29 abr. 2013

My Review: Iron Man 3 (8/10)



¨Ladies, children, sheep... Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: Heroes, there is no such thing.¨

Iron Man 3 is the first film following the events of The Avengers, and if you wondered if the movie was going to lose entertainment value considering it shifts the focus back to only one superhero, you were wrong. Despite not having all those great characters together, Robert Downey Jr. manages to capture the audience’s attention once again with his vibrant portrayal of Tony Stark. He has been the main reason why I´ve enjoyed these films so much because they are just a perfect fit. New director, Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), who worked with Downey in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, knows that the secret to the success of this franchise is letting Downey be himself and focus on his character. In this third film Starks is stripped down of his toys and questions whether or not he is worth anything without the suit. The Nolan effect which has been a key element in superhero movies is present at the beginning of the movie. We see a much more vulnerable Tony Stark, who is suffering from panic attacks due to the events in The Avengers, and who makes mistakes like putting his beloved Potts in danger due to his big mouth. This first part of the movie didn’t work very well because it felt like a different kind of hero, but the effect wears off real quickly and Starks is once again back to his normal self once he realizes he is what makes the suit and not vice versa. Having his character stripped of his toys and having to manage to depend on simple things once again to defeat his foes is what made this film so entertaining. It was like if Stark had to go back to the basics and rediscover himself, although he never loses his goofiness. The villains in this film were also a huge improvement from its predecessor. This might not be as great as the original Iron Man, but it is an improvement from the first sequel. Black did a decent job following Jon Favreau´s work and he manages to keep the franchise afloat.   

Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) has to face a new set of villains in this third film which takes place after the events of The Avengers. A terrorist who calls himself The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is terrorizing the world through several explosions across the globe. Meanwhile Tony has found himself absorbed trying to perfect his suits and may have crossed the line trying to overprotect his love interest, Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). The reason behind his obsession is that he can´t afford to lose what he loves most. When Stark threatens The Mandarin, his army destroys his home leaving him for dead. Stark has to hide out while he figures out more information about this terrorist. He discovers some information about an AIM program run by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) which seems to be involved with the well known terrorist. Without being able to use all his equipment and technology, Stark is forced to use his intellect and capabilities to defeat his new enemies, while at the same time trying to protect Potts. Along his quest he makes some new friends, like the young boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) who helps gather some materials for him to work with, and counts with his always reliable friend, Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle). Rebecca Hall also has a small role in this film as Killian´s assistant, and Paul Bettany lends his voice once again to Jarvis.    

As you would expect, the visuals in this film are great and the action sequences are also very entertaining. The two hours go by in a flash thanks to some decent pacing. The franchise doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it still offers some great summer popcorn fun entertainment. Iron Man 3 is the perfect way to start off the 2013 summer and we can only hope the rest of the films keep this streak going. I loved the little twists and turns the film takes here by making you think it is going to be so much darker than the rest of The Avengers, but then all of a sudden it returns to its playful self. The Marvel universe is one that doesn’t have to be taken so seriously because we have fun with the lightness of the characters and situations. The entire spin with The Mandarin was incredible. I wasn’t too pleased with the opening minutes of the film considering Stark was much more vulnerable and not as fun as his usual self, but once he got his confidence back everything seemed to play out really well. Black is a master at mixing some great action scenes with tons of comedy (Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang are proof of that) and we see it once again with Iron Man 3. Downey Jr. continues to deliver with his clever lines and charismatic self. He is the only reason we need to want to go see this movie.

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