Iron Man 3 (2013) Movie Review
“Iron Man 3”, like Tony Stark’s character, is flawed and far from perfect. After the amazing spectacle that was “The Avengers”, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) returns in a film that focuses more on character development than action. To me the “Iron Man” films have always been more about character development than spectacle. The third film delivers a largely satisfying experience that mixes action with drama. While it was much better than the second film, there were some major problems that keep it from shooting for the skies.
Like the previous films, Tony Stark is the major focus of the film. This time around, the villains are much more interesting than past ones. I found The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) to be an interesting villain and quite timely in his execution. The other main villain, Extremis (Guy Pearce), delivers some much needed challenge to Tony Stark though his devilish minions and their powerful abilities. What disappointed me most about the film was the part in the middle where Tony Stark runs around with very little of his typical power while his suit is recharging so he can use his latest prototype. Though this introduced us to some interesting characters, it felt like the writers were holding back to avoid turning the film into pure action.
Robert Downey Jr. has pretty much become the character of Tony Stark by now and he does not disappoint. Ben Kingsley delivers an interesting performance as well, especially as his character changes in the middle of the film. While I really like Guy Pearce, I felt like he could have done a better job with his character and his hair was a bit distracting. Musically, the film oozes with interesting themes thanks to some solid work by Brian Tyler. His main theme for Iron Man gets a number of solid variations throughout and plenty of full statements at the big heroic moments. I also found his theme for The Mandarin to be quite catchy, using middle eastern instruments to touch on the similarities between his character and Islamic extremists. While frequent uses of the themes worked great for me, my boyfriend found the music to be a bit cheesy and repetitive.
If you are looking for wall to wall action, you won’t find that here. “Iron Man 3” succeeds largely because of the solid direction by Shane Black, who knows how to string together sequences in a way that allows audiences to follow along. If spending more time with Tony Stark is your main reason for checking out Iron Man 3, you will find the film largely succeeds. The ending wraps up everything nicely, giving audiences something to ponder about the dark side of human ambition.
Questions for my readers:
Do you like when films like Iron Man 3 feature frequent statements of recognizable themes?
Do you wish Iron Man 3 had more action?