Here there be spoilers.
The San Francisco Chronicle describes Iron Man 3 as “[a] not-bad installment” in the Marvel universe. Compared to Iron Man 2, it’s a cinematic masterpiece. On it’s own, it’s an attempt to humanize the great Tony Stark; a decent attempt, but not entirely successful in my opinion.
But honestly, I just like the explosions and the cool suit effects.
What bothered me most about this movie* was the sub-plot of Tony’s PTSD after the events of The Avengers. The writers took the time to ensure that we, the audience, were well aware of how messed up Stark was after flying through that wormhole; he has anxiety attacks, nightmares, and the mere words “New York City” are enough to send his heart rate skyrocketing. A great way to show that Stark isn’t perfect, that there’s more to him than being a genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist.
[* Rather, what actually bothered me most about this movie was the complete disregard for comic book canon, but that’s a rant for another day.]
Except there was no resolution. Tony talks about his problems with Pepper. He talks about his problems with Harley. (And can I just take a moment to dish some love on Ty Simpkins, who did a kick-ass job and held his own against Robert Downey, Jr?) But the point is that while he talks and talks, there’s never any healing shown. Stark saves the girl (well, the girl saves him, in one of my favorite moments of the movie), he makes a symbolic move to destroy his suits, and that’s it. The end.
[That said, the scene at the end of the credits seemed to be a humorous attempt of showing Stark getting some therapy, although Banner is most certainly “not that kind of doctor”.]
In terms of characterization, this movie just really didn’t do it for me. Stark was both witty and tortured, but never much more than a two dimensional character, and there wasn’t enough focus on Pepper for my liking. I may have been asking for too much, wanting a movie that balanced action with character development!
What did do it for me? Don Cheadle and Gwyneth Paltrow, both of whom needed more screen time to show off their total badass-ness. Jarvis, once again voiced by Paul Bettany, being the most perfect and witty A.I. ever. The final battle scene, where forty-two Iron Man suits went to battle against an army of glowing, thermonuclear soldiers. The Yinsen cameo. The opening music, which cracked me up and confused my 16 year old friend. Pepper Potts in the Iron Man suit.
Conclusion: I enjoyed the movie. Ignoring the inadequate character development, and the disregard of Extremis and Mandarin canon, it wasn’t a bad film. The action was good, the humor and witty one-liners were fantastic, and the effects rocked. On the production side, the directing was great, the acting was superb, and the plot was intriguing. I think I would have preferred to see a different story told here, but I’m content with the story I got.
My rating: A-
[all photos belong to Marvel, and were found via (in order) zap2it.com, mashable.com, and zap2it.com]