, realizing again what it took for him to be the hero that he has become. This is further referenced early in the film by a flashback to the year 1999, at a New Year’s Eve party in Switzerland, where the audience sees Stark blowing off a conversation with a man named Yensin. The same man would later die helping Stark build and escape with the original Iron Man suit in the first film. It’s a surprisingly heavy theme for a superhero movie, but it serves to drive home an interesting point: just how powerful is a hero without his armor?
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man 3, and would even go as far to call it one of the best in the Marvel movie-verse. I really didn’t find too many things wrong with the film aside from Kingsley’s Mandarin character, which involves a really disappointing plot twist, and the lack of integration with the rest of Marvel’s cinematic universe.
The previous films in the series brought in characters like Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Black Widow and even hinted at both Captain America and Thor. Iron Man 3 only has a passing reference of Thor, mentions to the events from The Avengers and a brief appearance of Dr. Bruce Banner. It would have been nice to have thrown in a reference to Thanos, the red guy at the end of The Avengers, or at least hinted at the coming films like Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or even the highly anticipated Avengers sequel.
Aside from those two rather minor grievances, Iron Man 3 is a great cinematic experience. Everyone looking for a good time at the movies should definitely check it out – if they don’t, they’re missing out on one of the best films of the summer.