Iron Man 3
Directed by Shane Black
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Jon Favreau, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale and Ashley Hamilton.
Review by Adam Shaw
As spoiler free as I can make it. If you’ve seen the trailers, you are safe here.
For most of the world Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off last week with the release of Iron Man 3. With the success of last summer’s The Avengers people have been flocking to their local theaters in anticipation that this newest installment will be even greater than those before it. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I, personally, enjoyed Iron Man 3 more than The Avengers.
Compared to the last solo Iron Man movie, Shane Black gives us a script that hits the beats and keeps the story rolling right along. While every scene may not be as exciting as others, I didn’t feel that there were any dull moments. Be it humor, action, terror, or good ol’ strong character interaction, there is something in every scene that keeps your eyeballs glued to the screen.
I saw Iron Man 3 for the second time last night, and I really had to get up and use the restroom. (I promise this isn’t a gross story.) Now I could have gotten up at any time, since I had already seen the film. The problem was I was going to wait for a slow scene, but there really aren’t that many.
While Iron Man 2 was largely a two-dimensional story about a still selfish Tony Stark fixing himself, Iron Man 3 adds more depth and emotion (and action). Things are very personal for Mr. Stark this time around, as the people he cares about are all in danger. I believe that Tony develops more over the course of this movie than he did in the previous movies. Sometimes to really build up a character, you need to strip them down to their bones.
Robert Downey Jr. brings the same level of awesomeness that he has always brought to the character, but this time around we get to see him being an action star outside of CGI armor as well. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley also deliver as the films adversaries. Kingsley is frighteningly entertaining to watch.
The real show stealer this time around is the young Ty Simpkins. Simpkins plays Harley Keener, a young boy that Tony meets after crashing and dragging his suit through the snow. RDJ and Simpkins have some really awesome chemistry going. It’s a small role, but important to the progression of Tony’s character evolution.
Iron Man 3 is not without its flaws, but I find them to be very nitpicky. Honestly not even worth mentioning, as they don’t take away from the enjoyment of the film. We get one of the most engaging popcorn superhero movies ever, and we see some of the best character development done in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so far. The entire cast and crew have delivered a fantastic kickoff to Marvel’s Phase 2. It’s well worth your ten bucks. Where I live in Japan, it costs $24 to see it in 3D. I’ve been twice.
Fun little trivia. The Japanese name for Iron Man sounds more like “ion man.” The Japanese have an actual word for the element “iron” (testu, 鉄), but with western heroes they usually don’t translate the names. It’s also not because of the stereotypical “L” or “R” mispronunciations. The Japanese actually already use the word “iron” in their language, but it refers to the handheld tool to get rid of wrinkles in your clothes, so they changed the pronunciation of Mr. Stark’s alter ego.