Published on April 27th, 2013 | by Yellow Magpie1
Iron Man 3 Film Review: A High Point In Cinema Blockbusters
Iron Man 3 Film Review
Director: Shane Black.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Guy Pearse, Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle.
Here is Yellow Magpie’s Iron Man 3 film review.
Iron Man 3 is the perfect summer blockbuster. It has a cast that has no weaknesses and a plot that effortlessly balances drama and comedy. Most of all it has the most visually stunning superhero of all time – Iron Man.
The United States finds itself subject to a campaign of terror as a man who calls himself The Mandarin wages war. Several explosions have rocked the country yet no one has any leads nor can they find any evidence of how the blasts were carried out.
On another front a scientist, Aldritch Killian, whose previous business proposal was blown off by a drunken Tony Stark, makes a striking re-entrance. Killian seems strangely more assertive and commanding than the meek man that greeted Stark in a lift more than a decade ago.
The famous Iron Man is a different person too. A non-sleeping Tony Stark is struggling to overcome panic attacks and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but is invariably drawn into fighting the terrorists when he nearly loses his friend and former bodyguard, Happy Hogan, in one of the attacks.
‘If there was one role that Robert Downey Jr. was born to play it is Tony Stark and Iron Man.’
After his home is destroyed in a well-planned and heavily-armed assault Stark finds himself with just a severely damaged prototype suit. Slowly with the aid of a precocious boy he starts to piece together the true story behind the attacks.
If there was one role that Robert Downey Jr. was born to play it is Tony Stark and Iron Man. Brilliant at delivering quips and one-liners the separation between Downey Jr. and Tony Stark at times seems to be non-existent. The actor perfectly captures the egotism and the aloof, almost childish nature of the rich genius.
Nevertheless, this time round we see a very different Stark to the one in the earlier films. The mask of superiority has slipped and is replaced by doubt. This Stark is haunted by nightmares caused by fighting with The Avengers. Instead of the usual bravado, panic and insomnia have crept up on the previously indomitable Iron Man.
‘Downey Jr. and slick well-executed films are an ideal match…’
The Iron Man suite, something that was previously an asset, has also turned into a dependency for Tony Stark. Gone too is the former playboy’s notorious socialising habits. Instead Stark’s world has contracted to just his house and he loses that too. Downey Jr. and slick well-executed films are an ideal match and the character of Tony Stark and Iron Man are the perfect combination to show off the actor’s entertaining talents.
Rebecca Hall is excellent as the sharp-talking Maya Hansen who had an overnight tryst with Tony Stark in his younger, heavy boozing days. A viral biologist, Hansen is a good match for Stark, intellectually and personality-wise.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts remains intelligent and likeable. She is given a larger role than in previous Iron Man films and helps to make the movie easier to relate to. Potts is feeling the pressure from her partner’s obsession with the Iron Man suits and the strain is showing on their relationship. Paltrow is at home in a part that draws upon her innate pleasantness and ability to play empathetic characters.
Aldrich Killian, aptly portrayed by Guy Pearce, is a brooding, malevolent force throughout the film. Clearly disgruntled by Stark breaking his promise to meet, Killian is determined to gain the upper hand. Pearce is excellent playing the two extremes of Killian’s personality. From the reticent scientist that struggles to hold eye-contact to the brash, ultra-confident, power-hungry manipulator, Pearce captures both aspects succinctly.
‘however, the director pushes the character too far towards the comic for laughs.’
Ben Kingsley plays the archetypical villain in Iron Man 3. The agent of chaos, and the face behind the terrorism, The Mandarin is an attention-grabbing foe. Kingsley is good in the role but the director pushes the character too far towards the comic for laughs. This somewhat undermines the credibility of the character. A little bit of restraint would have been infinitely better.
James Rhodes and War Machine once again provide the able back-up to Tony Stark and Iron Man. Don Cheadle’s character is the perfect foil for Stark. The polar-opposite to the titular hero, he has a grounding effect on the main protagonist.
James Badge Dale’s performance as Eric Savin is also noteworthy. The right-hand man of the terrorist organisation, Savin is an arrogant and dangerous adversary who relishes confrontation. Badge Dale makes his character highly memorable and plays the violent sociopath very well.
‘subtly transition the film from light-heartedness to provoking a deep sense of pathos within the viewers.’
Happy Hogan, portrayed by Jon Favreau, injects comedy into the film. His controlling, paranoid nature sets up some funny scenes as he overextends his reign as Stark Enterprise’s new head of security. His dramatic injuries in the explosive incident also subtly transition the film from light-heartedness to provoking a deep sense of pathos within the viewers.
Some of the best scenes in the film take place between Tony Stark and Harley (played by Ty Simpkins), a young boy he reluctantly befriends. Though precocious, Simpkins and the direction make sure that Harley still remains a child at heart.
‘Stan Lee has his inevitable cameo and the same unfunny joke being played over and over and over again continues.’
Stan Lee has his inevitable cameo and the same unfunny joke being played over and over and over again continues. Unfortunately, this trend doesn’t appear to be ending this tautology any time soon.
Iron Man 3 is thoroughly entertaining escapism. With such a solid ensemble cast and stunning visuals the viewer knows from the very start that they are in safe hands.
The visual effects and quality of the 3-D rendering mark a watershed in cinema. The tell-tale signs of digital animation are no longer visible. We are now living in an age of complete photo-realism on film. No doubt a large portion of Iron Man’s budget was taken up by these computer effects but it was certainly worth it.
Special mention must also go to the score. Iron Man and Iron Man 2 had many things in them but a notable soundtrack was not one of these. Brian Tyler addresses this with a very strong musical composition with an inspiring leitmotif that forms an intricate part of the film.
It would be disingenuous to state that Iron Man 3 is flawless for that is not the case. It would also be impossible to mention these minor gripes without spoiling the movie. Nonetheless, these problems barely matter.
Iron Man 3 has set a high standard for summer blockbusters. Tonally, Iron Man 3 is completely different to the Dark Knight Rises but together the two films have set the bar very high for others to follow.
You might also like to check out Yellow Magpie’s Oblivion Film Review: Raising The Bar For Science Fiction Films, Jack Reacher Film Review: The Birth Of A New Franchise Antihero and Olympus Has Fallen Film Review: Strong Contender For Worst Film Of 2013.