Sunday, May 12, 2013

Iron Man 3

After a tough, tough week of finals, it's so great to get back to writing on here. Sorry to keep you all waiting, but I will be playing catch up over the next couple of weeks, so check in regularly for new posts!

After the disaster that was Iron Man 2 and the amazingness that was The Avengers, I didn't really know what the heck to expect with Iron Man 3. The first Iron Man film was great, and Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect Tony Stark. However, once you have a bad sequel, you tend to follow that bad sequel with another bad sequel, and I thought Iron Man 3 may just be another bad sequel. From the trailers, I was not at all convinced that The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley, was going to be intimidating at all, and I cannot stand Guy Pearce, so the villains did not intrigue me whatsoever. My only confidence was found in Robert Downey Jr., who isn't a bad person to have confidence in.

Iron Man 3 brought with it a lot of twists and turns, and that excitement is what keeps people returning to the theater for these type of action shows (along with the millions in marketing and such). Amazingly, the twists in this film were actually pretty well done, particularly the utilization of the previously under-utilized Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). With a much calmer, less cocky Tony Stark, the door was opened for his relationship with Potts to become more than just an excuse for Iron Man to have a girl. Also, the scene of him going into space ("never to return") in The Avengers really made me care about their relationship, in a dorky "I like comic book films" kind of way. The conflict with the villains did seem a bit insignificant, particularly now that we know Iron Man just has to call his Avengers friends if he really needs help. Nevertheless, the focus of this film was not the conflict with the villains but rather the relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. A much simpler Iron Man made for a much simpler story, which aided in the twistiness of the twists.

For the most part, I either really loved or really disliked the characters in Iron Man 3, so I didn't have a very hard time figuring the positives and negatives...

As I said before, I cannot stand Guy Pearce. I don't really understand why I don't like him, but I don't. Unfortunately for him, my opinion of him did not change after his performance as scientist-turned-baddy, Aldrich Killian. He just wasn't very frightening nor was he cool or clever. The villainous roles were just a big miss for me, with Iron Man 3... and that rhymes. Also, while some people may be fans of Don Cheadle's Rhodes character, but I just don't care for him in that role. Terrence Howard was much better in that role, but, really, War Machine is a boring sidekick, in my opinion. Lastly, I thought the focus that was given to Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan was unnecessary and did nothing but ad to the length of the film.

Of course, as expected, Robert Downey Jr. was his amazingly hilarious self, and, if anyone else ever plays Iron Man, they will not do the role justice. He has, single-handedly, taken Iron Man from an average super hero to Marvel's go-to guy, and overcoming Spiderman is not an easy task. Additionally, the huge increase in screen time for Paltrow's Potts really helped both characters become more than they could ever be alone. Even with the greatness that is Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr., my absolute favorite part of this film was Ty Simpkin's Harley Keener, who became Iron Man's little minion and had the same sarcastic attitude as Tony Stark. As a sucker for child actors, I thought he did a really great job in the role, and I can't wait to see him in future films.

Few things make me happier than to see the theater filled to the brim with butts and excitement. Iron Man 3 will probably have the biggest opening weekend of the summer, if I had to guess, and, as a result the theater was a happening place last Friday night! Actiony, super hero films would not be nearly as good without the enthusiasm of a large crowd, so that definitely improved my Iron Man 3 experience. Also, it did not hurt that the movie was really great. Downey Jr. fit the mold perfectly, yet again, and I hope that he chooses to play Iron Man again in the future. Usually, by the time of the third film of a franchise, I am ready for the towel to be thrown in, but Iron Man is unique. Not only is Downey Jr.'s super hero portrayal great, but, unlike most super heroes, Iron Man brings so many laughs, much of which is attributed to his wit. With the scientific background and the charm of a multi-billionaire, Iron Man is more able to ground himself in reality than most (non-Batman) super heroes. He is able to accomplish this without the "dark"ness of Batman, and that is something that should be recognized. I give Iron Man 3 3.54 out of 5 stars.