Saturday, May 4, 2013

Iron Man 3

Ah summer movie season begins. Actually this year had a pretty loaded pre-May slate, the best of the bunch was Oblivion and that is probably the best movie that’s going to come out; so go see that before it goes away. Iron Man 3 is the best Iron Man movie, but eh it’s sort of dicey describing why that is. The movie is a very solid action flick with good CG, excellent acting, and superb usage of humor. But it doesn’t have anything that elevates it over Avengers and certainly nothing that scrapes the surface of the Dark Knight. Guy Pearce could easily deliver a “Joker” performance but this movie didn’t want to do that quite clearly. Trust me when I say Guy Pearce is a better, or at least more proven, actor than Heath Ledger was and probably one of the top 5 working actors around; it’s a shame that he wasn’t in more mainstream movies to this point but at least he finally seems to be getting his due.

The plot of this film is odd to say the least, it’s just not very good. However the writing (or improvised dialogue) is excellent and almost all of the character interactions are done extremely well. Basically there’s some DNA magic that makes people into Superheroes, but they’re evil superheroes so Iron Man has to stop them! It uses worldwide style of events and scale but then uses Ironman to save the world when the Avengers had just done so only recently; I don’t think the choice of villain type really fits. Another tech genius, sure, but just plain old superpowers is weird.

The pacing of the film is also just a bit off, there’s an extended sequence with only a few action scenes and even though that section of the film is well constructed and superbly well-acted (the best kid – hero interaction bar none) it just doesn’t fit with a big blockbuster action flick. It’s mature and intelligent comedy crossed with “dumb” action, almost every scene has at least some humor and some of that is ridiculously great. Ben Kingsley is awesome, Guy Pearce has incidental dialogue that is amazing, Robert Downey Jr. has the best “Troll” humor line maybe ever; but the design and character of the action doesn’t jive with it. As someone who can appreciate mature humor (it’s much less over the top humor as was in the previous Iron Man films) as well as dumb action movies I can’t say I desperately wanted both in the same picture.

Lastly the final battle sequence is a bit anti climatic in how it ends, the action itself is fine; above average CG combat with odd fighting game parallels; but it doesn’t have a Terminator 2 style ending equivalent scene to punctuate it. Not to say the action is as good as T2 in general but the villain(s) are basically terminators and you have to deal with them as such.  This is a good action movie that will make you laugh, and for a lot of people that is really all they want out of the first week of May. I re-iterate: go see Oblivion, it’s a cross between 2001, The Truman Show, Tron Legacy, and Star Wars; what could be better?

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