Review: Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 is the newest film in the Iron Man series and has all familiar cast members return for their roles. The film is led by new director Shane Black who did very well to create an extremely entertaining third film for the Iron Man trilogy. There are many changes made to the film in tone compared to the last two and many things still the same. But this film as an entertainment piece is definitely one to marvel at and enjoy.
The idea behind the story of Iron Man 3 is basically the Mandarin played by Ben Kingsley is causing terror all over America through destruction of buildings and mass bombings. Eventually this captures Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr’s) attention and Iron Man must stop him before everyone he knows is hurt. This is all I can say about the plot without spoiling anything. But for an Iron Man film I found the plot in this one to be much more diverse in both character development of Tony Stark and also the thematic and meaningful themes that the movie tries to portray such as terrorism, bombings, politics and Iron Man’s position in the world. The movie as something of depth had a lot to it, and I think it really made Tony Stark as a character stand out.
If you missed the Avengers I suggest you see it before watching this film as it picks up on the plot endings of that movie more than Iron Man 2’s plot. Tony Stark is struggling a lot as a person in coping with the events after The Avengers. Stark struggles with anxiety issues and must overcome them to be the hero he needs to be. This is affecting his relationship with Pepper and also with his friends as he seems to set up barriers and is avoiding personal contact with those he loves.
It is not only the character depth that makes Iron Man 3 interesting but also the enigmatic nature of the villain known as the Mandarin. Due to the plot’s themes such as terrorism and bombings, the villain is much more realistic and intimidating to watch compared to that of Iron Man 2’s. This movie to me seems more real and current with what’s being reflected in the world at the moment due to its themes.
I won’t go into the plot to much other than what I have mentioned, but I consider it to be a very strong point of the film. The way Iron Man/Tony Stark is portrayed along with the presentation and threatening villain really make this movie stand out. As superhero pieces go, this is very good and very relevant. In saying this, I would also mention though that it is more a film about Tony Stark and his character, his change through the series from the party style playboy he was to where he is now and the expectations of him to be the hero he has built himself to be. Other characters such as Rhodes (Don Cheadle) or Pepper (Gwenyth Paltrow) are there to help him but are not so much the focus, all the attention is very much on Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
In terms of the directing by Shane Black who has only ever directed one movie before this; I wonder where he got all this talent from and why he hasn’t directed any more movies? While Shane Black has written many things such as the Lethal Weapon series. He has only directed one other film before this which was Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which was a good movie but not the same in scale that Iron Man 3 was. Directing wise this was something great. There is a different feel slightly to Iron Man 3 in comparison to that of the first two noticeably in the theme music and song choices but also in the camera angles and emphasis on action.
Shane Black did well to simultaneously switch the tone of the film from the comedic, to dramatic, to action based scenes seamlessly for the viewer. Everything was very well focused and camera angles were well positioned to emphasise different characters on screen. Not only this but more; lighting was done well and so to was the special effects. With regards to pacing, Iron Man 3 is quick. At 130 minutes long the movie never really slowed down. No sections in the film felt slow and there was no question of boredom throughout as a viewer. Even in the dramatic/romantic scenes which typically are the slower scenes in the film, the feeling of being slow was not there. Iron Man 3 was a very well directed entertainment film and is likely to be enjoyed by any viewer.
Acting wise Iron Man 3 was exceptionally good. Robert Downry Jr. I think did his best work as Tony Stark during this film. Mixed with the much more interesting character story RDJ had a lot to work with and I thought it really gave RDJ a lot to really make his performance stand out. Gwenyth Paltrow was good in her role, but I think it might of been good if there was just a bit more character inclusion of Pepper Potts as she could have used a bit more screen time, but was good nevertheless. Don Cheadle did well with his role as well, but I guess suffered a bit more in screen time appearance than Pepper did and probably needed a bit more to make his character more memorable.
As for the new cast members, the very threatening Mandarin played by Ben Kingsley was very convincing especially for the first half of the film. His menacing voice really set up the films tone and feel of terrorism which helped to keep the film interesting. Guy Pearce also joined in for his role as Aldrich Killian and was very good I must say for what he was in Iron Man 3 and played a very convincing character.
In terms of the musical score and presence of music Iron Man 3. The film had a mix of both pop music and theatrical music. The theatrical music was good, but sounded a bit like something heard in many superhero movies before, it matched what was going on well but I didn’t feel it was anything interesting. As for the more pop music that was in the film I feel a bit mixed with song choices particularly during the beginning of the film. If anything was to be chosen that made Iron Man 3 different from the other two before it, it was the music. I wouldn’t say the music choices were bad, I would just say they were different. For example Iron Man 1 and 2 had a very heavy ACDC influence on screen in which particularly in Iron Man 2 were very present. In this third film ACDC themes aren’t present and as a fan I felt they were missed.
Special effect and action sequences were many in Iron Man 3. If any person is watching Iron Man 3 just for action, shooting, explosions and building destruction I’m sure they will enjoy Iron Man 3 as it had it all. Iron Man as a unit is tested quite a lot in this film and you bear witness to much destruction from the villains and the hero.
Overall I felt that Iron Man 3 was an exceptionally good entertainment piece. I would say that it was a step above Iron Man 2 in quality of story and had very good character development of Tony Stark. The villains were very well done and provided a very intense film experience for the viewer. The themes were much more interesting in this film I think than other Iron Man films of the past and the acting was easily very impressive. Shane Black as a new director did very well with the movie and were he to make another in this genre, I would see it. Iron Man 3 is a must see film for any fan of the series or anyone wanting a good entertainment experience at the cinema’s.