Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Iron Man 3

Lowdown: Iron Man returns. Again.
Review:
My approach to Iron Man 3 had everything to do with the franchise’s history. I was pleasantly surprised by the first Iron Man, particularly with it sporting fine actors having fun doing their thing. The sequel, bearing that most original of titles, Iron Man 2, was the exact opposite: an entirely forgettable, disappointing redo that should have never existed.
I thought I’d forget about the series, Robert Downey Jr. and all, but then Iron Man 3 came out with an ace up its sleeve: it is written and directed by Shane Black, the guy who wrote some of the most influential action films of my career (Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero) as well as directed one of the past decade’s better movies – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Can Black put Iron Man back in the black?
Iron Man 3 takes place some time after The Avengers (and, naturally, after its prequels). Numerous references to the latter shake the ground a bit too much, because one would expect the world to be slightly different after aliens wreak havoc to New York (see what two planes hitting New York did to the world twelve years ago today, and multiply by several orders of magnitude). However, Iron Man 3’s world thinks nothing of it; life goes on, with our Elon Musk – sorry, Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) – spending his days and nights further perfecting his Iron Man suits. He's obsessed with them.
A flashback takes us to the time before Iron Man and sets the film up. An arrogant Stark mocks and ignores the plight of a geeky scientist (Guy Pearce) with an idea, focusing on sex instead. Guess what? That geeky scientist will come back to haunt him for a bit more than two hours.
Back in the present, that geeky scientist is transformed into a handsome cool guy. You know, Guy Pearce. And he’s clearly up to something, engaging Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark’s neglected love interest. In parallel we learn the USA and its president are being threatened by a Bin Laden like villain (an awesome Ben Kingsley), only that this Bin Laden is much more capable as well as brutal than the original. And the worse thing? When push comes to shove, the home of our hero Stark is destroyed; now it is up to him to save the USA from this cadre of villains using the one remaining Iron Man suit to survive that destruction, and a prototype at that. Will he manage? Oh, the tension!
The good thing about Iron Man 3 is that it does not take itself seriously. It is, first and foremost, an action film; and like the first episode in the series, it is an actor’s action film. Which is much more than can be said about most of the crap coming out of Hollywood these days!
I do have to add I felt the Shane Black promise failed to deliver. Sure, there is that same aura of bullshit fun most recently experienced with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but things fail to soar to the same heights. And unlike KKBB, we still get cheap and dirty resolutions to the movie. Such as when, all of a sudden, the rest of the Iron Man suits suddenly become available – and not a moment too soon, obviously. There are some existential deliberations relevant to this era of government snooping its nose into innocent people's business, leaving us unable to tell who the real villain is when both sides’ ethics suffer. Seriously, though, Iron Man 3 is all about fun and games. It's like a special feature film length episode of Chuck.
Notable scene: A henchman surrenders to an unironed Stark while claiming his employers were always weirdos. Since Austin Powers I am yet to recall a movie going for that joke.
Overall: Not too bad for an Iron Man movie without much Iron Man for the bulk of the film. But not particularly good either; just 3 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Chris Jerico said...

Iron Man 3 is a great movie. I have joyed the movie very much. This is one of the best movie of 2013.