Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Iron Man Three (2013)
Although it is a very watchable film, the structural inconsistencies and abandonment of character focus deeply hurt the ability to enjoy this film.
Rounding a trilogy sure is difficult. Your audience has built up its expectations of how the movie should feel, and if you play with the tone too much the relationship to the previous films will suffer. Iron Man 3 does this in a big way; however this doesn't inherently make it bad. Both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were directed by Jon Favreau and while the hedonism was a bit much, these films felt very connected and watching them back to back tells a very fluid story. And then there's Iron Man 3.
Ironically Joss Whedon's The Avengers was a substantially better "Iron Man 3 film" than the film Iron Man 3. Not just in quality, but in the character focus and the story of Iron Man. In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark's character feels completely removed from the previous Iron Man films. The excuse of this radical change is told with flimsy conjecture that his actions in The Avengers somehow hurt his psyche. Although going from a spoiled, rich, and hedonistic lifestyle to being held prisoner for three months in a Middle Eastern cell, that he just shrugs off with no problem.
To tell the plot summary with as minimum spoilers as possible, can be summed up with a simple concept: abandonment of focus. Iron Man, the first film, was Marvel's lash back at DC for the successful retelling of Batman in Batman Begins. DC chose to focus on how their superhero Batman could practically exist with only minor jumps in technology along the way. Iron Man follows this idea to the T. And as you probably already assumed, Iron Man 3 abandons this concept. Why?
The character of Tony Stark is intrinsically interesting. He is rich, handsome, charming, and confident; however, Iron Man 3 feels the need to humanize him. But this is an exercise in futility. From the moment we meet him we also learned his faults. He was an alcoholic, womanizer, and had no respect or love for anything but himself. Despite resolving these issues through the events of the first two movies, by far his largest character fault was his ego. Again this was somehow bruised by saving the world at the end of The Avengers. Because we all know that someone with an overwhelming large ego would not in any way become more full of himself after saving the world. And that this would simultaneously cause a complete shift is personality.
The supporting cast is great; both Ms. Potts and Happy continue their respective character stories well. The villains however were laughably out of place, and sadly this was the only aspect of the film that was similar to the original Iron Man. One of the only improvements that Iron Man 2 had over the first film was dropping these flat, one-dimensional, Saturday morning cartoon Bond villains. But if you missed them, they're back for Iron Man 3. Hooray?
Despite being a very entertaining film, it seems its editing might be the greatest enemy. There are several rather important plot points and character decisions that either make no sense or happen at the wrong time. In fact, throughout the whole movie I kept thinking, "Man, I can't wait to do a Fan Edit of this". The flow of the narrative is perhaps the most damaged by this sloppy editing. The story is in there somewhere, but it's just not coming through very clearly.
Visually the movie is amazing. And the special effects keep you enthralled throughout every action sequence. From the barrel of monkeys to some spectacular fight/flight choreography, you'll be glued to your seat. At least until the scene is over and Tony Stark is back to babysitting some random kid. What's that? We need to appeal to the young kids in crowd? You want us to shoehorn a random subplot of a child in this film for no reason other than a blatant marketing ploy? Sure no problem.
Iron Man 3 does have a lot going for it, but the degree of its strange choices adds up and in the end it leaves you with a bad aftertaste in your mouth. Did we mention this was a Christmas movie? Yeah, let that sink in for a moment. This is early May. So I ask again, why? And not knowing that it is a Christmas movie before watching it is even more confusing. There are no plots or subplots that justify it either; it is simply Christmas and there is no reason for it.
Iron Man is by far the most beloved Avenger, and with Thor and Captain America sequels in route I'm worried that this film may cost the others at the box office. Iron Man 3 pulled in over 175 million dollars in its opening weekend, one of the largest in history; second only to The Avengers. As this was the first film to follow The Avengers, it thusly was guaranteed to succeed financially, but at what cost to its fellow heroes? Although it is a very watchable film, the structural inconsistencies and abandonment of character focus deeply hurt the ability to enjoy this film.
Check out more reviews at http://www.budswatchingduds.com