Monday, December 28, 2015

Tonight's Movie: Iron Man 3 (2013)

It's been a while since I last watched a Marvel film -- only because the intervening time has been spent catching up on the Marvel TV series AGENTS OF SHIELD! Since August I've worked my way through two and a half seasons of SHIELD, which I find tremendously entertaining.

I just saw IRON MAN 3 (2013), in which it's the both best and worst of times for billionaire genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). He's happy in a loving relationship with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who runs Stark Industries, but the uber-confident Tony suddenly finds himself having anxiety attacks. He's got post-traumatic stress from the Battle of New York (the climax of the previous year's THE AVENGERS), where he dealt with both aliens and a near-death experience; he's also terrified he won't be able to keep his beloved Pepper safe from the evil which lurks in the world.

That fear doesn't stop the typically over-the-top Tony from broadcasting his home address as part of a threat for revenge against the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), whose minions have landed Tony's loyal bodyguard Happy (Jon Favreau) critically injured in the hospital. Before you can blink, choppers firing missiles descend on Tony and Pepper's palatial Malibu estate, an attack they barely survive.

Tony soon learns the Mandarin is the least of his troubles, as a squad of unkillable, fire-breathing people put Tony, Pepper, and Tony's best pal Rhodey (Don Cheadle), now known as the "Iron Patriot," in danger.

As with the other Marvel movies, there's a lot to like in IRON MAN 3, not least Downey Jr.'s quippy performance as a most unusual hero; Tony is prone to both egocentrism and anxiety, but he's also strongly motivated by a sense of justice and wanting to protect those to whom he's close. His anxiety issues are especially understandable when one thinks about the fact that unlike some of the Avengers, Tony has no actual super powers, just an amazing suit and skill set.

As a side note, the evolution of Tony's character seems to be starting to set the stage for next year's CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016) in which Tony faces off with Captain America over government regulation of the Avengers.

I especially enjoyed Tony's relationship with Harley (Ty Simpkins), a young boy he meets during an unexpected "road trip" who helps him out.

All that said, this was my least favorite of the three IRON MAN films, as it had a somewhat darker tone, especially with Pepper in mortal danger, plus Tony and Pepper had very limited screen time together. I seem to be a bit unusual in that IRON MAN 2 is my favorite of the trilogy, though it's been good to hear from a couple folks in the comments to my review of that film who agreed with me!

I also didn't understand how Tony and Pepper were magically able to have their, shall we say "medical issues" resolved so simply at the end of the movie...

IRON MAN 3 was directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Black and Drew Pearce. The movie was filmed by John Toll. It runs two hours and 10 minutes.

The supporting cast includes Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Miguel Ferrer, and William Sadler. Paul Bettany returns as the voice of Tony's ever-helpful computer, Jarvis.

IRON MAN 3 has been released in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and as a single-title DVD. It can be streamed on Amazon Instant.

Parental Advisory: IRON MAN 3 is rated PG-13 for violence. As with other Marvel films, there are lots of battles but little blood; that said, I found some of the action more disturbing in this film than in previous Marvel movies.

The trailer is at IMDb.

Previous Marvel reviews: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011), CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014), IRON MAN (2008), IRON MAN 2 (2010), THOR (2011), THE AVENGERS (2012), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014), AGENT CARTER (2015), and ANT-MAN (2015).


Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

Don't forget Thor 2! :) My husband and daughters are big Marvel fans. I'm on the fringes, although I do like Thor.

Happy New Year!

9:13 PM  

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