Robert Downey Jr. returned in 2013 for his third outing as Tony Stark. After a less than successful second instalment (thoughts below please!) it was good to see Iron Man back on form with a bit more gritty, fleshed out humanity behind Stark which tends to be the way superhero films go after one or two films. But Iron Man 3 not only creates a convincing Stark ‘break down’, it makes up for Iron Man 2’s shortcomings.
From the very start of the film, Iron Man 3 is full of fast paced action and impressive fight sequences, everything you expect from a modern superhero film, and Iron Man 3 excels at this. The fight sequences are epic and impressive, visually stunning, in particular the last fight sequence with the different mark suits is thoroughly enjoyable. In fact the film is full of smooth, sleek CGI. You can tell that Iron Man 3 has been made with no expense spared.
The tone of Iron Man 3 is considerably darker than its predecessors, Tony Stark is suffering from anxiety attacks, something were not necessarily used to seeing, maybe from the likes of Batman and Spiderman, but Stark is a playboy, confident, rich superstar in his own right away from his vigilante alter-ego. What makes this dark turn believable, more believable than Tobey Maguire’s attempt with Spiderman is that Robert Downey Jr. is a superb actor who has some real life experience of…shall we say, darker moments of human existence? You can tell that he draws from this to fill out both Stark’s confidence and his insecurities. Although having said that, in keeping with any criticism I’ve had of any Robert Downey Jr. film, he talks very quickly, sometimes making it very difficult to work out what he’s saying but in the bigger picture, this is but a minor criticism.
Unusually for me, I actually really liked Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. I normally think that she’s a bit of a rubbish actress, not necessarily because she’s bad, but because of the roles she tends to get; very wet, soft roles which have no personality or impact. However as Pepper Potts she’s given room to express herself a bit more, to get stuck in and to be a part of the action. It’s also not inescapable that in ‘Hollywood’ terms, Paltrow is an ‘older’ actress, so for me it’s great to see a cinema veteran in this kind of role, which would normally go to an unknown bit of fluff selected for her looks. I really think that Gwyneth Paltrow is fabulous in this role, she’s got the maturity and innocent sexuality to play Pepper Potts, which is refreshing, most women tend to be very sexualised and dumbed down in these roles. I also thought Guy Pearce was exceptional in Iron Man 3. But again, this might be slightly biased coming from me as I love most of Guy Pearce’s work, I think he is a hugely underrated actor.
The story of Iron Man 3 is supposedly (according to my dad) very far from its source material. The Mandarin is a recurring character without the ‘Iron Man 3’ back story (which I wont ruin, because it is a plot twist). But having not read the comics, I didn’t see this as an issue and nor did my dad, an avid fan of the comics. I actually thought the side story added some great humour from Ben Kingsley, which we kind of expect from an Iron Man film.
Overall I found Iron Man 3 to be a very gripping, engaging and enjoyable film, much improved on its predecessor which fell through in so many ways. It’s a great addition to the superhero genre, and quite easily makes it onto my top superhero films…
- Movie Review – Iron Man 3 (fernbyfilms.com)
- Iron Man 3 named highest-grossing film of 2013 (contactmusic.com)
- Movie Review: IRON MAN 3 (2013) (blankpagebeatdown.com)
- Iron Man 3 (themoviereport.net)
- The Reviews Are In – What Do Critics Think Of Iron Man 3? (capesonfilm.com)
- Iron Man 3 Movie Review 2 (shockya.com)