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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Oh, boy. Iron Man 3. Where to begin? This movie is kind of terrible. But, on the other hand, it is not that bad either. I suppose one should call it a disappointment, but even that descriptor isn’t quite right. I guess the thing is that the movie is ultimately stupid. And not in a good, Premium Rush, way. There are several moments of pure entertaining spectacle, but those are heavily counterbalanced by eye-rolling lunacy. Enough of a preamble; let’s just jump right into this.
NOTE: VERY LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD
First, the good. Like always, Robert Downey Jr. is wonderful. I’ve been noticing a recurring joke on the internet that this movie should have been called Tony Stark: Rich Asshole. That’s been going around, because it is completely true. Stark is such an a-hole during the whole film. It’s funny, and Downey like no problem in the most nonchalant way (a highlight being him telling a kid to not “be a pussy” about his father leaving him because it happens all the time).
Along those same lines, the funny bits (and there are quite a few) are legitimacy funny. The Iron Man films have never had a problem in this department. It seems like they really cranked up the “Downey-Factor” in this film, and I felt it was to the movie’s benefit.
I also loved the various twists the film had to offer, especially the one surrounding the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), one of the film’s antagonists. It was a bold move, but such a clever one that I am surprised action films have not pulled this trick before. The only downside is that I saw it coming. Don’t worry; I’m not getting arrogant or anything as if I am that smart when watching a movie. No…this twist was irritatingly spoiled for me months ago as I lamented here.
Now…everything else. The story is okay, but it is so unbalanced and it drags at a snail’s pace, particularly the second act when Stark finds himself in Tennessee. There are sequences that are full of coincidence and happenstance that come out of nowhere only to further the story along. Other times, the movie contradicts its own established facts (somehow Stark survives an explosion hiding behind a steel kitchen counter door even though it was explicitly stated that this type of explosion would incinerate anything within a close blast radius). It just reeks of lazy writing.
Speaking of lazy writing, Stark’s skills as a badass keep wavering during the movie. Throughout most of the film, he acts like he is James Bond by infiltrating heavily fortified mansions and killing guards left and right (which also surprised me on how casually Stark kills people in this movie). Then, during the climax, Stark suddenly becomes the buffoon and no longer knows how to properly handle a gun. I guess the latter is supposed to be funny, but the two cannot work together.
This film also suffers big time by having way too many characters. Don Cheadle completely disappears from the movie for a good hour. Newcomer Rebecca Hall is a complete waste. Her character serves zero purpose in the story and could have been eliminated completely.
And, there is the whole fact that this movie gets incredibly goofy at times. None of it good. It just gets mind-numbingly stupid, and it just comes out of nowhere too. For example, all of a sudden a character has the ability to breathe fire, but then never uses it for the rest of the movie. Another example is during the climax where Stark is jumping from Iron Man suit to Iron Man suit in mid-air. The film is littered with stuff like this.
And do not get me started with the ending coda where the movie tries to wrap everything up – it comes out of nowhere and negates one, rather large plot point developed over the three Iron Man films.
There is a lot going on in Iron Man 3. It is easy to comprehend and the film’s story is solid enough (although the villain’s end goal is notoriously unclear), but the movie has way too many forehead slapping stupid moments that made me a bit embarrassed to watch it. There is a lot more I could say, but I’ll save it for now.
At least, this was better than Iron Man 2. That’s something. Right?