A fitting end to the saga (for now)
|Robert Downey Jnr as Tony Stark/Iron Man|
|Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts|
|Don Cheadle as Col. James Rhodes/Iron Patriot|
|Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian|
|Rebecca Hall as Dr. Maya Hansen|
|and Sir. Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery/The Mandarin|
I‘ve always liked Iron Man. Of all the superheroes, Tony Stark would have to be my personal favourite. The main reason is the general lack of a proper superpower and utter reliance on the technology he builds as his weapons. He is the ultimate man, confident, smart, irreverently funny, fabulously rich and handsome. Barging into his perfect life comes his subconscious, which is somewhat anguished after his near death escapades in The Avengers. Iron Man 3 begins with some background, Stark meets a (soon to be) familiar face at a party in Switzerland and also meets and inadvertently creates one of the enemies he faces in the film because he’s a jerk, thirteen years later.
In the present, his anguished mind prevents him from sleeping and he spends his time “tinkering” with all 42 variations of his Iron Man suits and adding remote control capability to them. This becomes important (and really spectacular) later in the movie. In the mean time, Pepper meets the baddie she somehow used to know – played by Guy Pearce – although it’s never really explained how they know each other. In the midst of all this, the Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley is wreaking havoc against US military assets and Stark challenges him to meet him head on. At least this villain isn’t an idiot and falls for the “I’m not scared, since I fight like a man in an armored suit” trick. This is why the Mandarin sends helicopters to blow up Tony Stark’s house. Finally, someone who thinks like a proper Evil Overlord!
In the chaotic collapse of his giant mansion, Iron Man escapes to some backwater town in Tennessee to investigate the Mandarin’s mysterious bombs and fix his only working armoured suit. Somehow, the baddies have tracked him there. I don’t know how they did this, since he’s disguised and presumed dead and it’s never explained how they got there either, but it appears their only purpose is to show off the new CGI effects and to give Stark a brand new Audi Product Placement to drive around in.
The story then gets quite interesting and even has a fantastically (and hilariously) acted scene where Ben Kingsley steals the show. The plot thickens very, very quickly, but the audience never gets left behind. This is a well written and scripted film. Hell, I couldn’t even pick out many plot holes in it.
In the end, we see Stark at his best. His quest is epic because he’s not saving the world for his ego anymore, but for the love of his life. He fights more as just a regular guy in this film than all the others combined. It shows he’s still vulnerable, still very much as frail as the rest of us, an aspect that was lacking in some ways in the current Marvel films. Also, there’s no super complicated Holmesian plots where he shows off his imperious intellect to one up the bad guy. It’s pure hard work, adrenaline and grit from our superhero.
It is a good movie that ties all the themes of previous Iron Man films together. However, the last few minutes of wrap up are slightly nonsensical. He gets the shrapnel from this heart removed despite the operation meaning death for him. If this was possible, why didn’t he do this at the first film? Then he wouldn’t need to build a power reactor into his chest cavity and instead build it straight into the suit, which would actually work a hell of a lot better! I suppose this is the typical happy ending wrap that most films finish with.
A good finale to the trilogy, let down slightly by a happy ending that’s much too convenient.
Should I see this?
Yes, because you actually see the billionaire struggle with his demons, his technology and himself.