There’s no denying that Favreau’s Iron Man was single-handedly responsible for not only resurrecting the Marvel franchise (after Spider Man 3 and Fantastic Four 2, it was kinda bleak) but also responsible for the success of Marvel’s cinematic Phase One endeavour.
Iron Man Three is set post The Avengers and incorporates a few sub plots and background stories from the ensemble super hero flick. Primary among them being the anxiety that Tony experiences quite frequently all through the movie. We are introduced to a menacing Bin Ladenesque terrorist leader, The Mandarin, played masterfully (on many levels!) by Ben Kingsley. Guy Pearce plays a scientist colleague from Stark’s past who seems to have a hidden agenda.
Comic book readers will already know that the first two movies were partially based on the Extremis storyline. The threequel exploits a huge portion of the same storyline including characters and the virus itself. Although with a few cinematic adaptations and modifications.
It’s worth noting that IM3 isn’t directed by Favreau, but instead by Shane Black. Now that may not be a huge cause for concern for most viewers. However the movie does echo his style and does become a tad different in terms of style and execution as compared to the preceding two flicks. This may be a good or bad thing based on our affection for them.
There are some truly cool moments in the movie such as the Iron Man suit being donned by none other than the oh-so sexy Gwyneth Paltrow and the kick-ass army of Iron Men being summoned by Stark. But I’ll be honest. Overall I wasn’t blown away by the movie. The main storyline almost delves into a Fringe/ X-Files kind of procedural investigative drama when Tony sets out to uncover the true perpetrators of the so-called terrorist attacks. And for some reason a few of the anxiety attacks that our protagonist experiences were a tad underplayed and comical IMHO. I understand this isn’t Shakespeare, but maybe they could have done something about it.
Another complain I had was with the entire Mandarin storyline, or rather the lack of it. Mandarin is the arch-nemesis in the original comics and fan-boys were probably expecting a substantial plot with the Mandarin being involved, especially since there was an allusion to his existence right in the first movie. So yea, if you’re planning to witness some major Iron Man – Mandarin showdown, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
The story does put a logical conclusion to the cinematic rendition of Iron Man, which may also mean that we may not see him appear in Avengers 2 (set to be released in 2015). Although the conclusion could have been a tad more full circle if elements from the first movie were used to wrap things up.
Despite it’s flaws, I still enjoyed the movie simply because of RDJ. He’s the Jack Sparrow of the Iron Man movies. The plot and story may be under performing, but they’re bearable simply because the talented RDJ is in the movie portraying the protagonist. It is almost impossible to imagine anyone else donning the Iron Suit for future instalments of this highly successful super hero franchise.
Is this the best Iron Man movie in the franchise? No. Should you watch the movie? Absolutely! Especially if you loved the first two movies and are a comic-book/ super-hero fanatic such as myself.