By Jack Rico
Headed to the movies today? Is ‘Iron Man 3’ in IMAX 3D on your menu list? If you are 25 and under then you are going to absolutely go bonkers for it. But if you are over 30, the fireworks will be a bit more restrained. You see, when one gets older, kid jokes are only so funny. You need a much more layered joke or gag to trigger the laughs. ‘Iron Man 3’ as fun and funny as it is, will do a better job playing to the teenage and young adult crowds than the mature grown ups preferring to see another sequel of The Dark Knight.
What you need to know about this third part is that it is ‘Stark-centric’. Most of the movie revolves around Tony Stark and not the Iron Man suit, which is never a good sign, but because it is Robert Downey Jr., the exception is validated. In this second sequel of the Iron superhero, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Downey Jr.) finds his world reduced to rubble by a malevolent enemy – The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) – and must use his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him as he seeks to destroy the enemy and his cohorts.
The film is by no means perfect. It actually has several shortcomings that I cannot seem to shake. The first is the juvenile comedy. Misled once again from the trailer, I thought I was going to see a Christopher Nolan version of Iron Man. What I got was an assault of adolescent jokes (Kingsley cracking about the stench of his bathroom event) and rarely a serious moment that didn’t stray towards a joke. The second is probably my biggest pet peeve – the complete lack of respect for the Iron Man suit. Director Shane Black prostituted and devalued the specialness of the suit by allowing 4 other people apart from Stark himself to wear it. If anyone can wear it then the desire to invest oneself in it is completely erased. You no longer care in Stark, he becomes just a normal dude and that is a whole other movie. Also, the invincibility of the armor is absolutely cheapened by damaging itself at the touch of heat, a punch, etc. If the armor is going to be that weak why should I believe in the hero who wears it? You minus well be Batman. And that is also another movie. You see where I’m going with this? Thirdly, there was this storyline that came out of nowhere about Stark and a boy named Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) that just seemed to throw the path of the storyline out of whack. As cute as the kid was, Black exhausted its welcome by giving the two too much dialogue. In one noteworthy moment for me, Black decided to include a Latino Vice President in the White House, played by Miguel Ferrer, but only to see the Latino’s status wash away. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.
I wanted to love “Iron Man 3,” but the most I got to do with it was like it. This is actually a good review. But I would have preferred to have Black create a more intimidating villain, left the jokes to a minimum instead of the core attraction and allowed a one on one ferocious battle in the finale. I’d be writing a much more effusive review hereif Black gave the film these touches.
“Iron Man 3” is presented in IMAX 3D. The 3D seemed non existent, perhaps because it was converted rather than shot in 3D. The IMAX experience is always great though and worth the extra cash. So I would strongly recommend an IMAX 2D experience for your money.
Lastly, the curiosity behind every fanboy, post-Avengers, was whether individual Marvel films will be able to generate the same cinematic experience or interest as the superhero group movie. “Iron Man 3” has answered that question convincingly as it looks like it might break $1 billion dollars when it is all said and done. Opening weekend will be fueled by family viewing and perhaps reach $175 million in three days domestically. Let’s see if “Man of Steel,” the competition’s offering, will deliver the same results, and if “Thor 2” can too by the end of the year. From the looks of it, global moviegoers won’t allow superhero movies to vanish.
Rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.
Release Date: 2013-05-03
Screenplay: Shane Black, Drew Pearce
Director(s): Shane Black
Distributor: Marvel, Disney
Film Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi