Saturday, May 11, 2013

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3
Directed by Shane Black
Starring Robert Downey Jr,. Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pierce.


SPOILERS!

Oh, it's so wonderful to have some continuity.

Tony Stark starts out narrating the film as he looks back to how he's gotten to the point where he is right now. That starting point is New Year's Eve 1999 in Switzerland. Young Tony looked tanner and a little more soft around the edges. He was still sleeping around with various women. The woman on this particular night is, as Tony puts, a botanist. She's starting up this program called Extremis which will allow limbs to re-grow. Her studies are conducted on a ficus plant. At this point, the plot is cleverly set up because you see that this scientist is still having kinks to work out in her project because the whole thing explodes. Tony scribbles out a formula to help her in her work, but that jumps the gun a bit. Another important plot point is the snubbing of the director of A.I.M., Aldrich Killion, who wanted to work with Tony but gets stood up.

Well, now the story kicks in to where Tony is after the Avengers movie left him. He's working on newer versions of his suit. He's living with Pepper Potts. He's dealing with anxiety attacks and PTSD from the alien invasion in the Avengers movie. There's a new villain called the Mandarin. He's got his eyes set on killing the president of the U.S. and fueling the war on terror, all out of a mansion in Miami, but the audience doesn't know that right away. As a personal vendetta against the Mandarin, he threatens to kill the guy because his faithful bodyguard gets knocked into a coma after a giant bomb goes off at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Nobody knows how these attacks are happening because they haven't been able to find a bomb device at the scene of crime. Aldrich gets snubbed again but this time by Pepper Potts, too.

Pepper and Tony's relationship is a little rocky. He wants to protect her. He can't live without her, but he makes the huge mistake of letting the Mandarin know where he and Pepper live so that they come in, guns a-blazing in their helicopters and bring the whole place crumbling down. Pepper and the botanist make nice but it's a trap, as the woman works for Aldrich and A.I.M. who we later find out IS the Mandarin. "The Mandarin" is a front played by a junkie/actor while Aldrich is able to pull the strings from behind the curtain. Tony's suit gets busted up and he tinkers around with it in Tennessee as he tracks down clues as to what's behind the Mandarin's bombs. They haven't been able to find a device because the people are the bombs. They are veterans who've lost limbs and are injected with Extremis by A.I.M.

Pepper gets held hostage and is injected with Extremis. Tony tries to save her. War Machine, from the previous Iron Man movies, gets a re-design as Iron Patriot. He's trying to help fight the Mandarin too, but his suit gets hijacked by the Mandarin and used to kidnap the president. Eventually he gets his suit back. He and Tony fight the Extremis soldiers. They save the president but Tony can't save Pepper. It happens so quickly, there isn't much time to reflect on it especially since the threat of the Mandarin is still there. Because of that, I had a gut feeling that that wasn't the last of Pepper Potts and it wasn't. It was great because I sat there feeling like 'oh, there's yet another damsel in distress that needs to be saved by her super-hero lover.' Pepper survives her near death experience because she had Extremis injected into her. She winds up saving Tony. That was so awesome! Violent too, and I liked how she commented that is was so violent and out of character. It lightened the mood after all that intense fighting.

Tony decides to start all his Iron Man work over from scratch, to the huge relief of Pepper. He's going to cut back on the distractions so he can pay her more attention. He is able to get rid of the Extremis formula in Pepper and he goes one step further and removes the shrapnel in his chest. All is good. Now, you have to stay in your seats until past the credits. We get more of Tony narrating and we see that he's lying on a sofa as if he were talking to a psychiatrist. The doctor is none other than Bruce Banner. He's fallen asleep though while Tony was talking. Undeterred, Tony begins telling his story once again and Banner wants to get back to his nap. It was funny. I liked the entire movie. It was funny and dark, filled with lots of action. Beforehand, I was unsure how I was going to feel about the movie. Tony isn't my favorite Marvel character because of how cocky he can be but his anxiety from falling from the sky from the previous alien invasion made me much more sympathetic to the character. He thought he was going to die and never see Pepper again. I can't stress enough how much I loved the continuity. It's really refreshing to see.

So, if you haven't done so yet, you should check out this movie for yourself. War Machine was great. So was "The Mandarin." Stan Lee's cameo was the only thing oddly stuffed into the movie.

It was a good time at the movies and that trailer for the next Thor movie looked so sweet.
-O.Pelaez

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