I got ganked. I was rooked. I was bamboozled…in a good way. My first impression of what this movie was going to be about was basically a two hour roller-coaster ride of seizure inducing action. I had child like glee about seeing Iron Man just shoot everything forever. I didn’t expect much. I expected this movie to be more of a transitory movie to build up Avengers 2 and to possibly add a bit to the cosmic Marvel mythos (IE Mandarin’s Rings) but instead we get a really solid film that has some of the best dialogue you would ever find in a superhero flick or any flick for that matter. The one thing that makes this movie really excellent is the fun scripting and dialogue. Sure, there are a few small holes here and there and even though you aren’t convulsing from Avengers 2 hints fueled by repulsor ray blasts you get a very well put together movie that has the best action finale of all the Iron Man flicks in which everyone drives a really sweet ass Audi.
Product placement aside. You really get into the head of Tony Stark with Iron Man 3. He isn’t a god, super soldier, soldier, or man beast. He is a genius millionaire with a suit of armor and is experiencing PTSD and the panic attacks that come from being a guy who fights space aliens, hangs out with a god, and is friends with an unfrozen soldier from the forties. This movie isn’t about the suit. It’s about Tony and how he is coping with this new reality that he seems to be the focal point of. We are taken on a journey of his crisis of faith. He is the only thing that he believes but when that belief starts to falter, we start to see the cracks in the armor. There are some critics that hate that he isn’t in the armor for most of the movie. But, this movie shows that he doesn’t NEED the armor to be Tony Stark. He is smart enough to come out on top on his own. Shane Black did a tremendous job taking over the franchise and I would like to see more superhero stuff from him. Gwenyth Paltrow’s abs should have also gotten their own credit at the end. They were everywhere.
The Mandarin reveal was actually genius but the fanboy in me wanted to see him wield 10 alien rings. Guy Pearce was completely incredible in this flick and to have him actually pull off being the head of A.I.M, the Melter, the Mandarin, and having a hand in Extremis (much like in the Warren Ellis run) was not as convoluted as it should have been. It was all wrapped up in a neat little package, which sees Tony riding off into the sunset without the shrapnel in his chest and a new lease on life.
Overall, it’s a fun flick and if Downey decides not to do another Iron Man movie this is a good bookend for the series. Does it lead into Avengers 2? No. Does it lead into Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor 2, or Cap 2? Nope. But, it gives you Downey at his quippy best and a fun visual ride through the biggest challenge Iron Man has ever faced.