After “The Avengers” brought Marvel’s superheroes together for one record-shattering movie, many fans wondered how the company would go back to the solo superhero movies that put them on the map.
They can finally stop wondering.
After a massive overseas opening, “Iron Man 3” debuted in America to a $173.5 million opening weekend.
The film, first in Marvel’s cinematic “Phase Two,” is delightfully witty while taking on a level of seriousness not normally seen in Marvel movies.
The movie was directed by Shane Black, who replaced series regular Jon Favreau. Black, who has writing credits on the “Lethal Weapon” movies and a directing credit on “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” is famous for his black humor, which is not absent in this film.
Tony Stark has always been the anti-Batman, not afraid to crack jokes while beating up bad guys and keeping his “secret” identity in the public eye, and this movie is not an exception.
Arrogant and egotistical, he draws the attention of the film’s main villain, setting off a chain of events that set up a very Tony Stark-oriented movie.
By Tony Stark-oriented, I mean that there is a rather large gap in the middle where the Iron Man suit is not donned at all. It allows for a bit more character development in the person of Tony Stark, and the movie certainly does not suffer in the action department because of it.
Without giving too much away, the lack of Iron Man in the middle of the movie is very much made up for the end.
One of my main concerns going in to this movie was how the studio was going to handle the lack of The Avengers. How could something be that much of a threat to Tony Stark if he could just call for super-powered backup?
The film handles this quite nicely. Stark can’t call for help. He’s on his own, and he has to use his wits and know-how to get by. He can’t always punch his way out of his problems here.
Robert Downey Jr. is also (as always) amazing as Tony Stark. There is a reason that people often joke about him BEING Tony Stark.
Ben Kingsley is the best part of the movie, though. His portrayal of The Mandarin was insane and scary, and there’s a certain secret about the character which just shows how well Kingsley can act.
The film, however, is not without its problems.
The villains’ motivations are not always clear. I found myself wondering a few times throughout, “Now, why is he doing that?” Almost immediately, though, I was drawn in by another spectacular fight scene, so the effects weren’t too distracting.
Comic book fans will most likely be displeased with the film’s handling of some of the villains, and, conceivably, some of the heroes. Their origins and mannerisms are absolutely nothing like their comic book counterparts.
One of the biggest reveals in the movie, which I won’t disclose here, is also one of the most divisive. While I did laugh when it happened, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was just wasted potential.
The ending was also slightly murky. I feel that the creators wanted to leave the future of Iron Man in doubt, but it’s highly obvious to anyone who has read about Marvel’s movie plan that this cannot be the case.
While there are a host of problems, few movies are without them, and “Iron Man 3” is tremendous fun and an excellent summer blockbuster. I had a blast watching it.
Also, viewers should also stay until the end of the credits. Marvel has continued its tradition of after-credits scenes and this time its brought in somebody fans of The Avengers will love.
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