Tuesday, May 7 2013, 05:38 PM MDT
Movie Review: Iron Man 3
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall
Recommended To: Anyone who enjoys a somewhat unfocused but generally appealing summer blockbuster.
Synopsis: When a terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) unleashes a wave of terror across America Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) risks everything to prove to himself and the world that he’s still Iron Man.
Review: Iron Man 3 is not only a return to the unassembled stand-alone films following The Avengers it is also the first film that has to fully acknowledge the vast scope of the Marvel Universe. Following the alien invasion that nearly took out New York City Tony Stark now inhabits in a universe where aliens, mutants and superheroes claiming to be gods exist. He’s suffering from a bit of a bruised ego. It would seem that being the biggest fish in Earth’s pond isn’t nearly as impressive as it once was. And yet not much seems to have changed as Iron Man 3 has Stark squaring off against a terrorist and a mad scientist. The galactic battle for Earth is paused and S.H.I.E.L.D. is on hiatus as Iron Man 3 treads some cinematic water. Still, if you’re going to tread water you might as well make a massive spectacle out of it and that’s exactly what director Shane Black has done. It’s big, loud and a whole lot of fun. It just never feels as dangerous, relevant or witty as Iron Man or The Avengers. It does at least improve upon Iron Man 2, which was what I had hoped for.
Black, who co-wrote the script with Drew Pearce, knows how to make an exciting action film infused with comedic elements. He’s just not nearly as adept at handling the more serious aspects of the story. Iron Man was a great film because it managed to make its fantasy seem possible. Even The Avengers seemed rooted in something real. Iron Man 3 occasionally tries to say something about the modern world, but in the end it would rather dazzle you with its amazing special effects and have you leave the theater laughing rather than thinking too much about the social commentary that lingers beneath the chaos.
-Ryan Michael Painter