Movie Review: 'Iron Man 3'

Overall rating: would pay for the matinee, maybe an evening ticket with student discount, but unless you've got like a free pass to the standard showings I wouldn't drop the money for 3D.

I liked this one more than #2, but to be fair I didn't like #2 that much. The pseudoscience burned.

So! Welcome to a rare occasion on which I've seen the movie close enough to its release date where I think a review will be useful.

Assuming you have seen the first two movies in the RDJ-as-'Iron Man' franchise, this serves up more of the same. Robert Downey Jr. still knows what he's doing as the kind of unhinged, but also coincidentally a genius who secretly cares about people, Tony Stark; Gwyneth Paltrow is still the 'oh-shit Tony' but also kind of a total badass; Don Cheadle is all sidekicky, although this movie brings out more of his real-world badassery. (Support the troops!)

Anyway, if you're looking for some kind of hitherto unplumbed depths...don't? There's kind of a whole 'awwww lessons' thing, and it is delivered well enough because of Tony Stark's allergy to taking things too seriously, but we're all here for the explosions and fancy CG and that's okay.

The movie does take place after 'The Avengers,' but it's really just alluded to a few times and doesn't seem to have changed a thing about his life. Which strikes me as a little odd considering how much time Samuel L. Jackson Sgt Fury put into pulling them together, but eh. I mean, the movie was about as long as it needed to be (except for a couple of small things I'll mention later), so we didn't really need more. Although you should totally stick around until after the credits. Cameos FTW.

For some reason the writers/producers/whoever have decided to break away from the fact that Iron Man's real weakness is that he's a total alcoholic (the one Iron Man comic I read all the way through, the main story is seriously that he's on a bender and needs to break out of it), and instead give him the kind of issues that are usually resolved by drinking a lot. In the second movie, they went kind of heavy with the wah-wah daddy stuff, which I wasn't into, and in this one they laid on the thin veneer of like, anxiety but not quite PTSD (PTSD involves flashbacks y'all) from what went down at the end of 'The Avengers,' and seriously...I kind of wish they'd stick to the drinking. Even if I know why they wouldn't—too many kiddies watching this to make it okay; also is anyone else amazed at how squeaky clean Paltrow and RDJ are onscreen given all the busty ladies in bikinis and random sex, etc? —it just never really works, and the resolution is so comic book-y tie up all the ends as if it had never existed.

They added a lot more quipping in this movie, which worked brilliantly when Whedon put 'The Avengers' together, but a lot of times it's just like...seriously, do you have ADD? Aren't you a pretty singleminded maniac? You're doing it wrong. I'd cut a couple of those lines, although the one with the guard being like screw this, these guys are "too weird" was awesome. Also Ben Kingsley is the best thing ever and ahahahaha oh that part. Don't worry, I'd never spoil it for you. But anyway, the humor was, personally, better when it wasn't tacked on to randomly, and sometimes absurdly, reduce tension. Don't be Joss Whedon, unless you are Joss Whedon. It looks silly.

I also liked the pseudoscience way better in this one. Thankfully they stay away from explaining the whole thing with the brain somehow regulating all the DNA (by the way, that's a total load of shit, but given the whole orange glowy effects and explosions you may have guessed that already. My private headcanon involves the blue ending for Mass Effect 3, except with fewer reapers and more...I don't know, nanites? Nanites are cool). I can also live with the assumption that Guy Pearce's explanation was a load of hogwash for the businesspeople. (He still looks good, FYI.)

To be honest my main problem with the movie concerns the direction the (literal) conflict went. Props to them for showing us that no, RDJ doesn't know shit about real combat situations (yay the troops!) and also teamwork is a good thing. But the producers seem to have momentarily forgotten that one of the cool things about Iron Man is it's a guy in a suit. Also, we're in for fanservice of the actors, not so much the robot suit. Does it look cool? Totally. But, I dunno, the scale just didn't do it for me. And I spent a week drooling over the CG in the first movie, and I still love explosions, but eh. Human factor please, this isn't a Michael Bay film (where the people actually hold it back).

I didn't feel like digging up a GIF from the movie, so enjoy RDJ doing Gangnam Style seated. Kind of wish I'd dug up Pearce from 'Memento'....


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