Iron Man 3, my review.

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Gossip/News/Reviews - Film

Hi folks, Hope you are well. Here is my review of “Iron Man 3” which I saw over the weekend (Released at cinema on 3rd May 2013).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

Iron man 3 continues the story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) who, after the Battle of New York in Avengers, is struggling with his place in the steadily expanding superhero community. Unable to sleep, Stark has prioritized tinkering with new suits over his personal relationships – even neglecting the one person he “cannot live without,” Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

The story starts where Tony Stark recalls a New Years Eve party in 1999 in Bern, Switzerland with scientist Maya Hansen, inventor of Extremis—an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company, Advanced Idea Mechanics, but Stark guides him to the rooftop and leaves him there stranded, humiliating him.

13 years later, Stark’s experiences during the alien invasion of New York are giving him panic attacks. Restless, he has built several dozen Iron Man suits, creating friction with his girlfriend Pepper Potts. A string of bombings by terrorist the Mandarin has left intelligence agencies bewildered by a lack of forensic evidence. When Stark Industries security chief Happy Hogan is badly injured in one such attack and left in a coma, Stark overcomes his stupor and issues a televised threat to the Mandarin, who responds by destroying Stark’s home with helicopter gunships.

Stark escapes in an Iron Man suit, which his artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. pilots to rural Tennessee, following a flight plan from Stark’s investigation into the Mandarin. Stark’s experimental armor lacks sufficient power to return to California, and the world believes him dead.

Stark is stripped of his trademark armor, and forced to investigate the threat as an ordinary man. He embarks on a dangerous mission to bring the Mandarin to justice. Teaming up with a precocious 10-year-old boy named Harley, he investigates the remains of a local explosion bearing the hallmarks of a Mandarin attack. Stark discovers that the “bombings” were triggered by soldiers subjected to Extremis, which at this stage of development can cause certain subjects to explosively reject it. After veterans started exploding, their deaths were used to cover up Extremis’ flaws by manufacturing a terrorist plot against the United States.

With Harley’s help, Stark traces the Mandarin to Miami, Florida and infiltrates his headquarters using improvised weapons. Inside he discovers the Mandarin is actually a British actor named Trevor Slattery, who claims he is oblivious to the actions carried out in his name. The Mandarin is actually a creation of Killian, who appropriated Hansen’s Extremis research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals he has kidnapped Potts and subjected her to Extremis to gain Stark’s aid in fixing Extremis’ flaws and thereby saving Potts. Killian kills Hansen when she has a change of heart about the initial plan.

Killian has also manipulated American intelligence agencies regarding the Mandarin’s location, luring James Rhodes—the former War Machine, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot — into a trap to steal the armor. Stark escapes and reunites with Rhodes, discovering that Killian intends to attack President Ellis aboard Air Force One. Remotely controlling his Iron Man armor, Stark saves some surviving passengers and crew but cannot stop Killian from abducting Ellis and destroying Air Force One. They trace Killian to an impounded damaged oil tanker where Killian intends to kill Ellis on live television in the Iron Patriot suit. The vice president will become a puppet leader, following Killian’s orders in exchange for Extremis to cure a little girl’s disability.

On the platform, Stark goes to save Potts, and Rhodes saves the president, returning back to his armor. Stark summons his Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by J.A.R.V.I.S, to provide air support. Rhodes secures the president and takes him to safety, while Stark discovers Potts has survived the Extremis procedure. However, before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to her apparent death. Stark confronts Killian and traps him in an Iron Man suit that self-destructs, but fails to kill him, and Killian reveals he is the real Mandarin. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian.

I love Marvel films and was looking forward to this. And so was Oscar, my six year old son.

This was an ok film. There are some good effects and action sequences. And Robert Downey, Jr was brilliant as usual. Although the action sequence at the end with all the “iron man suits” fighting was particularly pleasing for both of us the film was not as good as I hoped to be. It didn’t match the grandeur of the avengers or action from previous iron man films. That said, the Extremis super-soldier villains are a welcome change of villain from the suit-on-suit brawls of Iron man and Iron Man 2.

Although the film leans heavily on shared universe events from The Avengers as an emotional crutch for the Tony Stark storyline, Iron Man 3 entirely side-steps explaining why none of superhero team (or even S.H.I.E.L.D. members) attempt to provide backup.

One of the problems is that the film is packed with too many characters and overcomplicated tangents that take away from a relatively straightforward character story. It was too long and slow and was more like an action thriller (James Bond) rather than a superhero movie. But my main problem is that (and Oscar agrees) that Iron Man spends far too much time outside of his suit (even during several key battles), and that wasn’t to our liking. And it even got Oscar asking half way through the film “When is iron man going to appear?”

Worth a watch though. And watch out for the particularly amusing post credit scene, which made me chuckle.

What do you think?

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