Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Re: Official Iron Man 3 rate/review thread. - Part 2
I saw the movie at 10:45 this morning, and I love it.
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
First of all, I must say that some of the negative reviews from this forum had me a bit concerned, although I saw it as a good sign because it means the movie probably challenged some conventional wisdom, but I went in with some lowered expectation nevertheless. What I saw was indeed a bold storytelling when it comes to Tony Stark, and even with jokes and comic relief to lighten the mood when it gets too dark, they did not lesser the drama and high stakes that lies beneath the surface throughout the film.
Let me first address the elephant in the room: the Mandarin twist. Quite frankly, I like it quite a bit, because it works within the context of the movie. I also don't believe The Mandarin to be some kind of sacred character that could never be changed or mocked. Mandarin is a character that was created using negative Chinese stereotypes, and I don't have any love for this villain, however significant he may be to some people. His position as an arch-rival of Tony Stark speaks volume of how weak Iron Man's rogue gallery is, and I think Killian is a much better villain by comparison.
However, I do have a problem with the execution of this twist. I believe that they should proceed with the fact that Mandarin was just a decoy and a front used by Killian to wield his own terror campaign vs USA, but Shane Black should not have reveal him to be a coward and a weakling. If this "Mandarin" had turned out to be an AIM soldier with Extremis inside his body, but after killing him both Stark and Rhodey discovered that Killian was the real mastermind, it would've made the whole thing go down better, and it would've at least appeased some disgruntled fanboys, as well, even if he doesn't have alien rings. But it ultimately is a minor complain and didn't affect my enjoyment of the movie.
This movie is blessed with many great supporting roles, namely Paltrows' Pepper Potts (imo her best outing in the trilogy), Pearce as Killian, and Favearu as Happy. But RDJ truly shined in this movie and brought his A-game with him. My biggest praise for IM3 has to do with the fact that Shane Black totally focused on the fact that Stark is a "mechanic", which doesn't sound as great as a creator or an innovator but it is refreshing to see Stark using his wits and intelligance to craft weapons in the darkest times, without the comfort of his own workshop. Someone describe the movie as having the scene in which Stark created Mark I in the cave with a box of scraps and extended it to two hours, and I agree with this assessment. Bruce Wayne may have detective skills, but Tony Stark can build his own weapons and MacGuyver his way out of just about any situation.
My favorite scene has to be the Malibu attack, because it shows that Stark really cares deeply about Potts, and willing to save her instead of himself. It is also a treat to see Potts suits up in Mark 42, although I'd love to see Stark give her a new suit with her name on it (Rescue!). Rhodey was great and more comfortable as Col. Rhodey the second time around, although sadly his IP armor wasn't used as much, but then again other suits weren't, either.
My biggest gripe, aside from the characterization of Mandarin, is the fact that Tony Stark had the shrapnel removed from his vein at the end of the movie. I think it completely trivialized Stark's predicament in IM2, when he was being poisoned by the arc reactor in his chest and was in a life-or-death situation. If the procedure was that easy, wouldn't he had done it earlier and save himself all those trouble? I also love the Arc Reactor on his chest, because it reminds him of his experience back as a POW, and the removal of it seemed to made Stark less tragic. I wonder if Favearu ever tried to talk Shane Black out of shooting that scene, because I believe Black probably did it on his own. For this, I have to subtract a whole point from my score.
So in conclusion, except for a couple of things that I dislike about this movie, I found it to be a worthy ending for the IM trilogy. However, I believe Tony Stark will be back in Avengers 2 and build a new suit for it, so Stark's journey isn't over yet, despite the apparent curtain call at the end.
I'd give IM3 a 8.5 out of 10, and rate it behind Avengers and IM1.
The Winter Soldier
April 4, 2014