(The below article is written in “co-op”, “tag-team” or “versus”, meaning it is written by two individuals whose opinions may or may not be in sync. Differing opinions are denoted by “Mr. Nerdly” or “Mrs. Nerdly” for easier reading.)
After two movies, many people began to say that Robert Downey, Jr. IS billionaire Tony Stark. If anything, Iron Man 3 propagates these opinions. Downey hits the Stark nail on the head again, delivering a performance that seems like anything but. There are a few bumps along the road, but luckily they’re in the beginning and are quickly overshadowed by a great story and equally excellent action sequences.
The movie takes place some time after the events in The Avengers. Since then, Tony has had trouble sleeping as he comes to terms with what he has seen and been a part of. What has he done in his spare time? He’s built suit after suit, of course. We see early on that he’s on Mark 42! This leads to Mr. Nerdly’s first “bump” on the path: Tony’s confession to Pepper Potts. In the midst of an argument, Pepper turns to leave; to get her to stay, Tony admits that he hasn’t been sleeping since the events in New York. “I’m not sure if it’s iffy writing, directing, or acting, but the line seems forced, almost as if they knew they had to address this issue but weren’t quite sure where to do so.” Of course, this hiccup is soon forgotten when things get exciting.
We’re introduced to The Mandarin, a villain who is eerily believable in today’s day and age. Ben Kingsley’s performance rivals that of Robert Downey, Jr. Every time he appears on-screen, you find yourself excited to see what he’ll do next. The “Pepper Potts as Rescue” teaser that was put out before the movie’s release was largely misleading. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper Potts as well as ever, save one small event (“bump number 2”): At one point Tony disappears with his suit, and Pepper tries to chase him, eventually coming to a stop using the old cliché of screaming the hero’s name in anguish. “It seemed cheesy for a movie like this, and you can almost see her prepare to deliver the line, which makes it seem a bit awkward.” Still, any time the movie misses a step, it immediately begins to sprint, leaving behind any awkwardness in favor of awesomeness.
The “side plot” was simultaneously entertaining and a bit of a problem: Guy Pearce makes Aldrich Killian at once enjoyable and evil, but his role and his interaction with The Mandarin seem a bit reminiscent of Iron Man 2. We think this version’s better though, so we don’t mind.
One thing that parents will want to know: The movie is rated PG-13, so obviously there will be some language, but at one point in the movie, Tony drops “The P Bomb” when speaking to a kid. We literally heard the entire theater inhale sharply as he delivered the line.
The action sequences were done remarkably well. Even looking for them, we only spotted one goof that the editors missed. …And of course, there is the moment that everyone looks forward to from the moment they find out that Tony has built forty-two suits: the epic battle between the villains and the Iron Man Army.
Humor is practically the trademark of the Iron Man series. It’s there in droves in Iron Man 3, and you find yourself laughing at everything you’d expect. …and a few things you don’t expect. Tony is as dazzlingly snarky and egotistical as ever, and, as always, he’s fun to watch. For a short time he’s stuck hanging out with a brilliant-minded kid, and the interaction between genius kid and immature adult is pure gold. Something we definitely agree on is that this is clearly the best interaction between any two characters in the entire film.
The end, we suspect, is what will split fans of the movies. It begs the question, “Who is Iron Man: the suit, or the man who wears it?” Mr. Nerdly had a hard time with it and doesn’t like the direction in which they went; Mrs. Nerdly, on the other hand, [saw where they were coming from], and, without giving too much away, seemed to be totally onboard.
Oh, and of course, stay until the credits are over. Half of the theater had left by the time the credits ended, and they will be incredibly sorry that they did. This might be the best after-credits snippet so far.
Recommended for fans of the series?: YES! It’s as funny and as action-packed as ever.
Recommended for “every man” (or “every woman”)?: YES! This is a movie that will definitely keep your interest, whether that be in action, humor, etc.
Recommended for “date night?”: YES! We see more of the romantic side of Tony Stark, which leaves a general “feel good” taste in your mouth.
Recommended for kids?: Maybe… If violence and bad language are big issues for you, then there are definitely parts you won’t want your young’uns reenacting or repeating (as kids do). Otherwise, what young boy (or tomboy) doesn’t love seeing “robot fights” and explosions? Besides, there are some great scenes revolving around Tony’s interaction with a young boy, which will make the kids feel like more of a part of this movie than the others.
General consensus on who should see this movie?: You and everyone you know! …except maybe the kids (See above).