i r o n m a n 3
25th April 2013
24th April 2013
We’re not massive superhero fans here. Something never really caught on with us and the slew of constant reboots (we’re looking at you Spiderman) has started to grate a little. But we are big fans of Ironman. Not the best known of the available heroes outside of the comic book set, it was a relative unknown when it first hit our screens back in 2008. At a time when the majority of superheroes were gazing into their navel wondering 'why them', Robert Downey Jnr.’s Tony Stark gave us the opposite view.
Stark you see is born to be a superhero and he very much knows it. Unapologetic about his wealth and never one to spend more than the odd line complaining, he’s the superhero we’d all like to be. The one that does things because he can. The one that spouts off and is later forced to concede that maybe announcing your address on live national television isn’t the brightest idea. Above all else, Stark knows he’s an entertainer as well as a hero. And RDJ is perfect for the part.
So the third installment finds Stark up to his usual tricks (that is, spending hours in his cyber-basement inventing new stuff, including a neat ability to summon his suit to him), but in the very best and knowing way, we are rewound to a very nineties millennium eve party where he upsets two people. What are the chances that will come back to bite him? Of course it will and it’s told as such because this is Iron Man and there is no need for trickery. Just watch the fireworks.
Not to spoil the plot too much but Tony’s house is blown up (it’s right there in the trailer) and he ends up a long way from home both geographically and mentally. Fortunately for him, he bumps into a young boy when he invades the kid’s garage for parts. The two are instant kindred spirits and both help each other as Stark attempts to put his life back together. The introduction of the kid is inspired. Tony is still very much a child at heart and it’s genuinely touching to see him and the kid learn so much from each other. Whilst still trading insults of course.
The bad guys in this one come in the form of Guy Pearce’s Aldritch Killean and SirBen Kingsley’s Manderin. To reveal too much about them would be to spoil some of the best bits of the film but suffice to say that Pearce proves that you should never trust a man who wears slip-on shoes and no socks. SirBen has great fun as the Mandarin, channeling or arguably just doing an impression of, William S Burroughs. But the film doesn’t really want you to spend too much time getting to know the bad guys and the central maguffin, the unfortunate side effects of Killean’s experiments, is also not the main concern here. The whole film is about Tony Stark’s rise, rise, rise, fall a bit, crash, leave a voicemail, rise, rise rise and triumph. And that is where it is at its best.
Iron Man 3 is the best sort of blockbuster. It knows exactly what it is and it revels in it. It’s funny (at times it is proper belly-laugh hilarious), frenetic, touching and downright entertaining and it manages to keep this up for 130 minutes. The casting is superb and if anything, this is a much better movie than parts 1 and 2. If we were going to pick, we’d say that as in the previous installments, Paltrow and Cheadle are given too little to do though what they do have to do is important.
The the sake of note, the 3D in Iron Man 3 is some of the most redundant we’ve ever witnessed. Large parts of the film could be watched just as well without 3D glasses and even when it was in 3D, we were just left wondering why bother. The pace and editing is so frenetic (not a complaint) that there is no time for your eyes to adjust to the 3D effect. It doesn’t spoil the experience, we would we have much preferred to experience it in glorious 2D though.
In an era where all our heros are tortured souls who spend hours building their backstory to justify themselves, Iron Man 3 is a breath of fresh air. You aren’t going to spend time debating Stark’s motives and it’s difficult to see anywhere else the series could go without repeating itself but for edge of the seat, top summer blockbuster fun, we’re more than happy to recommend you spend your cash on this one. If you can find somewhere showing it in 2D, so much the better.