April 26, 2013
First comment, the rating. In our country, this film is rated G. However, a scene that suggests a man's head was shot and the drugged prostitutes in a Miami mansion are hardly general patronage. This is PG-13 at best.
Anyway, back to the movie. The hype and anticipation for this movie was incredible. The biggest chain of malls in this country had every single one of its movie theaters showing this film! Admittedly this made expectations for this movie to be as high as "The Avengers" last year. "The Avengers" made good on that hype, but "Iron Man 3" did not.
The plot centers around Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his conflict with a mad scientist named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who has developed a powerful virus called Extremis who can give fiery powers to those who can withstand its painful incubation. At the same time, the President of the United States was abducted by a mad international terrorist who calls himself "Mandarin" (Ben Kingsley). When the Stark cliffside mansion was destroyed, his love Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) was abducted and his Iron Man suit severely damaged, Stark has to rely on his own cunning, and good friend Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and young geeky boy from Tennessee, to control his panic attacks, get his armor fixed and flying, in order to save the President and save Pepper too.
The action sequences were all very masterfully executed. I enjoyed the unbelievable "Barrel of Monkeys" sequence in the sky among people sucked out of Air Force One. Of course, the explosive and fiery finale on the waterfront was really awesome, with all those powerful incandescent Extremis soldiers and all those Iron Man suits we see in the commercials. I just felt though that the talky sequences between these action scenes are too prolonged and could be boring even. I even felt that Ben Kingsley was undeservedly wasted in the role given him. The comedic one-liners were not too funny, but the physical comedy parts by Downey were much better and funnier.
I thought this film was 70% Stark, only 30% Iron Man. I felt this film was too long and could be edited to tighten the suspense and streamline the storytelling more. The ending sequence was nicely ambiguous. The extra scene after the very long closing credits was funny with a surprising cameo appearance, but it was not so exciting to suggest what the next Marvel film was all about. (Or does it?) Overall, "Iron Man 3" was just alright, but not really worth all the hype given it. Temper your expectations.