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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Movie Review - Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 (2013)
Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, James Badge Dale, Paul Bettany (voice), and Ben Kingsley 
Directed by Shane Black

After the overhype that was The Avengers -- yes, I didn't love it, so perhaps my thoughts on Marvel movies automatically get negated because of that -- I admittedly wasn't looking forward to tackling Iron Man 3.  In fact, my biggest issue with The Avengers was Robert Downey, Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark who I found to be obnoxiously annoying in that piece.  [Yes, I realize that's the point, however, as I mentioned in my Avengers review, setting him amidst "nicer" superheroes made the character's self-important sarcastic nature more grating.]

So, color me surprised when I sat through Iron Man 3 and found it an enjoyable action flick.  Tony Stark is dealing with the aftermath of that wormhole/alien incident in The Avengers and it's mellowed him out, helping to build a character that has more depth than the playboy we've seen in movies past.  Stark still has his sarcastically quippy replies to most things, but the script (and Downey, Jr.) does a nice job of creating a few more emotional layers on the character.

In Iron Man 3, Stark is faced with battling The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), an American terrorist who's hellbent on making the US pay for their "crimes" against humanity.  After a bombing outside the Chinese Theater in L.A., the police are unable to find any bomb residue or any evidence that a bomb even existed onsite which begs the question of how exactly the Mandarin is causing these disasters.  Despite being more based in reality than some of the previous Marvel flicks, let's just say that the cause of the explosions takes us down that fantastical comic book unrealistic path -- and I don't mean that in a condescending way at all.

Admittedly, director Shane Black hasn't had much experience behind the camera (this being only his second film) and it shows a bit when it comes to lensing action sequences.  While the quick cuts aren't necessarily abundant, I couldn't help but think that many of the "BIG" scenes felt a bit muted in terms of excitement and were a bit confusing and slapshot in the way they were filmed.  Still, Black does a very nice job in the film's quieter moments and gets some good performances from all of his players with Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Jon Favreau making return appearances and Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Rebecca Hall making solid debuts in the Marvel universe.

The RyMickey Rating: B

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