When I set out to see Iron Man 3 I have to admit I was hoping for a rebound. I was very disappointed by the performances in the second film. I didn’t feel the film took me on the dark thrill ride the original had. I thought Mickey Rourke’s character was flat and Sam Rockwell only lent to the comedic timing of the film and not the overall vision. Seeing previews for the third with Ben Kingsley I was slightly more optimistic. I mean, this was the Sexy Beast himself Sir Ben Kingsley. Film royalty here. There is no way they could have screwed this film up! Or could they?
BEWARE, THERE ARE SOME INEVITABLE SPOILERS TO FOLLOW.
Now, Iron Man 3 did have everything you’d expect from a summer blockbuster that seem destined to crack the 1 billion dollar sales mark worldwide. There were beautiful sets and nicely choreographed fight scenes. There were a ton of explosions and 42 different versions of the Iron Man suit that make an appearance. There was humor and seriousness and half naked women. Sadly all these things can not aid the lackluster story packed in this over two hour drain.
What set Iron Man apart from all the other superhero movies before it is that it took itself seriously. There was a message to convey. What one man can hope to achieve can be fruitful if only they open their minds, humble their souls and focus on what is just. Along the way trial and error lend themselves to comedy but the overarching story is one of pain, ego, humility and triumph. Both sequels to this film fail miserably at conveying these messages. With the third, it totally derailed to what, in my opinion, can only be described as The Hangover Part IV. The only serious character in the entire film is Tony Stark. Everyone else is a punchline to Stark’s ego. Everything is a setup for a cheesy joke or uninspired pun. Happy , played by Jon Favreau, joke. Gweneth Paltrow, joke. Don Cheadle, joke. Guy Pearce, huge joke. The reason I wanted to see this picture was because Ben Kingsley was playing the bad guy. Ben Kingsley. But no, he was another joke just like the rest.
Why, in superhero stories, is the creation of super soldiers to terrorize the world the only goal of every super villain? It’s tired. It’s condescending. It’s lazy. Here we are treated to Guy Pearce’s, “I was a super nerdy scientist that no one cared for and brushed aside. Now I am a handsome leading man who all the women fawn over, and I want the world to pay for not loving me.” Is it me or was this all too familiar character portrayed in everyone’s favorite “Batman and Robin” by Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy? Is this really the best that Iron Man can deliver? A fire breathing, tattoo glowing Guy Pearce. Speaking of the super soldier serum, why doesn’t it work? How come on characters that the serum needs to work it does and on those it doesn’t they blow up? These aren’t purposeful. The film admits that the serum isn’t perfected and is still unstable. But it works perfectly on everyone that it needs to. This is absolutely absurd.
So now comes the part of the review where I sadly put the nail in the coffin of this depressing sequel when I point out the fact that Iron Man 3 is nothing more than a shiny version of a James Bond film. At the beginning of the film, Tony Stark’s experiences from what happened in New York (The Avengers film) have consumed him. He has been making suits to try to prepare himself for the inevitable return of aliens that want to destroy the Earth. To date he has crafted 42 different suits. Each with different abilities to fight said attack. Conveniently enough throughout the film each of the suits are needed to help win the day. Quite similar to Q developing weapons for James Bond that he will no doubt need later on in the episode. All I could think of is where the ejector seat in his car was or when the missile pen was going to be used. Oh, wait. There was a missile pen in the film. Nevermind.
Someone please explain to me how and why the film ends the way it does. Stark spends 2 long hours fighting The Mandarin only to make himself and Pepper Potts all better in a 2 minute narrated sequence at the end. Even the final scene at the end credits was a superficial joke. It didn’t tease anything like the previous films did. It was just some jokes for the audience with another character from the Marvel universe.
If this same exact film was made with Sylvester Stallone it would be scoring horribly and would have made a third of the money it has already at the box office. One one hand, that is a testament to Robert Downey Jr. On the other it speaks to how incredibly horrible this film is. Look, I am not saying that there aren’t any redeeming qualities. Tony Stark’s character flaws and hurdles were somewhat appealing. His interaction with a small town genius child that he needed to help him were interesting. Unfortunately, these subtleties were outnumbered by the hoax this comedy perpetrated on the moviegoers.
I rate the film as follows:
It is beautifully styled, polished, edited, sounded and presented.
Only the brittle details of Stark’s fear are interesting in the film.
Total 6 out of 10.
I don’t really have to say don’t see this film, because if you wanted to, you will. I can not save you from your fate. This is a rental, at best