Monday, May 06, 2013

"Iron Man 3" (2013) - Movie Review

After seeing what Shane Black can do with Robert Downey Jr. in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, it is a “duh” moment to see his name for “Iron Man 3”. Iron Man series are neither a hit nor a miss for me. It elevates just enough above mediocre to make it the summer blockbuster people would like to get a good deal for. Iron Man rides on Robert Downey Jr. who has effortlessly carried this franchise with his egomaniacal Tony Stark with crisp sarcasms and wit. He does not forgets to bring that out here.

Shane Black’s writing and directing brings the memories of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” though he is well known for Lethal Weapon which are faint in my memories. The film takes lot of inspiration from the style of “The Avengers” that did not hesitate to poke fun at its heroes and acknowledge the idiosyncrasies of them. With each of the Iron Man films, Stark improves his toys and makes it far more cooler and effective. I bought into it without qualms as the advancements we make in the simple things we see day to day are equivalent to what Tony goes. If a guy with that mind has time and money, it is nothing surprising to see him invent these machines that can do spectacular things with amazing ease and power.

Tony Stark is having an identity crisis. The encounter he had with the Aliens and the demigods in “The Avengers” are haunting. He cannot come to grasp the possibilities of these beings but more than that is his question of defining himself to the existence a.k.a mid life crisis. Now he had those in different fashion in previous films but here he has to go deeper and see what makes him who he is and how this armour has defined him as well. What is he without it? He does not get sleep and ends up advancing several prototypes in making it better and have more of it, just in case which comes quite handy in the end.

Before the first Iron Man and when Stark was a happy go lucky dude partying and picking up girls, he as any egocentric megalomaniac would do ignores a geeky scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) that results in the sort of vengeance which is old school but how they arrive it is entertainingly novel. There is a new threat to US and it is Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Mandarin is obsessed with theatrics as he consistently transmits video threatening and intimating the next imminent attacks against the country. The reasoning is quite vague which is sufficiently convincing once we discover some twists. Mandarin wants to educate the Americans on humbling them. He does so by blowing stuff up with no evidence of any kind of device. Stark’s buddy and security fellow Happy Hogan (Job Favreau) follows up Killian’s accomplice to find it the hard way.

Shane Black fills the film with sharp humour through Downey Jr. While it was available in plenty in the previous two ventures, this one takes it on a good sense and extending it what Joss Whedon did. With the suit gone and dealing with his panic attack, it truly becomes a question of identifying himself as a person for Tony. There is never a dull moment and the real fun are these tiny characters which carry the sharp sense of humour only Downey Jr. had. The main fun in the film is the bond Tony creates with the kid Harley (Ty Simpkins) in Tennessee. He challenges Stark and bounces dialogues with him shoulder to shoulder and gets the win in the end. Their scenes are the most entertaining beyond the explosions and the crazy stunts.

The film’s effects and the stunts are choreographed with thought and care into it rather than overwhelm us with pure metal clanking. There are crucial clever decisions Stark makes that is more than an average super hero film would do. With Don Cheadle. Gwyneth Paltrow and Guy Pearce, “Iron Man 3” which centers specifically on the charms and comic timing of Robert Downey Jr. goes little further in becoming a complete film with them. Cheadle’s Colonel James Rhodes especially becomes a good punch line for Tony’s wits. Shane Black while does not take it to deeper sense does take it to territories that are done with serious nature which otherwise were left in the sidelines in previous films. The problems come off as real while Black keeps the good part of Iron Man series which are trademark one liners from Downey Jr. to its best. “Iron Man 3” is the perfect blockbuster film which rides slightly above the common fodder of super hero films but lays low below the greatness of The Batman Trilogy and gains the goodness of the fans to make it for what it is.

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