When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
Directed: Shane Black
What we think: First off, I had to flip a coin to decide between this and Star Trek as to which would be the entertainment of choice for a Saturday night, sadly I wish I’d gone to see the latter.
That is not to say that Iron Man 3 doesn’t deliver entertainment value to an already successful franchise, it does, but parts of it frustrated me and left me wondering….why!?
Jon Favreau stepped away from completing his directorial trilogy and handed the reigns over to Shane Black, wanting to focus more on his character Happy Hogan (he needn’t have bothered).
A writer initially, Black had brought Lethal Weapon to life as well as other first class action films, but in terms of directing he’d only done one film previous to this, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
It was a solid capture and as he’d already worked with Downey Jnr. before it was a safe bet he’d be able to get the best out of the screenplay, which he helped co-write.
In this outing, the first Marvel film post Avengers, Tony Stark is going through a few issues as a possible result of his heroic deeds in New York.
He’s having trouble sleeping and spends most of his time tinkering with his vast array of suits, as he looks to develop a new suit where the parts fly to him and recombine on his body.
His relationship with Pepper Pots is shaky at best, and he tries to reassure her that all is well when she knows very well that it’s not.
The film starts off in 1999 where the playboy, billionaire (you know the rest) is partying it up ready for the new Millennium. When he’s accosted in an elevator by Aldrich Killian who proposes that he invest in his new scientific project, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM).
Stark arrogantly brushes him off and in doing so sets the events in motion back in 2013 where things are about to go from bad to worse for him.
The film has some epic action sequences, the destruction of Starks Malibu mansion is the pick of them, leaving you not a moments breath as everything comes crashing down around Stark.
The attack on the Presidential plane Air Force one was another slick visual, and the film’s climax, well, that followed the blue print for most Marvel films.
And so to the villains of the piece, Aldrich Killian, his crippled introduction reminded me very much of a certain Edward Nigma in Batman Forever, who by being swept aside by another popular playboy billionaire turned him into a revenge fueled nutcase.
Guy Pearce never really pulled it off, nowhere near a convincing villain as he could of been, especially when you’ve seen him in Lawless where he was by far and away more terrifying.
Then there was The Mandarin, a character so underused and wasted it should have a been a crime. Ben Kingsley’s initial entrance as the great nemesis to Iron Man should have been a welcomed delight for fans of the comic books.
His dark back story as a ruthless terrorist beset by inflicting destruction on the west made it seem like he was going to be the central villain to Pearce’s Aldrich Killian, and maybe he was (in some ways).
Despite quite a good turn from Kingsley, it was a missed opportunity to capitalize on a character who could have done what the Joker did for The Dark Knight.
Added to that Eric Savin (James Badge Dale) Killian’s right hand man and muscle who underwent the Extremis treatment to boost his combat skills, also misses out on some tasty back story.
According to comic folklore Savin was converted into a cyborg called Coldblood who could manipulate his way mentally into any computer system, sounds pretty exciting. The closet thing to Savin looking like a cyborg was when he donned Iron Patriot’s armour.
It would clearly seem then that Black and co-writer on the screen play, Drew Pearce, wanted to take the story and character development down a different path, how that has sat with the fan boys is anyone’s guess?
There is a lot going on in Iron Man 3, it feels like Black wanted to make the most of being trusted with such a massive budget, and on the whole I think he did a pretty good job.
But parts just felt flat, there was far too much humour going on that it sided more to action comedy than action drama. But then that is the tone which has long been running through all these Marvel films.
I prefer the darker side and characters with grit, psychopaths with a disturbed pasts, here that was all but non existent. I had high hopes for this and it dropped the ball on more than one occasion, maybe I should have been beamed up after all?
View the trailer
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