MOVIE REVIEWS

Iron Man 3:

7/10 NR

April 18, 2013

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There can be many reasons why the original director of a franchise may decide not to return for a sequel, though they all usually have in common that they're very Hollywood-politically-correct. So exactly why Jon Favreau decided not to helm the third instalment of what is, for all intents and purposes, 'his baby' Iron Man, I can't be sure. But I can tell you one thing: something definitely changed.

Everything about IM3 feels different from its predecessors. The atmosphere is darker, which is not to say it's really just a lot less humorous (which is – let's be honest – precisely what we love about Iron Man). The new characters are terribly underdeveloped and overall it's just a great deal less interesting. The storyline was completely vague to me; I'm still not really sure what the whole point of it was. And probably the biggest flaw of all – the first two films had really cool, interesting villains. This one's just really quite weird and not charismatic at all. Possibly at the core of the problem is the fact that it wasn't just one bad guy, it was many. The leading roles are shared by Guy Pearce and Sir Ben Kingsley, and – big shock – it was the latter who disappointed me the most. Not only was his role quite small, I thought it was also incredibly lame. I'd love to explain to you why, but that would be a major spoiler. I noticed some people in the audience laughing at the plot twist of Kingsley's character, but I thought it was just completely stupid and weak, and a total waste of such a great actor. Pearce is not bad, but never really manages to elevate his villain to a higher level, largely because he had zero character development to work with. Same thing with Rebecca Hall. Or the rest of Pearce's cronies for that matter... Too many to count. Sigh.

Well, at least we still have Robert Downey Jr. He's as reliable as ever when it comes to carrying a film, but even he can't help it that his character is almost boring in this one. Where's the humour!? Where's the cynicism we all know and love?! Where's Tony bloody Stark! This is not the familiar overconfident, pompous macho we adore. All of a sudden, and for NO apparent reason whatsoever, this guy is insecure and suffering from anxiety attacks! What the F! Not to mention the fact that his superhero alter ego is almost completely absent for half of the film, because he's off somewhere in the middle of Tennessee finding himself or whatever... I mean, geez... I know the director left, but didn't any of the screenwriters return either? The fact that Pepper Potts had only about two minutes of relevant screen time also certainly didn't help. And when she was there, she was humourless and annoying. Big sigh.

The more I think about it, the more I'm having a hard time trying to think of good things to say about this film. At least the visual effects were solid, and the sound effects were awesome.

This was actually the first time I've seen a film in 3D. I've always avoided it because I was sure that it would be a complete distraction from the story. Turns out I was right in my assumption. I found it hard to focus on what was really going on, and this might have definitely been an influence in trying to follow the plot, so there's a big chance I missed a few things. Nevertheless, I can't help being very disappointed with Iron Man 3, especially since I love the first two so much.

This is definitely a filmmakers' case of "could've, would've, should've". They obviously tried very hard, but never quite manage to get there.

No story, no interesting characters, no filler. Nothing. Too bad.
_(June 2013)_

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