Thursday, May 2, 2013
Iron Man 3
So I was hanging out with my brother, watching "Game of Thrones" when we took off for our local movie theater, to pick up tickets for the midnight show and stop at McDonald's. We arrived at about 10:30 to find there was a show about to start. We bought our tickets and rushed inside in time for the "Thor" trailer, which is looking good. After sitting through the terrible looking "Lone Ranger" trailer that followed "Thor," the movie began.
I liked it better than "Iron Man 2" but not as much as "The Avengers," or the first "Iron Man." But it was great summer blockbuster fun, without ever talking down to its audience. The central focus in this film was where it belonged, on Tony Stark. Unlike "Iron Man 2" which acted as a launching pad for other movies, this was definitely Tony's movie.... which is a good thing when you have as compelling and strong a protagonist as Tony Stark.
What can I say about Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark that I haven't said or others haven't said already? RDJ owns that role. He is Tony Stark. After three previous movies, he could easily phone it in and collect a paycheck, but doesn't. As of this moment, he hasn't signed on for anymore, but I hope he does. Tony Stark spent this movie dealing with post traumatic stress (I feel dirty calling it that, George Carlin was right... it should still be called shell shock) after the events "The Avengers" which is unique to a movie like this. It gave him another of his many personal crises to overcome without him having to learn previous lessons. While some people might complain that he doesn't spend enough time in the armor, I think the core truth of Tony Stark is that he is almost always more interesting out of the suit. That's the mark of a strong superhero character.
Gwyneth Paltrow really comes into her own as Pepper Potts in this one. Well done love interests in superhero movies are very rare - not even Christopher Nolan pulled it off with the Rachel Dawes character - but I always liked her the most in these Marvel movies. While at one point she does end up in a typical damsel in distress scenario, she also shares in the action this time around.
I didn't much like Don Cheedle as James Rhodes in "Iron Man 2" mostly because I didn't think he and RDJ had much chemistry together, and couldn't buy their friendship. This problem has been corrected in this installment. It helps that the two of them have a lot more screen time together.
Guy Pierce plays Aldrich Killian, a scientist who ends up becoming the founder of the Advanced Idea Mechanics (aka A.I.M.), and really seems to be having a good time on screen. He is, of course, connected to our movie's Big Bad....
The Mandarin, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. I've known this character for most of my life. Hell I knew him long before the Marvel Action Hour dyed his skin green and had him pal around with M.O.D.O.K., for me he was always Iron Man's greatest enemy. What did I think of this? As much as I love Sir Ben Kingsley, I was annoyed when his casting was announced.... I figured there were plenty of East Asian actors who could have pulled off the part of the Mandarin. Of course with China being a huge market, and a business partner on the production of this movie, I knew we weren't going to see the Chinese warlord wielding the ten rings of power who sought to dominate China. Considering the character's origins as a racial caricature, I knew there was no way. I enjoyed what we got. It was a very different and original take, but in the context of the movie, it works. Would I have liked to see a more faithful take? Sure. But I liked what we received.
Go see it.