I had a lot of expectations coming into Iron Man 3. It was the first film post Avengers and the first film of "Phase 2". How do I feel about the film? Well, it's a bit complicated. I'll try my best not to give anything away for those who haven't seen it yet. On one hand, I enjoyed the film very much and thought it to be much better than the second Iron Man film. On the other hand, it kind of left me a bit disappointed and I'm pretty sure Iron Man 3 left a very divided audience behind.
It wasn't the type of movie the previews had made me believe it to be. It definitely had a much different tone than the previous two, given the fact that another director has stepped in. I also felt it was geared towards a more mature audience that the kid-friendly Iron Man 1 and 2. Robert Downey Jr. as always, is the best actor to play Tony Stark. For me, this is the best casting ever done in Hollywood. There's no doubting that. HE IS IRON MAN! Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin simply steals the show in every scene that he's in. He's such a great and versatile actor, but I wished more could have been done with his character. Guy Pearce however, I'm a bit 50/50 on. I liked his portrayal of the character he played, Aldrich Killian, but after certain events that I can't really say, I couldn't take him seriously anymore. I was also a bit let down by Iron Patriot aka War Machine aka James Rhodes portrayed by Don Cheadle. Though Cheadle was great on screen, I felt his character was a bit underutilized which was also the same feeling I got about his character in Iron Man 2. Why does he always get the short end of the stick? Rhodey's a great character and would have loved to see him (as War Machine) in action more. I love Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. She is the gravity that keeps Stark's feet planted on the ground and a great reminder to keep his reality in check. Definitely great to see Paltrow in this role again. John Favreau, who was the director of the first two Iron Man films and plays Happy Hogan in all three, adds humor to the film. Rebecca Hall, however, I cared less about her character. It wasn't so much of her portrayal that made me care less about her character, but it was more of the way her character was written. I felt her backstory could have been explored more and unfortunately we're left with a one-dimensional character.
What I like about this film is that it was more about Tony Stark, the man, and not Tony Stark, the Iron Man. It brought Tony out of his comfort zone and made him realize that's it's not about the tech and all the gadgets he has at his disposal, but about what he can do with the knowledge he has to overcome the odds. The plot is based on the Extremis story arc from the comics. If you're someone who follows the comics wholeheartedly, you'll be left a bit disappointed by some of the [controversial?] decisions made by the filmmakers. But watching it as a movie goer or film enthusiast, you'll be left quite entertained and full of laughs. The action and the visuals are stunning, and even more so on the IMAX screen. Not everyone who sees an Iron Man movie or comic book movie for that matter is familiar with the comic books. Iron Man 3 definitely has something for everyone, comic book fan or not. If I were to choose the best of the three films, it would still be the first Iron Man movie. But this one comes a close second and I definitely got my money's worth.
Did you enjoy the film? Let me know in the comments below.
Final Review: 3.5 out of 5
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