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'Iron Man 3' Movie Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

Iron Man 3 Movie Review

Robert Downey Jr stars as Tony Stark/Iron Man in 'Iron Man 3'

© Marvel Studios
My best advice when it comes to heading out to a screening of Iron Man 3: lower your expectations. Advance reviews would have you believe this is the best of the lot, and maybe even one of the best superhero/comic book-inspired movies ever to grace the big screen. Those rave reviews are a little overblown; Iron Man 3 isn't the be-all and end-all of comic book movies. It's not even the best of the Iron Man films (that honor remains with the first film of the series).
Iron Man comic book fans may beg to differ with my assessment of what Robert Downey Jr is hinting is his final Iron Man outing. Iron Man 3 is a solid movie...it's just not this 'entertainment event of the year' that it's been pumped up to be. Shane Black takes over as director with this third film of the series, following in the footsteps of Jon Favreau who remained involved in a producer capacity as well as in a supporting role, once again playing Happy Hogan. And Black, whose 2005 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang remains a must-see buddy comedy, does a terrific job of moving the story along and handling the CG-heavy action sequences. Black not only directed Iron Man 3 but also co-wrote the screenplay, and he obviously knows what audiences expect following the first two Iron Man movies. However, while Iron Man 3 does deliver new villains, it doesn't really deliver on its promises. If you've caught the trailers and clips released by Marvel, you've seen the best of what Iron Man 3 has to offer minus some of the witty banter and the emotional turmoil Tony Stark's enduring following the climatic battle in New York as part of The Avengers.

And maybe my enjoyment of Iron Man 3 was affected by the fact I'm just not a big fan of the Pepper Potts character. Because she's such a key player in this third film and her role in the plot is nearly as important as Tony Stark's, Iron Man 3 felt as though the time spent with Rhodey (Don Cheadle) and the villains - Aldrich Killian (played by Guy Pearce) and The Mandarin (played by Sir Ben Kingsley) - was minimized to allow for room for more Pepper. Of the supporting players, Pepper's the least interesting of the batch, even with the neat little character twist that turns Pepper from assistant/girlfriend into something much more fierce.

Speaking of character twists...there's a doozy involved in Iron Man 3 which is like visiting Vegas in a lot of ways. What happens in Iron Man 3 stays in the theater - or at least stays out of reviews. What can be said is that Tony's messed up from trying to deal with that massive fight in New York that found him fighting aliens and fighting alongside a Hulk, a demigod, and a super soldier. Tony can't wrap his mind around what happened and has become an invention-obsessed insomniac who's distanced himself from Pepper and the world. But of course a mopey Tony wouldn't make for a great two hour action film no matter how cool the Iron Man suit or gadgets are, so he's forced back into action by the appearance of a terrorist named The Mandarin who's making this fight very, very personal.

Iron Man 3 has all the major action scenes you'd expect from a Marvel superhero film as well as quieter moments mixed in. Director Shane Black is up to the task of bringing supercharged fight sequences to the screen in a manner that lives up to the work done in prior Iron Man movies (although they pale in comparison to Whedon's The Avengers). Newbie cast members Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Rebecca Hall are fine additions to the Iron Man world, with Kingsley's scenery-chewing actually completely right for the character.

So why didn't Iron Man 3 live up to its hype? It's hard to put into words, but it left me empty. Sure, it's a big-budget popcorn movie and fun enough while it lasts, but I'm not going to pre-order the DVD and watch it as soon as it's released. Once is enough for Iron Man 3. Oh, and don't bother with the 3D. It was completely useless and the glasses more of a distraction than an enhancement to the film. The 3D didn't add any depth to the image nor did anything in particular stand out that would make the extra money for a 3D ticket in any way worthwhile.

GRADE: B-

Iron Man 3 was directed by Shane Black and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.

Theatrical Release: May 3, 2013

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