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Well-Forged: Iron Man 3

Reviews
by Leonard Maltin
May 2, 2013 11:38 PM
5 Comments
  • |
Photo by Zade Rosenthal - © 2012 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2012 Marvel

Sequels are a tricky business. I thought Iron Man 2 squandered much of the good will the original 2008 film, and its oddly inspired casting of Robert Downey, Jr., engendered. His performance as the impudent industrialist Tony Stark crossed a line from snarky to simply cocky, and the actor seemed to be coasting on autopilot. Fortunately, Downey and his collaborators have made a significant course-correction for Iron Man 3, a much more satisfying and enjoyable picture.

Stark is appealingly vulnerable this time around, in more ways than one. At key moments in the narrative, his Iron Man suit doesn’t function properly and his all-purpose A.I. helper Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany) can’t help him solve crises in a nanosecond. What’s more, Stark is now in a committed relationship with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), so he has more than his own life to protect. When a megalomaniac called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) starts making threats, Stark isn’t able to respond as a literal man of steel—even though he tries.

I don’t want to give away more than I should—plenty of other people seem to be doing that—but other characters, well played by Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall, also figure in the unfolding storyline.

Director Shane Black (who wrote the screenplay with Drew Pearce) maintains a lively pace, and balances superior action and visual-effects set-pieces with passages that depend on the acting chops of its talented cast, including the ever-reliable Don Cheadle as Col. “Rhodey” Rhodes.

Photo © Marvel Studios

I must admit that I found some early scenes involving terrorism to be disconcerting, given recent events. I suppose even comic-book escapism can’t shut out the real-world fears that affect us all, even children. If only the real world could put a comic spin on the matter as Iron Man 3 manages to do…but then, that’s why comic books (and the movies they inspire) attract such a huge audience. We all need a little wish-fulfillment in our lives, now more than ever.

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5 Comments

  • Norm | May 17, 2013 1:16 AMReply

    Forgery, not well forged, sorry LM, Iron Man has run his race... Since Disney has now basterdized the Marvel Comics legacy into submission, they are "rewriting" he Silver Age of Comics more like an Uncle Scrooge comic, but with even less story line so. With a well known fiend(oriental) the Mandarin has been reduced to the Ginger Bread Man leaving a trail of crumbs for your approval. More mindless special effects, even Robert Downey jr., has taken several steps backwards as even his banter now sounds as hollow the Holland Tunnel. No more Iron Man, or any hideous attempt by Disney to throw crap at a screen and call it a film, maybe just the wrong kind of film...unbelievable...waste of time and money.

  • Jackie | May 7, 2013 12:47 PMReply

    I tried not to read too many reviews before I saw it simply because I like surprises... plus I didn't want to hear something negative that would effect my experience b4 it even starts. But I could not say enough how thrilled I was to hear that Leonard Maltin, my go-to movie critic, enjoyed it. I posted a review of my own of my own blog: http://moviegoerconfessions.blogspot.com/2013/05/theatrical-review-iron-man-3.html
    I tried not to give too much away while trying to hit most of the key points. Granted, it's more of a discussion/social commentary than a review, but nonetheless, enjoyed the movie and enjoyed rehashing it for anyone who is so inclined to read.

  • Jason | May 4, 2013 11:53 AMReply

    "I don’t want to give away more than I should—plenty of other people seem to be doing that"

    Aint that the truth. I'm glad I saw Iron Man 3 before reading too many reviews as I see a lot of them are intent on summerizing the picture as well as reviewing it. I had a lot of fun and despite it not quite having the "weight" of other comic-book movies I was never bored during it's 2+ hour running time.

  • Joe Moss | May 3, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    Iron Man 3 is still better than The Dark Knight Rises.

  • Richard J | May 3, 2013 11:01 PM

    Dark Knight Rises? You mean that cop-thriller movie with an extended Batman cameo?

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