Review | Iron Man 3
When Robert Downey Jr revealed to the world his alter ego of Iron Man on the character’s first movie, an icon of modern cinema was born. Five years (whoa, it’s been that long?) and an estabilished comic book universe on the big screen later, Iron Man 3 arrives to continue Marvel’s grand saga, and ends up bringing an unexpected tone of conclusion. Even if it pales against the other movies released by the studio, it’s able to explore new roads to the magnetic main character.
The plot starts with Tony Stark suffering with ansiety attacks and an irretrievable paranoia, as a consequence of the events depicted in The Avengers. Once again, danger comes knocking on his door (quite literally) when he meets figures from his obscure past (two characters portraited by Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall) while he also deals with the presence of a terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who threats his personal life and the safety of his beloved Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).
After the billionaire success from Marvel Studios’ superteam (which has already put the rival DC Comics rushing the forthcoming Justice League), it’s up to writer and director Shane Black tackle on Jon Favreau’s old position (he returns here as Happy Hogan, now with a few extra pounds) and deliver a movie on the same level as its predecessors. As a shared universe piece, it makes little sense, since – even avoiding Iron Man 2‘s major flaw (the masturbatory references to a new assembling of the Avengers) – it presents incoherences inside its own universe: if the president of the United States of America is in danger, why not call Captain AMERICA or the agents of SHIELD? Sure it’s an Iron Man movie, but if Marvel insisted so much with the interconnected stories formula, it should’ve at least demanded its writer a proper justification to the absence of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) on the situation.
And the problems are even bigger if we analyse Iron Man 3 as a solo movie. Taking inspiration from a comic book arc called “Extremis”, Drew Perce and Black’s scrip fails by betting on villains extremislly extremally stupids, consisting in genetically modified humans who posses the hability to spit lava and even regenerate lost members – weird figures, even considering that Stark faced electric whiplashes and an army of aliens. The story core is equally strayed with the new characters: Rebecca Hall’s botany doctor is completely drowsy and does little to prove relevance, while Guy Pearce does come inspired as Aldrich Killian, a stunner villainous figure, but with goals never truly explored properly.
But what fans were truly expecting, was the big premiere of the hero’s arch-enemy: the Mandarin. Played by the versatile Ben Kingsley, the terrorist’s methods of media display form an efficient picture of US’ current “war on terror” (the comparison between the country and a fortune cookie is brilliant) without appealing to ufanism tactics, even with a hero called Iron Patriot (the new armor used by Don Cheadle’s Rhodes), who is here a constant target of well deserved jokes, such as “He’s called the Iron Patriot now, as if the collors were too sutile”. In fact, Colonel James Rhodes’ subplot is much more exciting than the main character.
Even with a great performance from Robert Downey Jr, exploring Tony Stark’s desperation with surprising results, the writers launch him in a tedious investigation through the Tennessse state, even including an unusual side kick to the hero – who in the absence of armors, transforms himself into some sort of McGyver, as his bizarre infiltration in a mansion with weapons built with a department store’s itens show us. Not to mention the amount of coincidences: of all the 6,456 million people Stark could meet in Tennesse, he ends up – of all the places – sheltering inside a mechanic’s workshop…
So, even with spectacular action scenes that impresses with the choreography of different armors working simultaneously, Iron Man 3 fails on plot devices. Surprising for the changes in the main character and the bold new paths he can take from now on, but ultimately reveals itself as the worst in the trilogy. But the fans needn’t worry, because even with the sudden ending, we’ll certainly see Robert Downey Jr in his iconic role again.
Obs: The 3D conversion is reasonable.
Obs II: As usual with Marvel movies, there is a funny scene after credits.
Obs III: The ending credits are incredibly stylish!
Obs IV: In addition to being McGyver, Tony Stark is also James Bond now. During the projection’s end, we see the phrase “Tony Stark Will Return”.