Review: Iron Man 3

Series: Marvel Cinematic Universe: #7

Series: MCU Phase 2: #1

For some reason, I Iron Man 3 as a fairly week entry, but looking back to when I last watched it in theaters (see below)… I actually liked it about as much then I do now.

On one hand, I really do still think they absolutely nailed Robert Downey Jr. as Iron man. He can do both funny and broken pretty well and has more than a few chances for each this time around. I know now (and didn’t then) that there wouldn’t be an Iron Man 4, but he still did an amazing job in this last solo outing and in the teams ups yet to come.

Otherwise, I actually really liked Gwyneth Paltrow’s as Pepper Potts. It’s good seeing her as both a foil for Iron Man and actually being a badass in her own right.

Ben Kingsley still steal the show, although this time around I’m coming to see just how much range there was in Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. He pulled down on his luck geek up through brilliant and crazy mirror to Tony Stark all the way to fire breathing baddie pretty darn well so far as action movies go.

One that I didn’t mention last time around, but made all the more apparent I think having just seen in her in Godzilla vs Kong) was Rebecca Hall’s performance as Maya Hansen. She does smart conflicted scientist very well in both films.

Plotwise, it was a fascinating way to deal with PTSD, even if does feel a bit sudden (although PTSD can do that) and could really have used a bit deeper dive (not really room for that in a summer blockbuster).

Other than that, feel free to give my previous review a look. I haven’t really changed my opinion much, but it’s interesting to see the two 8 years apart. A lot can change in 8 years… Both so far as the MCU and in my own life. Some things change, some things stand the tests of time.

I think this time around, I’ll slot it in just below the Avengers on both lists. I think Iron Man 3 might actually be the better movie in a lot of ways, but the Avengers I think wins just on sheer spectacle. Feel free to disagree. :) It’s all made up numbers anyways.

Original 2013 review:

Go see Iron Man 3. I’ll wait.

(There may be spoilers below, but hopefully nothing that wasn’t already in the trailers.)

Based on the trailers, I wasn’t quite sure about Iron Man 3. I hoped it would at least be better than the second (which I originally enjoyed but on later viewings, particularly post Avengers, seems rather lacking) and at least as good as the first (still probably my favorite of the stand alone Marvel movies). I’m still digesting this new entry and will probably have to watch it at least a few more times to be fair, but I think it may actually do just that. It may even be better…

As always, Robert Downey Jr. did an excellent job. he brought a touch of humor to the scenes that sorely needed it and played a worn Iron Man remarkably well. I’ve heard rumors that he may not do an Iron Man 4 (although there’s still the second Avengers) and, honestly, if that was the case, I wouldn’t be that upset. I’m not sure where they could go with Iron Man after this and I thought they did a pretty good, really surprisingly good job of wrapping everything up.

As for the rest of the cast, I think this was Gwyneth Paltrow’s best Iron Man movie as well. I won’t give too much away, but her parts in the middle (around the attack on Stark’s house we see in the trailers) and at the end are amazing. And she really helps ground the movie in her reactions to Stark’s behavior. It’s about time.

Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin really steals the show though, for the parts that he’s in. I haven’t actually read his parts from the comic books, but I’m pretty sure that the movie version is a fairly significant departure–and it works great. He really has a strong progression throughout the movie and Ben Kingsley did an amazing job on that.

It was a little weird that the movie is set around Christmas time, particularly given an early summer release. I realize that it’s very much a summer blockbuster and they they never would have gone for a winter release, but it’s still a little disorienting. Perhaps I’ll re-watch it again in about 7 months and see if it changes at all. 😄

One thing that did seem a little strange was how they basically went directly against the idea of the second film though. In the second, the entire point seemed to be that a man in a suit would always be superior to an AI-controlled robot. Yet that’s pretty much what saves the day when Stark activates his ‘reinforcements’. Theoretically I guess they could have been controlled by Stark himself somehow, but I think the strong implication is that Jarvis is in the driver’s seat (which is really pretty impressive when you think about it…).

On an only semi-related note, I knew that since I was seeing it opening weekend, the theater would be crowded. I was a little amazed though at just how many young kids there were though. I’d say easily half of the audience was under the age of 13… And there was even at least one infant that I saw. Really, that’s a decision that every parent has the right to make and I can’t make it for them–but think about it this way, the movie isn’t going anywhere. It will still be there when they’re older.

Overall, Iron Man 3 takes my top spot. It’s great fun, particularly if you’ve seen all of the other Marvel features. It may or may not end up the best movie of the year, but given what’s in theaters right now, it’s certainly worth your time and money.