Monday, May 6, 2013

Movie Review : Iron Man 3

Round 3 for Robert Downey Jr. in the title role and the first one after the Avengers movie of last year. The last entry in the series left a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouth even though it made a boat load of money at the box office. This movie tries to restore the faith back into the franchise.

The film starts off with a flashback to 1999 and explains how every action has a reaction and what we do in the past can and most likely will affect our future for better or worse. Robert talks to and blows off an aspiring scientist for time with a young lady and you just know that it will bite him in the ass somewhere in the future. We jump forward to present day and after helping his fellow Avengers defeat the alien forces Tony has major sleeping disorders and panic attacks. All of this causes tension with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts ( Gwyneth Paltrow ) who feels that she is being ignored.  The one thing that focuses him is the new threat that goes by the name of The Mandarin ( Ben Kingsley ). The Mandarin is a world terrorist and has been setting off apparent bombs around the world to teach our President some much needed lessons in his eyes. Tony ends up threatening The Mandarin and in turn he is attacked at home by The Mandarin's henchmen which literally sink his home into the Pacific Ocean. Tony is believed dead by the world but in reality he was sent miles away to Tennessee by his A.I., Jarvis. He meets a young boy that helps him investigate an unexplained bombing within the town that might be linked to one of The Mandarin's attacks on the U.S.

As he is rebuilding his iron suit and investigating the bombing he is confronted by the henchman again who seem to have regenerating powers which we find out the process to this is called Extremis. Their bodies are basically walking furnaces and they can melt anything they touch. Obviously that is not a good combination with any type of metal. Even when you take them down after awhile they get back up after self repairing themselves whether it's trauma to the body or missing limbs. Once he gathers more information Tony realizes this all leads back to a Aldrich Killian ( Guy Pearce ) the scientist he snubbed 14 years ago. Aldrich has figured out how to harness for the most part regeneration power and apply it to people to do his dirty work.

Tony is soon kidnapped by Aldrich where we find out the truth behind Aldrich and his connection to The Mandarin. So now Aldrich has kidnapped Tony along with Pepper and the President along with taking over the armor of The Iron Patriot worn by James Rhodes ( Don Cheadle ). Tony has to decide who to rescue, Pepper or the President as he can't do both. Aldrich plans to kill the President live on national tv as lesson to the U.S. and the world. The climax of the battle takes place on old abandoned oil rig with the help of James, a fleet of Iron Man Suits and even Pepper against Aldrich and his augmented henchmen.

Verdict : The second film in the series was a major disappointment compared to the first one but with the momentum of the Avengers film this Iron Man flick brought back the faith in the franchise. There is an "ending" that might make this Robert's last appearance in a solo Iron Man flick but the I believe the franchise will continue. Robert is to Iron Man like Sean Connery is to James Bond. They might be replaced but they represented the role the best. Pepper is given more screen time this go around and as it is much deserved she does not waste it. More than arm candy she gets down and dirty and even saves some lives. James though integral to the plot feels more like screen filler to me but that is not a bad thing. Having Guy play one of the two main bad guys was a good move as compared to Whiplash from the previous film he gives a more in depth character to hate. Ben as The Mandarin left an odd feeling from his performance for me and you have to see the film to maybe see what I am feeling. Ben is a great actor but there is a turning point for me that just seemed odd if you know the comic book history of The Mandarin.

So with the bad taste of the 2nd film still in our minds but the renewed hopes from the Avengers movie of last year we held out hope for this edition of Iron Man. And it delivered. While not as good as the first one or The Avengers, this one was leaps and bounds better than the second one. Another great performance by Robert and the supporting actors raised their game as well. The only complaint I can give is the situation with The Mandarin and the knowledge of the source material but other than that you will enjoy this film. A strong THUMBS UP and a recommendation to a viewing on the big screen to get the full effect.

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