Iron Man Three

May 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Posted in 2013 | Leave a comment
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◊ ◊ ½

In the growing pantheon of superhero movies, there are far more bad or mediocre ones (“Daredevil,” “Green Lantern,” the “Fantastic Four” franchise, various Hulks and X-Mens) than there are good ones (which list, interestingly, includes mostly Batman movies).  Iron Man Three belongs in the pretty good category.  Grounded in a less supernatural universe than many characters in the genre, Iron Man is more accessible and down-to-earth.  This is part of his appeal.  I think the other part comes in Robert Downey Jr’s jaded, wise-ass delivery.  In his hands, this character is simply fun to watch.  The story is as ludicrous, convoluted and silly as most superhero films are and the special effects are just like what we see in 10 films a summer.  What makes this film rise above the pack is RDJ’s banter with whomever he is playing against.  In what looks like an effort to give him more opportunity to sling those one liners (and probably to add some vulnerability to the character), he spends far less time in the armor than I had anticipated.  It’s a bit of a risky move in a summer superhero film to reduce the amount of superhero-ing on the screen but it works, adding more tension to big scenes and also lending itself to more of the banter that is this films real charm.  The rest of the actors do a fine job and, in fact, Ben Kingsley is a pure delight to watch, stealing all of his scenes.  He was clearly loving every minute of that role.  Purists be warned, the film takes license with some classic characters in some significant ways.  However, it also managed to provide a couple of completely unexpected plot twists.  Stick it out through the credits; like all Marvel films, this one has an ending that is worth the wait.

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