Monday, May 6, 2013

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

Directed and co-written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), Iron Man 3 takes place a few months after the events of The Avengers. While dealing with the aftermath of the alien invasion of New York City, Tony Stark's life is torn apart by a formidable terrorist known as the Mandarin.  To deal with this new threat and to fix his broken life, Stark embarks on an odyssey of reconstruction and retribution.

Iron Man 3 is a good, but not great film thanks to a rather problematic third half. The beginning and the middle are incredibly entertaining and well-written, showing off that sense of humor that is usually present in most of Black's scripts. However, that humor doesn't over-shadow the drama of the situation and the tribulations that Stark is trying to overcome.

Sadly, this nice balance falls apart once a major element of the story is revealed and we head towards the film's climax. The humor starts to inappropriately diffuse the drama and some of the twists and turns the film takes ended up weakening the film. Thankfully, the film's positive elements far outweigh the negative and allow the film to at least be an entertain watch and a good addition to Marvel's movie library.

The acting is superb as always. Robert Downey Jr. continues to show why he was the perfect choice for the arrogant  but lovable Tony Stark. He looks like Tony Stark, he sounds like Tony Stark, and for all purposes he is Tony Stark. In fact, his performance is so good that I have a hard time imagining someone else in the role. Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Guy Pearce do a fantastic job as well, showing their acting chops and making each of their characters interesting and unique.

The only noticeable flaws in the film are all present in the problematic third act that I've already mentioned. Once that first major twist is revealed, things start to go down hill. I wonder if someone were to go back and re-work that twist and everything that follows it, if the third half would be better or would it be just as problematic as it already is? I guess we'll never know.

However, even with the rather weak third act, I still believe Iron Man 3 is a good film and definitely worth your time. It is easily better than Iron Man 2, but doesn't reach the lofty heights of Iron Man. If you're looking for a fun superhero movie with well-done action scenes, funny moments, and decent character drama, I feel like Iron Man 3 would quench your thirst. Just remember the third half is not as strong as the first and second.

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