Evan Burkey

Review: Iron Man 3

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Can Robert Downey Jr bring the snark yet again? I think you already know the answer.

No doubt about it, Iron Man has been an insanely popular franchise in Marvel’s giant list of popular comic films. Usually by the time movies get to number 3 or 4, the cracks start to show and the cash-in seems to rain supreme. While I don’t doubt that Marvel Studios can’t wait to get that fat movie check, I can easily say that Iron Man 3 is my favorite of the series.

The movie (very) loosely follows the plotline of Extremis, one of the best Iron Man arcs in recent history. A terrorist who calls himself The Mandarin begins attacking targets in the US, and Tony has to figure out how to stop him. Meanwhile, Tony must also deal with a nasty case of PTSD following the events of The Avengers, which is a neat plotline that is thrown in to give a nod to the continuity of the films. This is probably my favorite thing about Marvel’s big superhero movies. What happened in New York is a major plot point in Iron Man 3.

The film definitely has a darker, more violent tone than the first 2. In my opinion, there are several scenes that push the PG-13 rating in terms of violent content and dark themes. Most of Marvel’s superhero films have been kid-friendly, even with the superhero violence and action. Iron Man 3 is not in that group. While I appreciated the intensity of these scenes, I would probably not be comfortable bringing a child under 13 into the film. That being said, the dark tone of Iron Man 3 works very well. I was impressed with how it kept me on the edge of the seat all the way from start to end, and I really got involved in the storyline.

As always, Robert Downey Jr had many hilarious one-liners in the film, several that brought so much snark I may have missed several followup lines from laughing so hard. The comedic bits of the script are written and delivered fantastically, though the quieter parts still came off as a little hokey. As much as I like Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the “feelings” moments in the film… they just came off as hokey.

The film has a fantastic climax that I wouldn’t want to spoil for anyone, but let’s just say that there is a massive fanwank for enthusiasts of the Iron Man comics. I nearly cheered once… it’s embarrassing to admit but I geeked out hard.

So what’s the verdict? I think you should absolutely check out Iron Man 3. It’s got everything that a big action blockbuster film needs. Of course, continuity is important to these Marvel films, so if you haven’t seen the first two Iron Man films or The Avengers, you should definitely check them out first. Marvel’s got another big winner with Iron Man 3, and I left the theater only that much more hyped up for The Avengers 2.

Oh and yes, you should stay in the theater for a stinger after the credits. It’s well worth the wait.

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