“The Mark 42 is not combat ready Sir.”
Build your own Iron Man…
Iron Man evolves…
Stark and Banner leap into action…
Iron Man and War Machine…
Iron Man 3 Spoiler Free Review
My eldest daughter and I made what has become our regular Marvel Cinematic Universe pilgrimage on Sunday this time to Iron Man 3. She has followed all of Phase One since Iron Man in 2008 and has loved them all, though now she’s 10 and growing up I fear she likes Thor for Chris Hemsworth rather than any Mjolnir smashing though she enjoys that too :-)
A day has passed to let it settle in my head before I made any fresh from the cinema knee-jerk reactions, and I’ll have to agree with my not so little any more girl and say “That was the best Marvel movie yet!”
I’m still trying to figure out how they’ve done it but damn it they have and Joss Whedon must be banging his head off his keyboard now to out do this for Avengers 2.
The trailers and TV spots seemed to have revealed too much but they haven’t and some of the action sequences you have only glimpsed so far will have you cheering, and I haven’t seen a cinema do that since Danny Glover shot Joss Ackland in Lethal Weapon 2 and say “it’s just been revoked.” The Air Force One scene will be an IMAX gem, unfortunately we’re not advanced enough here in the emerald isle to have IMAX.
And that Lethal Weapon connection brings me to Shane Black. I’ve always liked his stuff, with Downey Jr making his return to favour in the director’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and that same quick fire sensibility and snappy dialogue have made it into Iron man 3, and are a perfect fit for Tony Stark. I was also surprised to see his action direction was both original and mind-blowingly good, if you thought the Avengers final battle was as good as it could get this tops it, but even some mid-movie action fare will have you wanting to book another ticket to try to take in everything you just watched.
The dialogue is brilliant and the delivery by all involved is up to the task, with thrills and laugh out loud moments aplenty. After suffering under the weight of world building for the Avengers in Iron Man 2 this movie manages to shake off those issues while still having all that has gone before inform it and play an integral part. The events of Avengers and working just a dash of the Extremis comic book storyline into the film, as well as taking Tony back to basics, putting him ‘back in the cave’ as Kevin Feige put it, revitalises the usually awkward third movie in the series and makes it the best one yet. There is also a good amount of detective work involved in IM3 certainly more than the dark knight detective has had to do in his trilogy which is a touch ironic. The sidekick issue I worried a bit about with Tony meeting a kid tech whiz was handled perfectly thanks to Stark’s dry wit, and unashamedly being a bit of a shit even to children.
This is a Tony Stark movie pure and simple and that focus is what we all wanted to see, Robert Downey Jr in full flight Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist, mode, though with a little less playboy now with Pepper on his arm. There’s nothing more to say about RDJ, he owns this role even more than Connery did Bond, and we can only hope he wants to do more, another two maybe with Avengers 2 as well would keep me happy. He showcases Stark at his best and worst in IM3 and also puts Jason Bourne and MacGyver to shame at times as well. It’s a tour de force performance that completely screws anyone trying to take on the role should he wish to pass the torch.
Gwyneth Paltrow shines as Pepper as always and gets more to do in this one as well beyond damsel in distress. Also featuring more is Don Cheadle’s Rhodey paring up with Tony for more action buddy fun. I’ve been a fan of his since Boogie Nights and I really hope he at least graduates to the Avengers if not his own movie. Jon Favreau returns also as Happy Hogan and while it was never a big role but we’d miss him if he hadn’t come back. Guy Pearce is back on form gladly as Aldrich Killian which is more than the cameo he said he was doing, and a hell of a lot better than ‘Lockout’ which I barely managed to watch the whole way through the other week.
I have two special mentions one for Paul Bettany’s JARVIS who also gets more to do than usual and for just being a voice is as a defining part of the cinema version of Iron Man as the armour itself. He even gets to kick ass and a few other awesome moments himself this time around.
My other special mention is for Sir Ben Kingsley. Even if you stick him in a crap movie he always delivers, you put him in this and he’s awesome. I can’t say more about him without heading to spoiler territory but he was effortlessly fantastic.
We know the Marvel movies are moving in phases and IM3 sort of completes phase one of Iron Man, and leaves us desperately wanting RDJ to show up at comic Con this year and tell us about IM4.
Most reviews have been positive as has this fan’s and there have been a few detractors as well. Some say it craps on the comics, one said it didn’t have enough Iron Man in it, and I can only assume these folks haven’t actually watched the movies or read the comics.
I was an Iron Man fan from way way back in the day, and everything that appears in the books simply can’t make it to the big screen, the two are incompatible mediums in some respects, Alan Moore has made this point for years.
What Marvel so effectively do is take the best of the comics and let it inform their movies, and most importantly stay true to the characters at the heart of their cinematic universe. There’s probably more Iron Man armour action in this than the previous entries in the series, there’s more action full stop, but what this film does best is showcase Tony Stark…
…and Tony Stark is …Iron Man.