Iron Man 3 by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)


Iron Man 3 by The Critical Movie Critics

Testing the new armor.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) can’t sleep in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 and that should tell you plenty about where we’re headed as Marvel rounds the home plate in its triumphant wrap-up to Phase 1 of its universe. The self-described “genius billionaire playboy philanthropist” is beset by anxiety attacks and bad dreams, attempting to acclimate himself to a world where Norse gods clash with alien armies set upon New York. As the first direct follow-up to Joss Whedon’s smash hit “The Avengers,” Black (along with co-writer Drew Pearce) elects to strip Stark down, emotionally and literally, leaving a man bereft of the suit that lends him power and authority. Before you roll your eyes, rest assured that the approach is miles away from Nolan’s deconstruction of the Caped Crusader — this is still Iron Man, and Jon Favreau’s initial mix of humor, light drama, and thrilling visuals (which unraveled a bit with the massive info dumps/multiple storylines of the second film, “Iron Man 2”) is adhered to and even elevated.

Running afoul of the heavily televised Bin Laden-type The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley), Stark sees his homestead demolished in a viciously unexpected attack, and must go on the run to track the man down and solve a mystery of bombings that appear not to involve any conventional weaponry. Do all roads lead to Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a man scorned by Tony who arrives on the scene transformed and with a grand plan in mind? Perhaps, though spoiling that would nullify one of the more curious surprises Iron Man 3 has to offer.

If you plop yourself down in the cushiony theater seats every year for the action element, Black makes the transition from the underrated neo-noir “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” smoothly and deserves a bit of aplomb for the coherent, clean staging here. The finale in particular is thrilling, especially with the amount of action served up concurrently. That said, the most laudable thing Black brings to the series is genuine tension, a sense of the unknown tied to Tony Stark’s survival. Iron Man is tested but the man inside the suit is well trounced, and by keeping Stark away from his saving grace, Black shapes the most compelling entry in the trilogy.

Iron Man 3 by The Critical Movie Critics

A little help from a friend.

That’s not to say Iron Man 3 is a full-bodied triumph, but the viewing experience is exciting if rarely thought-provoking. It doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator and Downey is in his element, rattling off solid one-liners and yet finding the core (no pun intended) of Stark, showing a man challenged and changed. The rest acquits admirably — the verbal sparring between Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Tony remains the beating heart of the three films, and Don Cheadle’s ramped up role highlights the actor in action. Despite the aggressive marketing, Kingsley is granted some range in his portrayal of the gravelly-voiced terrorist and Pearce continues a run of oily men with questionable intentions. If anything, he is underserved by the role but that’s hardly noticeable when he and Iron Man share the screen.

All in all, Iron Man 3 is a fitting sequel and absolutely recommended as a summer distraction — at least until the noticeably moodier “Man of Steel” flies into town.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
4 Star Rating: Good

4

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'Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)' have 42 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 12:46 pm wsulli

    Admittedly this is better than number 2 but it did not come close to meeting my expectations. Too much snarkiness, the Pepper arc was a letdown, Mandarin was a huge miss and what was with having a ten-year-old kid keeping it all together?

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 7, 2013 @ 9:09 am Carlsgood

      If the producers were willing to make a mockery of Mandarin they should have gone all the way and let Pepper die too. Seeing her come back to join the fight after her fall was as bad a wtf moment as finding out Mandarin wasn’t Mandarin.

      Reply

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 12:50 pm Skema

    The first direct follow-up to The Avengers is also the first one to trip-up.

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 3, 2013 @ 1:53 pm Thorazine

      There’s got to be a let down eventually. Shouldn’t stop it from breaking the $500million mark.

      Reply

      • The Critical Movie Critics

        May 3, 2013 @ 6:41 pm Kridux

        The amount of money earned will be obscene.

        Reply

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 12:56 pm Wing Master

    Worst villain ever.

    Reply

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 1:18 pm Jeron

    Good: From an entertainment standpoint I thought it was a lot of fun.

    Bad: I wasn’t a big fan of the emotional deconstruction of Tony Stark even though Downey Jr. handled it well.

    Reply

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 1:21 pm Chippy

    Not as good as everyone including this reviewer says it is.

    Reply

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 1:49 pm Fente

    They ruined Mandarin. The best archenemy of Iron Man ruined. Wow.

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 3, 2013 @ 4:36 pm IvoryGray

      haha yeah they did

      Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 4, 2013 @ 4:44 pm swagz

      Definitely did not see that curveball coming.

      Reply

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 2:29 pm Ken Dahl

    Going tonight. Looks great!

    Reply

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 3:16 pm mr violence

    Avengers, Mandarin, Extremis, Maya, Iron Legion – my fear is there is too many story lines getting crunched together and they’re not going to get adequate time to explain/expand. Same thing happened with Spider-Man 3 and it was mess.

    Reply

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 3:44 pm 2naCapsule

    The die hard fans of Iron Man are not going to be happy.

    Reply

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 4:03 pm Solid State

    Easily the best movie of the three. I like the de-emphasis of the superhero side and how the role of Stark has really matured beyond comic book fodder.

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 3, 2013 @ 9:42 pm Atomic Hello

      I kinda like where they took they’re taking their universe to too but to say Stark has matured because he suffers from PTSD is a stretch. I think with all the one-liners and comedic overtones he’s actually immatured.

      Reply

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 5:23 pm OfficialSmokez

    Such a strange movie. Its a frickin superhero movie without a superhero.

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 4, 2013 @ 2:10 pm Emolecture

      It still has a hero. He just isn’t wearing the armor so much. For me not being the biggest Iron Man fan it’s a welcome pace change.

      Reply

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 6:18 pm Joker

    Well there is always the hope that ‘Man of Steel’ can pick up the slack.

    Reply

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 6:20 pm imurdaddy

    okay movie

    Reply

  14. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 7:45 pm Randy

    Not sure why there is so many negative comments towards the movie. It’s the natural progression of the Marvel Universe – the powers are supposed to play second fiddle to the characters. Pick up any comic book they’ve published ever and prove me otherwise.

    After four movies it was time for Tony Stark to step out of the armor.

    Reply

  15. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 8:46 pm NickD

    Very disappointed.

    Reply

  16. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 9:01 pm Titan09

    How is it every review I’ve read praises the movie and every comment I’ve read trashes it? There can’t be that great a divide between parties unless these is undue influence…

    Reply

  17. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 3, 2013 @ 10:29 pm PDK

    The final fight is awesome. Stay for the credits also.

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 6, 2013 @ 2:19 pm gordonrios

      It was a passable climax; nothing awesome about it at all.

      Reply

  18. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 4, 2013 @ 12:18 am Blaze

    Its got a few slow spots, plot holes and unanswered questions but I can’t complain. I paid to be entertained and I was.

    Reply

  19. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 4, 2013 @ 10:03 am Samantha

    I really enjoyed it. Robert Downey Jr. is so damn perfect as Tony Stark.

    Reply

  20. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 4, 2013 @ 11:32 am Rob

    Went in expecting something completely different. Feel letdown – Marvel did not deliver the film I wanted to see.

    Reply

  21. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 4, 2013 @ 10:41 pm Walsh

    This is a bad movie no matter how you cut it.

    Reply

  22. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 5, 2013 @ 8:30 am Finlay

    Credit to Marvel for the change-up. Bringing on Shane Black and pushing for a character driven story in a comic superhero movie was a risky move.

    Reply

  23. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 5, 2013 @ 12:56 pm Royal Bacon

    What the heck was this? The villains were ridiculous, the genius kid sidekick was a joke and the story was awful.

    Reply

  24. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 5, 2013 @ 4:27 pm KornHusker

    So lame, Downey is the only thing that saved this movie from being a totla loss.

    Reply

  25. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 6, 2013 @ 8:37 pm Eric Curry

    Glad I chose to wait out the crowds.

    Reply

  26. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 7, 2013 @ 1:34 am Dan Gunderman

    I thought Marvel did it’s job in putting together another slapstick moneymaker; the kids will love it, so job complete. I thought the idea of AIM was pretty stupid though, no? But Favreau’s mullet was pristine!

    Reply

  27. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 7, 2013 @ 9:15 pm steef

    170 million opening. That’s a lot of money for a hum drum flick to rake in.

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      May 8, 2013 @ 6:30 pm Raymond

      That’s a lot of money for ANY movie to make in a weekend. It won’t be getting any of mine though. I’m hanging up my superhero leotards.

      Reply

  28. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 9, 2013 @ 2:33 pm Paffle

    Is it too soon to ask: time for a reboot?

    Reply

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      June 1, 2013 @ 9:14 pm Shemite

      Nope. If Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t re-sign expect it to happen.

      Reply

  29. The Critical Movie Critics

    May 13, 2013 @ 3:27 pm pmathis

    Self-destructing impervious armor. That’s a convenient oxymoron if ever I saw one.

    Reply


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