Iron Man 3, a Blast in 3D (Film Review)


Probably the most powerful film for action addicts this year Iron Man 3 blazes the screen in 3D.  Robert Downey Jr. outdoes his last outing of the major action hero with his strong presence and tongue in cheek wit.  Whether you are a fan of Marvel or just looking for a great adventure film, check this one out.  It’s the film that keeps giving with chat way after you’ve left the theater, but don’t give away the surprise ending and stay for a last word at the end of the credits.

In this sequel of Iron Man we find Tony Stark has invented a new way to don his impenetrable suit of armor and a room full of new fashions.  He’s on top of the world living with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) the love of his life in his home and new headquarters at Stark Industries. Flash back to the 1990’s at a science convention and we are introduced to scientist Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), a previous girlfriend of Stark’s.  During an elevator ride inventor Aldrich Killian (Guy Pierce) jumps in wanting a meeting with Stark to show him his new creation, but he gets sloughed off.

Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) shows off his new suit.
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) shows off his new suit.

Flash back to today and Pepper meets her romantic rival Maya and then gets led to a meeting with the now wealthy Killian as he shows her his newest creation of developing the brain.  In the meantime, an ugly Middle Eastern despot The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) has reared up in defiance to the United States Government’s killing of innocent people in his county.  He has vowed to kill the president and do the country mortal harm. When Iron Man swings into action and his side kick Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) gets caught up in an insidious plan to blow up America, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) looks at Tony Stark's battered mask.
Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) looks at Tony Stark’s battered mask.

The excitement in this film, especially in the 3D or IMAX 3D version reaches new heights.  I was sold on the Marvel team with The Avengers, but Iron Man has scouted to the top of my list for these comic book heroes.  Director Shane Black who helped write this sequel (Lethal Weapon series) hangs it all out with some very creative scenes showing the dismantling of Stark Enterprises seaside building, an exploding set that includes huge cargo cranes, along with several bombing locations including the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles.  He’s an uncontrollable kid in a toy shop busting up everything he can get his hands on.

The computer graphics (CGI) is outstanding, especially combined with the 3D effect.  Showing Stark Enterprises coming apart floor by floor, walls against walls and cement blocks breaking apart as they tumble into the sea (and that’s only one dramatic scene). We are treated to several unimaginable CGI scenes as director Black turns his magic on the body suits for Iron Man, a visual of the inside of the brain showing the brain synapses and the neurotransmitters and receptors in all their glory, glowing antagonists and much more.  Iron Man 3 has one of the best uses of CGI to date with not much more that can rival this ‘Marvel’ous film.

Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in a scene from Iron Man 3
Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in a scene from IRON MAN 3

There’s not much more I can say that hasn’t been said already about the excellent performance of Robert Downey Jr. in this role during his four (counting The Avengers) picture run.  Much like Christian Bale (Batman), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) Toby Maguire (Spider-man) and Christopher Reeve (Superman) no one else will ever play the character better than he. For Downey Jr. it’s that special look in his eyes when he sees danger and you can see his train of thought as he looks the situation over on how he’s going to avoid it.  It’s also his quick intimidating stare followed by a witty glance and a knowing look of satisfaction that makes him the only important person in the room.

The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) in IRON MAN 3
The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) in IRON MAN 3

All the film’s cast is brilliant with character creations, adding another reason why you’ll leave the theater bragging that you saw the film to your friends, even if they watched it with you.  Guy Pierce is on top of his game with a character that changes over time and intimidates those who he knows are under his control.  When he meets up with his equal however, there’s always a grudge to settle. Taking on the role of the mad The Mandarin Ben Kingsley makes this character vicious at first then despicable.  About to meet his maker however, he’s not quite up for the fight. No one can play Pepper Potts except Gwyneth Paltrow with her sultry look, sweet as candy smile and a body to match. I’m hoping she’ll be returning for Iron Man 4.

Iron Man 3 has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.  You may want to check the film out yourself however, as the intensity of the violence may be inappropriate for young children.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Iron Man 3 is ice cream on a stick to action lovers, you just can’t get enough.[rating=6]

Additional Film Information:

  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, and Ben Kingsley
  • Directed by: Shane Black
  • Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content
  • Running Time: 2 hrs 10 min
  • Opening Date: May 3, 2013
  • Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com