I personally am not big on superheroes as a movie genre. I prefer sci-fi heroines that kick butt. But sometimes I do find a superhero story I really enjoy. I love X-Men and its allegory of life lived outside the norm. And though I hated the Avengers, I liked several of the character. Captain American, Hawkeye, and, of course, Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr brings the character life and makes most of the Iron Man movies enjoyable. Iron Man 3 is a great addition to the franchise.
In the latest installment of the Marvel saga, Tony Stark has to use his brains again against two nefarious foes. When a terrorist known as The Mandarin is behind worldwide explosions and terrorist messages. When one puts his friend in a coma, Tony Stark tells The Mandarin je was not afraid and invites him to challenge Tony personally. The fight is brought to his house which is destroying, and Tony is left adrift with just one suit. He must use his wit and brain to repair the broken suit and go against the terrorist.
The movie is at its best when Tony is doing his “tricks and one liners.” Without his suit, Tony must rely on his wit to conquer goals and to deal with the people around him. He partners with a young boy, and it’s hard to say who wins when they slam each other. As Tony goes MacGyver to get his damaged suite working, it is so to see how this geniuses’ brain works. The character gets real depth dealing with his issues on his own without Pepper, his suit, or his money.
The biggest detractor is the startling gender inequality. Polly Purebred-excuse me, Pepper Potts-spends half of the movie half naked and screaming. There is a moment when Pepper is powerful and comes to her man’s aid. But Tony must “fix” her and let her go back to the damsel in distress negating any equality her previous actions. I make fun of Black Widow’s outfit but her kick ass factor is at least one step in the right direction for feminism. Pepper is not.
Comic fans will be unhappy with parts of the film especially The Mandarin. As a movie goes, I enjoyed the villain and his twist. He could have easily been a Bane rip off, but Ben Kingsley makes The Mandarin multi-faceted, giving humor to the film as well as misdirecting Tony from other threats. This works well for the movie, even though it breaks from comic cannon.
Iron Man 3 has the typical plot holes of a super hero movie (Are the suits designed only for Tony or not? Make up your mind!), this installment of Marvel’s Phase 2 focuses on the character making Tony human and relatable. As always, Downey Jr is amazing and truly makes the movie and the character. Iron Man 3 is not to be missed.
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