Editor’s Notes: Iron Man 3 is now out of Blu-ray and DVD. Special Features include ‘Iron Man 3 Unmasked’, Exclusive Look at Thor: The Dark World, Deleted and Extended Scenes, and ‘Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter’.
Iron Man 3 is a direct follow-on to the mammoth-grossing Avengers Assemble and faces the difficult job of living up to its predecessor’s incredible successes. Despite this obstacle, Marvel had little to worry about as far as box office success was concerned; Iron Man is the most fruitful of the Marvel superheroes, and the only one thus far to get a trilogy all to himself. Whether it’s Robert Downey Jr’s likeable and comedic arrogance that reels in the audiences or Pepper Potts’ levelheaded logic, Iron Man 3 has become one of the most commercially prosperous films of 2013 despite causing major upset amongst die-hard Marvel fans through its blatant dismissal of the comic books.
Iron Man 3 has become one of the most commercially prosperous films of 2013 despite causing major upset amongst die-hard Marvel fans through its blatant dismissal of the comic books.
Following the traumatic events that occurred in New York, Tony Stark is back in Malibu suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Prone to severe insomnia, Stark finds resolve in his workshop, building ever stronger and faster suits, suits that are now fully operational independent of his being inside them. His stress is only amplified by the reign of terror orchestrated by the mysterious Mandarin, hell-bent on making America suffer through the staging of violent attacks all over the country. After Stark’s hotheadedness leads to the destruction of his personal world at the hands of the Mandarin, he embarks on a one-man quest to settle the score – but at what cost?
Iron Man 3 is not so much an Iron Man film as a Tony Stark film; surprisingly, the actual Iron Man with Tony inside features very little in the film. The narrative is more concerned with the question that has been haunting Stark all along: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man? Unsurprisingly, Robert Downey Jr. delivers another satisfyingly comedic and arrogant performance as Stark and his character’s story ark is compelling and intriguing; the audience goes through the torment of his past battles with him and can resonate with the feelings of concern he is now burdened with. But the praise for the narrative ends there; the rest of the story is a mere regurgitation of Pixar’s The Incredibles, which is something along the lines of: too big for his boots superhero ignores up and coming genius who then returns years later to wreak havoc on said superhero’s life. The plot simply reeks of unoriginality, staining the entire film with an overtone of déjà vu. Moreover, the script is plagued with cavernous plot holes that at some points during the film insult the intelligence of the audience. For example, the total absence of S.H.I.E.L.D remains unexplained, despite their depiction in Avengers Assemble as omniscient and omnipotent. Surely if a terrorist hatched a plan to publicly destroy the foundation of a country, S.H.I.E.L.D would be on the scene in a flash but alas; they are nowhere to be found in Iron Man 3.
Along with the plot holes, the narrative of Iron Man 3 is riddled with clichés, notably the obligatory ‘kid sidekick’. This is alleviated slightly by Stark’s candid and biting humour that reminds the audience that not all is lost in Iron Man 3.
Along with the plot holes, the narrative of Iron Man 3 is riddled with clichés, notably the obligatory ‘kid sidekick’. This is alleviated slightly by Stark’s candid and biting humour that reminds the audience that not all is lost in Iron Man 3. In lieu of the average script, the film is also in contention with Man of Steel for the award of Most Pointless Explosions in a Film. Lengthy and mind-numbing action scenes visually assault the audience and Shane Black has substituted such generic action for the thoughtful and intelligent dialogue that made the first film such a joyous success, along with cheesy one-liners and an over-abundance of comic relief moments. It seems now that fans of the franchise must now accept that Marvel films are becoming more action-driven, than character-driven.
The largest criminal endeavour of Iron Man 3 however lies with its preposterous underuse of Ben Kingsley; his character is reduced to nothing but a forgettable laugh (or cry in the case of the die-hard fans) for a mere moment; focus is instead laid thick upon Guy Pearce’s one-dimensional and implausible villain, Aldrich Killian; no depth is written into the film’s ‘baddies’ who remain child-like in their development. They are simply hell-bent on chaos with no proper logic behind their actions, likening Iron Man 3 to a children’s film. This comparison is only heightened by the writer’s abandonment of Stark’s alcoholism story ark that is present in the comics, a story thread that would have added an effectively human and personal depth to a script devoid of such qualities.
In summary, Iron Man 3 is a bitter disappointment. Once again, a Hollywood studio has taken all of the potential from comic book storylines and thrown them in the bin, replacing them with a crudely fashioned, blunt and unenjoyable action film resonant of the typical Hollywood formula. The crowning glory, if indeed there is one, is awarded to Downey Jr. who, despite the script’s restrictions in this area, manages to bring and maintain some level of depth to his character. The production efforts are commendable in Iron Man 3, but next to a truly diabolical script, they were never going to be the saving grace.
[notification type=”star”]44/100 ~ BAD. Iron Man 3 is a bitter disappointment. Once again, a Hollywood studio has taken all of the potential from comic book storylines and thrown them in the bin, replacing them with a crudely fashioned, blunt and unenjoyable action film resonant of the typical Hollywood formula.[/notification]