IRON MAN 3
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
MAY 2, 2013
Shane Black re-teams with Robert Downey Jr. to deliver not only an exceptional stand-alone action film with comedic and emotionally charged themes but produces another gold brick in the foundation of the Marvel universe. All returning characters are at the top of their game, with no wasted reintroductions or unnecessary plot devices, including the best showing to date for Gwyneth Paltrow as love interest Pepper Potts. Used limited but effectively, Don Cheadle proves yet again that his Rhodes is far superior. Rebecca Hall is one of my favorite castings, who rises above her brief appearance and reflects a wit and sex appeal unmatched in previous installments.
As is said, the quality of the film reflects how formed and significant the villains are. Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce are phenomenal in their roles, rising above the previous Iron Man foes and any in the Marvel universe. Kingsley is unrecognizable as The Mandarin, with an unforgettable voice and disposition. The script’s humor is whip-smart and relentless, perfectly timed and strategically placed, often offering several highlights of the film, helped immensely by Downey’s delivery and aura, which is irreplaceable.
The emotional darkness brought on by the film’s events, like Tony dealing with his post-traumatic stress after “The Avengers” and along with the destruction of his home and belongings, creates a unique dynamic that raises this “Iron Man” above most superhero endeavors, following in the footsteps of Nolan’s “Dark Knight” series. Even the action sequences are top-notch, never recycling fights from previous films. The ingenuity of Tony’s suits helps develop a fresh feel to the story and adds another exciting layer to the final battle. Add to that scenes where cinematography captures the immensity of its surroundings, like the demolition of Tony’s Malibu mansion by helicopters or a free-fall rescue out of Air Force One involving twelve passengers.
The marketing for the film is undeniably swift, burying the secrets of the film and for a good reason. With plenty of surprises and a handful of allusions to the previous installments (and foreshadowing of events to come), “Iron Man 3” entertains on all levels, continuing the near-perfect legacy of “The Avengers” and the preceding Marvel films.
May 3, 2013
by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby
Walt Disney Studios
(for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content)
Peter S. Elliot
Robert Downey Jr.
James Badge Dale