2 hrs 9 min
Staff Writer: Nathaniel Brayton
Nothing short of a big letdown. Iron Man 3 is a 80’s action flick with a superhero coating.
In the wake of New York, the events that took place in The Avengers, Tony Stark is suffering from PTSD. He can’t sleep and often has panic attacks when remembering Loki’s attack. This is where the film first misses a huge opportunity. The PTSD was a great idea and the audience got to see a side of Iron Man that wasn’t the overly confident Tony Stark (although that was there too). However, his panic attacks and ‘episodes’ never hindered his ability to be Iron Man. Every time Stark got into the suit and started fighting, he was perfectly fine as if nothing was bothering him. It would have been a better plot device to see him crippled by his trauma mid-fight and overcome his demons later in the film. But this is only the first offense of Iron Man 3.
The Mandarin, the villain of the film, ‘teaches’ America lessons by ‘bombing’ various locations. We find out, however, that the Mandarin is not bombing these cities but has created a type of army of regenerative people, who also have fire abilities. These soldiers are the work of the man Aldrich Killian, a scientist who Stark blew off at a party in Switzerland. And here is where the movie truly fell apart. Killian starts off as a lame henchman, but it is ultimately revealed that he is the Mandarin and behind the evil plots. The actual Mandarin (Kingsley), whose persona is terrifying, turns out to be a Hollywood actor. Again, the film missed a huge opportunity. In the scene where Stark finds out that the Mandarin is fake, Ben Kingsley gives a hilarious performance as an ignorant actor, just hired to be the face Killian’s plan. It would have been great if the Mandarin being an actor was all a cover story to throw off Stark. But sadly, that wasn’t true and Killian, the bland and boring, was the true Mandarin, probably pissing off hardcore Iron Man fans everywhere.
Also, it’s extremely difficult to make any of these events even matter after The Avengers movie. That film operated on such a grand scale, with global destruction, aliens, and gods, that Killian and his plans are minuscule in comparison. He tried to be a good bad guy and it was a cute little effort, but it didn’t work in the end. It was also weird not seeing any interactions with the other Avengers, especially when the presidents’ life was involved.
Iron Man 3 tries to incorporate serious character exposition but offsets it with lame jokes; it never takes itself seriously, which is a bad thing. In this age of great superhero films, like The Dark Knight and The Avengers, we deserve better.
And the after credits scene is not worth staying for.
out of 10
“I hope I can protect the one thing I can’t live without.”