Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Iron Man 3 Review


In 2008 we were greeted with one of the best comic book movies of all time, then in 2010 a sequel happened and it kinda felt like a mixed bag. So is the latest installment in the Iron Man franchise able to live up to the awesomeness of the original or will it be the worst among the three?

Iron man 3 rights nearly all of the wrongs of Iron Man 2, and the ones it misses out on are not bad enough to hinder the overall quality of film. But where it falters is at having its own shortcomings that prevents it from truly reaching the heights of the 1st film.

No cause for concern though, as it keeps the thrills and wisecracks coming at just the right time and once it starts, there’s just no relenting.

There was this little movie that came out a while ago called The Avengers. This is a direct follow-up to that independent low-budget cult film. We see Tony rebuild his life after the events in New York.

The focus is squarely back on Tony Stark, and Robert Downey Jr. is in top form as Tony Stark. All the traits and eccentricities that we missed around the last time are back in full effect. RDJ’s performance is just so effortless, the man simply embodies Tony Stark. Dare I say his performance in this is even better than in the 1st part.

By now it is impossible to imagine the character being played by anyone other than RDJ. At this point in a franchise, the leading man is wont to display signs of weariness or that he's only doing it for the paycheck – nope, not here. Downey Jr., armed with a new batch of one-liners and an even bigger new batch of armored outfits, is having as much fun with the role as ever.

RDJ gets a multi- layered role and he performs with absolute finesse. His smirk and those classic wisecracks amuse you the most.

The heart of this story really is Tony Stark finding out that the world isn't always about himself.

Can the superhero get his act together?       

It answers the oft-asked question, does man make the suit or suit makes the man?


Sir Ben Kingsley is all kinds of awesome. He is a class act as The Mandarin. His character is eerie, creepy and stunning to the end... I love that the man can give you a surprise you don't see coming --- and keep a straight face about himself.

Guy Pearce shines in his roles as Aldrich Killian. He was pitch perfect.

Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen is also good but her roll is brief. She is one of those actresses who plays "hot scientist" without a hitch.

Ty Simpkins as Harley is a delight and his scenes with Tony have the most heart in the film and he and RDJ share excellent chemistry

Don Cheadle as Rhodey is better this time. Still, he is no Terrence Howard. (Also, Terrence Howard was the highest paid cast member in the 1st movie!).


The action here's slicker than what we've already seen from the earlier movies.

The film has some of the best action set-pieces of the Marvel Studios movies (X – Men and Spider-Man don’t come under Marvel Studios productions and my personal favourites are from the Spider-man trilogy) barring only The Avengers (that film has such humongous set-pieces, even the sequel is going to have difficulties surpassing it!).

The attack on the Stark Mansion has a mind-blowing intensity to it. The mid-air rescue of the flight crew is another well-shot and highly imaginative sequence, showing the heroics of Tony as well

The final act is where the film lets lose everything it has at its disposal. It goes on for just about the right time and is perfectly climactic unlike in the previous installment.

More importantly, it is not the massiveness of the scenes themselves that makes them epic, but it is the choreography of the fighting.



The score again like the other areas of this film is better than Iron Man 2’s score. It plays well with the tone of the scenes and is in no way jarring like every other blockbuster these days. It added some depth into it. I missed hearing AC/DC in this film though.


Yes, the comedy!

The comedy here is really solid. This is the funniest Marvel film till date. And has some of the sharpest and the most witty lines in any Superhero movie.

Some of the scenes are just flat out hilarious. RDJ delivers all the comedic lines with aplomb. Not far behind, Tony's newest armor Mark 42 provides the most laughs.

                           THE BAD

That’s not to say the film is without its bad points. At times, there is too much humor in the film. Sometimes, it doesn’t work and also comes across as forced a few times.

Most of you already know and it is not a spoiler, the film is based on the Extremis storyline in the comics and it did struck me as a little out of place in an Iron Man film but as a character remarks in the film, "Ever since the guy with the hammer fell out the sky, subtlety kind of went out the window."

Some of the Extremis parts didn’t fit the tone of the film at times and it just felt like I was watching a different film, one with mutants.
As with every other Marvel film, the 3D is just added for the heck of it and doesn’t add anything to the movie. But atleast the conversion is not bad.

This is the most digital looking Marvel film to date. And some of the frames during the action were weak and a tad bit unconvincing. There is no VFX by ILM on this movie and it shows. 

There are too many armors in this film, which is not a bad thing. But most of them just feel unpolished and rushed unlike in the 1st two movies and in the The Avengers. 

The action is shot well and comprehensible, and it gives you a nice sense of the geography of the action. The only gripe is the fast cuts which are a few too many and tend to irritate a little.

                        THE VERDICT

The first Iron Man movie, five years ago, was an immediate blockbuster mainly due to the casting of Robert Downey Jr. The smooth-talking actor with all the irony he had to offer fitted the eccentric billionaire (and philanthropist) Tony Stark perfectly well.

Right in the beginning as Tony Stark declares he is a 'changed man', you fear the character might lose out on its core personality. You wonder if Shane Black can pull it off, considering it's his first outing as an Iron Man director and it comes after the massive success of The Avengers. But Black breathes new life into the franchise by combining spectacular action, comedy and drama to get you entertained and emotionally invested in his characters, at the same time retaining its trademark charm.

The chemistry between Tony and Pepper has been one of the trademarks of the franchise. Tony’s relationship with Pepper matures in this one. Scenes where Tony confesses his fears to Pepper and his interaction with the small boy Harley are heart-rending. There is also a neat balance between action and humor, just like Iron Man from 2008.

The whole point of the movie is that Tony is Iron Man, not the suit of armor. Iron Man 3 is a character study on Tony Stark. The heart of this story really is him finding out that the world isn't always about himself.

The most interesting aspect that sets it apart from the Iron Man we've seen previously, however, is the depth that we delve into Stark's psyche, reminiscent perhaps of Bond in Skyfall. But, even in the darkest moments, it's never too far away from a one-liner.And that's what makes it enjoyable: it balances the serious with the playful, never straying too much into The Dark Knight or Batman Forever territory.

The appeal of Iron Man 3 is how it takes apart the status quo without feeling like it needed to just to stand out from the crowd, but doing so in a fashion that makes it seem like natural progression.

The film does throw a few surprises at the audience. And the purists are guaranteed to hate them. But in the context of the film’s universe, it seems like the logical thing to do.

There is also the customary post-credits scene. It doesn’t set up any other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is unlike the norm but it it pretty funny on it’s own and I enjoyed it.

It surpasses the gargantuan expectations & delivers on every level.

There probably isn't a better way to kick off Phase II of Marvel's Cinematic Universe than with this flick.