REVIEW: Iron Man 3 (Spoiler-Free!)

Here’s your spoiler-free review of IRON MAN 3, available in both text-only and video formats!

BASIC PLOT

Iron Man 3 focuses on Tony Stark’s journey after the events of New York. I like this third installment because it really focuses on Tony as a character as opposed to his hero identity; you see the effects of what happened during the Avengers film, you see how his character grows and evolves, you see how his relationship with Pepper Potts develops… all within two hours and change. It’s Tony first and Iron Man second, and that’s not a bad thing!

Of course, his hero identity is still very much present, this time pitted against a new villain. You’ve probably noted, in your fifty-nine-going-on-sixty viewings of the trailer, that the bad guy this time around is someone called the Mandarin (played by Ben Kingsley). Now, in the actual comics, there is a supervillain named the Mandarin, and he is a primary nemesis of Iron Man but, as you can probably expect, the movie version isn’t exactly the same. All I’ll say is: keep an open mind and you won’t be disappointed. The Mandarin’s background, motive and execution all work really well with the movie and Kingsley did do an A+ job, as RDJ himself was eager to note when he introduced the film during the screening I attended.

STUFF I LIKED

The movie kept me on my toes. Lately, I’ve felt as though comic book and action movies have become predictable… not because I’ve probably read the source material beforehand, but because it’s usually this pattern of “ooh pretty girl,” beat the bad guy, end credits. Iron Man 3 does a nice job of mixing up that formula with plot twists and surprises. It’s funny, as all the Iron Man movies have been so far. It deals with real issues like mental illness and trauma. It features several strong female characters. Rhodey’s and Pepper’s badassery levels went up by twenty through the course of this film, as if both of them weren’t awesome enough already. Plus, RDJ is Tony Stark, and the facial expressions he makes are priceless!

It was also well written, with clear direction and a story that was easy to follow and no parts that I found particularly slow or dragging. More than ever, the audience– and I include myself first here– can identify with Tony and his troubles. Y’know, maybe not the rich-genius-saving-the-world bit, but the mental bit in terms of overcoming personal obstacles. Finally, it was really, really cool to see Tony’s ingenuity at work again. I was floored by all the new designs and visuals.

STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE

I appreciate that Rhodey was given more of a focus, but he was still kind of useless in some parts, so I felt he was a little underutilized. At the same time, this is Iron Man 3, so I understand the movie is not supposed to be all about him.
There were also a couple of scenes that, logistically, didn’t make much sense. You know how with some action movies, you sit down and think about them and go, “but he could’ve easily done THIS, and then none of THAT would’ve even been an issue…” or “But THIS was there the whole time so why is that even…?!” Still, I don’t believe IM3 is a movie you’re meant to deeply analyze while watching, so that’s easily forgivable. Suspension of disbelief, people!

OVERALL

Watch it. It was, in my opinion, a much better movie than Iron Man 2, and I dare say I might’ve (might’ve) even liked it more than Avengers, though this obviously didn’t feature Tom Hiddleston, which is a shame, because every movie ever should feature Tom Hiddleston.
Oh you don’t think so? Well then you just keep your blasphemous judgments to yourself.

WHAT ABOUT IRON MAN 4?

RDJ has been careful not to confirm or deny rumors of another sequel, Gwyneth Paltrow is pretty sure there won’t be one, but Don Cheadle says the possibility is there and it’s all up to us as fans. If you’re not ready to see the Iron Man movies off just yet, the best way to show your support is to go see and buy the movie; ticket sales and DVD/Blu-Ray purchases often determine future productions. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to express your love right down in the comments section, either.

OTHER NOTES

Gwyneth is ripped in this flick, holy cow! You could grate cheese on her abdomen!

Oh, and stay after the credits! While everyone else is collecting their empty popcorn containers and rushing to the bathroom, you squeeze your thighs together and hold in that pee and clutch that soda cup filled with water that used to be ice and hang in there until after the credits roll. It’s worth it.

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