“Iron Man 3” Movie Review
By Victoria Alexander, Film Critic
Las Vegas Informer
Stupid and messy. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World has to go. Pepper must take “Happy” with her.
You cannot put a movie star in a mask. We all know that a legion of stunt men wearing tights are leaping around tall buildings. You cannot put Robert Downey Jr. in an iron suit. Downey is THE quicksilver actor with a punch line. We need him out of that clunky contraption.
Have you noticed that superheroes were taking off their masks more and more? Spider-Man can’t seem to keep the damn shroud on. The problem with Iron Man is he’s just a man. He has no special powers. He can get hurt. Tony Stark’s earlier proclamation “I am Iron Man” meant he could take the metal suit off but what about powers? So, Iron Man was recalibrated to fly! No more taking the bus for Iron Man.
But still, Tony is just an obscenely rich man-child with a basement filled with suits. Until, “IRON MAN 3.”
Downey wants to act! So, like Batman in his swan song, Tony is suffering from PTSD. He has one nightmare flashback. One of the Avengers hurt his feelings in New York. Tony is off his meds and has buried his notorious ladykiller past. He has elevated his personal assistant, Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) to head Stark Enterprises and she’s living with him. She gives him sass. So, while Pepper is off ruining Stark Enterprises, Tony has mechanical genius Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany – I liked him better as an avenging angel) to get him his coffee and ask how his morning poop went.
Jarvis makes “Hal 9000” look like a puppy.
All those suits and no one to battle! Along comes the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a terrorist bent on a manifesto yet to be written. Tony’s first response to the news of the Mandarin’s hellfire? He wants to protect the most precious thing in his life – Pepper.
There is way too much Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). I know Favreau’s importance to the franchise and on “IRON MAN 3” he is one of the eight executive producers. Yet, he is the only executive producer to have a co-starring pivotal role.
It’s not PC but I am going to say it anyway: It’s hard for fat men to act. There are not enough angles in their faces to telegraph emotion. A fat person’s eyes cannot do much acting hidden around a fat face. Why does Favreau need to be in “IRON MAN 3”?
Tony has gotten some new superpowers! They are not explained but due to some injectables, Tony can crime fight without the suit and, with a flick of his wrist – his Jesus pose – can summon the suits! They come to Tony like a litter of noisy kittens. Wherever Tony is, pieces of the suits fly through the air and attach to his body! Even in mid-air.
There are some big, over-the-top moments, like when the Mandarin’s henchman Savin (James Badge Dale) destroys his Malibu mega-mansion by the sea. Rebecca Hall plays Tony’s 1999 one-night stand and Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian, a techno genius that Tony fobs off in 1999. Aldrich holds a grudge.
Favreau got a big part in “IRON MAN 3,” but Ben Kingsley couldn’t get the studio to credit him as “Sir.” I was surprised at that. Kingsley was terrific and is the highlight of the movie.
Downey shows more chemistry with his temporary kid sidekick Harley (Ty Simpkins) than Paltrow. Rebecca Hall knows how to look sexually interested in Stark while Paltrow appears justifiably threatened by her.
How far have they come? Pepper wears an iron suit and lets her hair – enhanced by wigs – flow in the wind. She gets to brutally whip some ass. If only she died.
I did like that the new Iron Man suits were still working out the kinks and Downey’s dialogue was fun. But the big finale? Tony directs Jarvis to bring out the artillery. (With Tony’s Versailles-sized enclave completely in the sea, somehow Jarvis remains totally operational. Is he in a Google cloud? The screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black (who also directed) throws everything in the pot. I was waiting for Downey’s evil twin to make an appearance.
The credits are historically long so if you think the 30 second teaser is worth waiting for – it’s not. What is worth waiting for is the enormous talent that went into “IRON MAN 3” and the mammoth special effects crew that made everything happen on screen.
Yes, there will be an “IRON MAN 4.”
Victoria Alexander is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association: www.bfca.org/ and the Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/. Victoria’s weekly column, “The Devil’s Hammer,” is posted every Monday. http://www.fromthebalcony.com/editorials.php.
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